Abu Dhabi International airport opened in its current location in 1982. It has two runways and three terminals.

Passenger numbers, cargo volumes and aircraft movements have significantly increased since the turn of the century. To cope with this, the airport has undergone several expansions, with terminals 2 and 3 opening in 2005 and 2009 respectively. The second runway was completed in 2009.

The government continues to expand the airport as part of its economic diversification strategy. By 2025, the authorities want 45 million passengers using the airport annually.

Central to the latest expansion is the Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC), which is being built between the two runways. Planning for the $3bn MTC began in 2005, but the main contract was only awarded in June 2012. Its opening has now been moved from 2017 to 2019.

Other recent upgrade projects include the revamp of the existing terminals, additional aircraft stands and improved access roads.

The southern runway was reopened in 2014 following a $99m refurbishment of terminals 1 and 3. Work on these was completed in 2013 and 2015 respectively.