Etihad Airways will unveil the latest stage of its airport lounge and retail design programme next month, with the opening of its business class lounge in Abu Dhabi Airport and a second store in Abu Dhabi city centre.
Above Consultancy has designed the new store and lounge for Etihad, which is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates.
Above chief executive Ian Woodhouse says that the consultancy was employed by Etihad in November to design its business class and first class lounges in Abu Dhabi Airport after it worked on hospitality boxes for Etihad at Chelsea Football Club and Harlequins Rugby Club in the UK.
Woodhouse explains that the lounges are now denoted by different precious stones – the first class lounge by diamonds, the business class lounge pearl and economy coral.
The first class lounge, which opened earlier this month, has been designed in the style of a fine dining restaurant, and has a luxury spa relaxation area.
Above is now working on applying the branding to planes.
The stores have been designed to fit in with the Middle East mall culture, where customers go into a mall to arrange their travel rather than booking flights on-line. Woodhouse says, ‘The stores use multimedia and video technology in the front, which then take customers to an area where they can interact with staff.’
The business class lounge will open on 25 March.
Landor Associates last year undertook a wholesale review of the Etihad brand with the airline, but is now no longer working with the client (DW 14 June 2007).