Bahrain International Airport: How to help reduce travellers’ stress through carpet design

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Before opening its gates to the public in January 2021, the new passenger terminal at Bahrain International Airport was under construction for four years. The terminal was completed in accordance with a national vision that keeps pace with the requirements of global travel and aviation. Part of a USD 1.1 billion package, the project also included a hotel, a private jet terminal and leisure facilities. Launched in February 2016, the Airport Modernisation Programme comprises the largest investment in Bahrain’s aviation sector to date and represents one of the most important national projects in the Kingdom’s history. With the airport opening, the programme is brought closer to completion while also playing an import role in fulfilling the Economic Vision for 2030.

Sculptural sand surfaces. In the arrival area, a warm and sand toned recolouration of the Tide design from Industrial Landscape by Tom Dixon tells the story of a magnificent sandy desert with its dry surface sculpted by the warm wind.

At 207,000 m2, the new terminal is roughly quadruple the size of the previous one. With the new terminal alone, Bahrain International Airport can handle 14 million passengers per year, but the long-term projection is for traffic to rise to 27 million passengers by 2040.

A boutique airport with a Bahraini feel

With a strong focus on innovation, efficiency and culture, the goal is to make the venue stand out as a best-in-class airport that reflects the Kingdom’s distinct character and cements its reputation as a regional financial, cultural and aviation centre. The new terminal positions Bahrain International Airport as the most modern boutique airport in the region.

Dreamlike island ambiance. The centre piece of the new terminal is a huge screen, showcasing Bahraini moments accompanied by soothing music. Through a select choice of Highline Carré carpet tiles, a harmonious beach ambience is created by combining beige and blue carpet tiles around the screen to underline the exquisite nature of the Kingdom.

Designed to deliver a more personal Bahraini look and feel, the airport is equipped with the latest technologies in the market and supported by new infrastructure to create a hassle-free experience and the highest standards of luxury. The new terminal offers 10,000 m2 of core retail and dining space along with a further 2,000 m2 for so called “future-proofing”. With a duty-free area that’s four times larger than the existing terminal and a retail area that’s three times bigger, the airport offers passengers a highly improved shopping experience, demonstrated by the fact that the retail area introduces 30 leading international brands to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

A global presence ensures a perfect local fit

The interior design concept came under the creative lead of Patrick-Henri Nadal, architect and division manager in the building department of acclaimed French airport experts, ADP Ingénierie, that share their passion, experience and know-how to help design the airports of tomorrow. ADPI is involved at all levels of an airport's life cycle: from design to maintenance and optimisation of existing airport flows, and even increases in traffic. Patrick-Henri explains: “The most important thing to consider when designing the interior of a terminal is the perceived stress of the passengers, so the atmosphere must be designed to counter this stress. Bright colours are chosen for areas with low stress levels such as boarding areas, duty-free spaces, lounges etc. Whereas soft shades are perfect for demanding areas such as check-ins, security, arrivals and departures. It’s the interior designer’s responsibility to make these interfaces as attractive and comfortable as possible.“

A close collaboration from the concept stage always ensures the success of a project and therefore, the global presence of Ege Carpets was crucial for us.

- Patrick-Henri Nadal, architect and division manager in the building department of APDI

For this 40,000 m2 carpet project, the ADPI interior design team worked closely with both the French and Dubaian Ege Carpets subsidiaries. While the team relied on the advice and know-how of Ege Carpets France in the concept phase, Ege Carpets Dubai carried the project through to the execution phase. According to Patrick-Henri, the global presence of Ege Carpets was a major advantage for the project.

Design promotes customer experience

The public departure hall welcomes passengers and those accompanying family or friends to the airport. The layout of this space conveys a strong impression of entering “the airport of the future”. Passing through control measures that lead to check-in counters, passengers prepare to leave for another region or continent, so the visual identity of the public hall transitions to an environment that helps to ease the stress of departure. Passport control is the most stressful step in the departure process so information, signage, the interior finishing and a cooler atmosphere reassure travellers. Once controls are passed, stress is alleviated and passengers can relax and enjoy going shopping, sitting in a coffee shop or waiting for their flight in a boarding lounge. This is where the journey truly begins.

From sunrise to sunset. The Nuages design from Atelier by Monsieur Christian Lacroix captures the ambience of blue and magenta skies.

The interior is based on a selective choice of materials reflected in the specified carpet, furniture pieces and lighting effects. Structured around a chromatic system with colours ranging from warm to cool, the interior mix symbolises the journey from the earth to the sky while helping travellers to navigate through the various airport spaces. A vibrant mix of dreamlike carpet colours and patterns help to create this almost poetic journey.


Navigating through these spaces, passengers experience themed ambiances carefully matched with the functionalities of the specific areas. In line with this conceptual ambition, the departure areas are fitted with the Nuages design from Atelier by Monsieur Christian Lacroix. In selected waiting areas blue skies beautifully blend into the carpet design to represent the dawn, while the dusk is symbolised by magenta skies in other departure spaces. With quite simple yet effective carpet recolouration, the airport design elegantly captures the unique ambience.

Subtle prayer room ambience. The custom carpet adorning the airport prayer room also features the beige and blue colour scheme, to create a welcoming and calm atmosphere.
Reinforced energy level. In the staff locker room, a vibrant selection of grey, blue and green Highline Carré carpet tiles with either a mélange or stripy base pattern welcomes airport employees to one of the all-pervading visually refined settings.

Taking care of people and the environment

In line with the ambition to promote personal wellbeing of travellers, the carpet choice for Bahrain International Airport is based on great respect for the environment too. Produced from regenerated and regenerable carpet yarn, all this carpet is Cradle to Cradle and Indoor Air Comfort Gold Certified. If you want to follow The Green Thread to learn how we make carpet for a sustainable future, click here to explore our sustainability strategy.

Reach out, we’re here to help

With this project, we hope to inspire and enrich. If you want to know more, your local consultant is only a click or call away. Alternatively, you can order your own free brochures and carpet samples right away. Either way, we can’t wait to hear from you!

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Written by Mette Frydensbjerg Jacobsen: Mette is Ege Carpets' fashion savvy communications expert. Her keen eye for the sweet spot between beautiful carpets and great stories makes her our favourite pick for inspiring you with Project of the Month.

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