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Language: Arabic | Currency: Dirham (د.إ) | Local time: UTC | Avg. Flight time: 9 hrs
There are two airlines offering direct flights between London and Abu Dhabi: British Airways and Etihad Airways. Both depart from Heathrow and fly the route on a daily basis with a flight time of seven hours 15 minutes.
With only a limited number of direct Abu Dhabi flights on offer, many travellers choose to work in a stopover. London Heathrow is once again the best place to start – one of the quickest and cheapest Abu Dhabi routes is offered by Oman Air with a quick stopover in Muscat. KLM via Amsterdam and Gulf Air via Bahrain are worth checking out too.
Etihad Airways is the only direct alternative if you live further north, with Abu Dhabi flights from both Manchester (MAN) and Edinburgh (EDI).
Prepared to consider a connection? Stopover services from Manchester include a 10-hour Oman Air flight that touches down briefly in Muscat, and a British Airways route via Heathrow. From Glasgow (GLA), KLM operates an 11-hour cheap Abu Dhabi route with a brief stop in Amsterdam, while British Airways once again flies via Heathrow from Edinburgh.
The best option if you’re based in Ireland is either to fly to Heathrow with Aer Lingus and pick up the British Airways or Etihad routes from there, or to take a Flybe flight to Manchester and then transfer to Etihad for the onward journey.
Currently there are three terminals at Abu Dhabi International Airport, including Etihad’s exclusive base at Terminal 3. Another terminal (Midfield Terminal) is set to open in 2019. Once landed, you can get to the city centre by a metered taxi outside all three terminals. The journey time is approximately 40 minutes and the fare is about AED60-80 (£13-£17). The green-and-white air-conditioned A1 bus also operates from all three terminals to various stops in the city, and yet another option is to hire a car and drive to your destination.
If you can’t get on a flight to Abu Dhabi on the exact date and time of your choice, one option is to fly into Dubai and pick up a rental car, bus or taxi from there to Abu Dhabi. The drive to central Abu Dhabi from Dubai Airport is about 150km (93 miles) via the speedy E11 highway and takes approximately one hour and 30 minutes.
British passport holders need a visa to visit Abu Dhabi, but there’s no need to apply in advance or pay any fee – simply head to the immigration counter when you disembark your Abu Dhabi flight for a free visa that allows you to spend 30 days in the UAE. Nonetheless, please note that your passport should be valid for a minimum of six months from your arrival date.
Looking to visit Abu Dhabi? Make sure to check out our Tips and Advice first