Adac has shortlisted three companies for the contract, France's Aeroports de Paris (ADP), Germany's Hochtief and Turkey's TAV.
Singapore's Changi was the only other company pursuing the project.
TAV is expected to build the terminal itself if it wins the contract, but the other bidders are likely to bring in sub-contractors.
Hochtief is a major shareholder in Australia's Leighton Holding, which has a 45 per cent stake in the local Al-Habtoor Engineering Enterprises.
Al-Habtoor is already building a terminal for Etihad Airways at Abu Dhabi airport in a joint venture with South Africa's Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East), while in Dubai it has nearly completed the second concourse at Terminal 3 in a joint venture with Murray & Roberts and Takenaka.
ADP also has strong links with Abu Dhabi airport, where it is the design consultant for the air traffic control tower that is currently being built.
Adac's masterplan for Abu Dhabi International Airport calls for the construction of a 220,000-square-metre terminal, located between the existing runway and one being built two kilometres to the north. The terminal will increase the airport's passenger handling capacity by 20 million a year.
The new terminal's design allows for further expansion to 50 million people and more than 2 million tonnes of cargo a year (MEED 6:6:08).