Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has officially opened a brand new staff housing complex with 500 apartments spread out across 11 buildings in the city’s Masdar City development. The environmentally friendly development features a combination of one and two bedroom apartments and will be used exclusively by some of Etihad’s 5,800 international cabin crew.
The development is Abu Dhabi’s first purpose-built sustainable housing complex which complies with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) programme – the most widely used green building rating system in the world. The Emirates Green Building Council recently awarded the development ‘Sustainable Design of the Year’ 2017.
“The opening of the landmark Etihad Eco Residence underscores not only the importance we place on providing superior housing to our valued cabin crew but also our responsibility, as part of the greater Abu Dhabi vision,” explained Mana Mohamed Saeed Al Mulla, Etihad’s head of support services.
As part of its remuneration package for cabin crew, Etihad provides paid-for accommodation which includes fully furnished apartments and white goods. Cabin crew generally share with one or two other crew members of the same sex. Staff can invite family members or friends to stay with them for a set number of nights per year.
Etihad says it plans to provide “superior, environmentally-friendly homes with recreational, dining, health and lifestyle facilities” for its crew. In addition, all new accommodation will be “conveniently located close to the capital’s international airport for ease of transport and operational efficiency.”
In a city where residents have to deal with searing temperatures during the hot summer months, Etihad says an “enhanced microclimate” has been created around each of the buildings. The development has been designed to catch the breeze to provide cooling while also offering protection from dust storms that can affect the city.
Most of the development’s hot water is provided by solar powered systems while phase two will be a new autonomous vehicle system installed across the complex.
At present, Etihad isn’t recruiting new cabin crew as it battles with difficult economic conditions affecting the airline. A number of candidates who were previously offered a job as cabin crew are still waiting to join the airline.