Futuristic Sleeper Pods @ Abu Dhabi International Airport

Last month Abu Dhabi International Airport installed their first set of sleeper pods. Although they plan to charge 45 dirhams ($12.25 USD) per hour, for the current time being they are FREE! Conveniently located in Terminal 3 next to gate 31 (which just happened to be my gate), this set of 8 pods is overseen by a single employee.

In order to gain access you must first sign a waiver that basically says, among other things, ‘if you miss your flight, it’s not our fault.’

Waiver form for the Abu Dhabi International Airport sleeper pods
Because nothing good happens without a disclaimer πŸ˜‰

After signing the waiver pictured above “sleepers” are free to select a pod of their choice. Although it was 2am — or maybe because it was — the only open pod was one that had just been vacated by a lady from the UK who snapped this photo for me:

Abu Dhabi International Airport sleeper pods
Getting comfortable in my temporary bed

The pods are controlled by a tablet mounted on the inside and automatically recline when activated. Once reclined the seat can be lifted up to reveal a storage compartment for all of your bags.


Apparently these pods have been so well-received that they have already ordered another three dozen. These will soon be located in several different areas across Terminals 1 and 3.

As these sleeper pods are brand new they are still remarkably clean and in perfect condition. However one has to wonder what they will look like a year or two from now…

What do you think of these sleeper pods? Would you sleep in one?

About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel." Β  Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

25 thoughts on “Futuristic Sleeper Pods @ Abu Dhabi International Airport”

  1. Thumbs up! …Although I probably wouldn’t use them if I had to pay, to be honest. I’m terrified of getting so comfy that I might miss my next flight (even with the alarm on my phone set):) But I’m also terrified of having my stuff stolen when I doze off on some seats in the airport. What a pickle! I tell you what: they need to be free AND they need an alarm function built in that you can set. I also would think that cleanliness shouldn’t be a problem as airports are really good with that. But why don’t airports in general have small areas where you can lie down and catch a bit of sleep? They could be very basic, and kinda like sleeping compartments on a train… Oh well, nobody knows.

    • Wow, hello Vera! This is the first I’ve spoken to you, the fairer half of Finding The Universe πŸ˜‰ For some reason this comment was logged in my spam queue; Luckily I always do a cursory glance before emptying it.

      Although I spent the first hour in the pod tweeting, I did spend the second hour sleeping. But you’re right, I was quite worried I’d oversleep. I not only set the alarm in the pod but also set a phone and tablet alarm as well hehehe πŸ™‚

      Hope you and Laurence get the chance to check them out soon! Not only the pods tho, UAE is quite intriguing and definitely worth a visit.

      Best wishes, hope we all cross paths somewhere down the road πŸ™‚

    • They reminded me of Japan’s capsule hotels too! Actually when I lived in Japan I tried to rent a capsule at four different capsule hotels yet everyone of them refused me service for a variety of reasons, even the last cpl when I had my Japanese girlfriend with me to help translate. As they are meant for working Japanese folks it turns out they are not too friendly towards the gaijin. But I have heard of a couple other travelers who have had better luck than me…

  2. I absolutely LOVE these! I’ve been to some airports that don’t even allow you to lift the armrests of chairs, making it IMPOSSIBLE to sleep anywhere on the airport, besides the floor! I really hope other airports pick up on this idea and install the pods.

    -Maria Alexandra

    PS: it was great to finally meet you in person at TBEX Toronto! πŸ˜‰

    • Oh I cannot stand those airport armrests that are locked in place…no compassion for us world travelers who consider airports a second home!

      It was fantasic to finally meet you at TBEX too! Hopefully next time we cross paths we have more time to chat πŸ™‚

    • You mean a Ken-sized version? πŸ˜‰ While they are all one stock size, I’m 6’2″ (189cm) and I had plenty of room both to the side and top-to-bottom. But you do raise a good point, they wouldn’t be quite as luxurious to say a 7′ tall basketball player.

  3. Pretty cool stuff, though when they start charging that could workout pretty expensive for a long stopover or delayed flight. I wonder how many people miss their flight/connection, no chance of you doing that of course, too busy tweeting from the comfort of your pod haha

    • After screwing around on Twitter for about an hour I did end up dozing off for maybe an hour or so. It was not a restful sleep though; Given how tired I was there was a slight fear that I would sleep through my alarm and miss my flight. Didn’t want to be “that guy” LOL πŸ˜‰

  4. This looks great! I wish I’d found something like this on my superlong trip to New Zealand… At atleast at one of the many airports where I was in transit… Much more comfortable than the floor πŸ˜‰

    • Who knows, they might have some there at some point in the future. More and more airports are installing sleeper pods such as this, although all are slightly different. Munich airport has small sleeper cabins and I’ve heard that New Delhi also has some new ones as well…

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