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Sleeping Pods In Airports: The Popularity of These Capsule Hotels Has Expanded to Abu Dhabi

Travelers Today       By    Karen Fredrickson

Updated: May 10, 2013 11:33 PM EDT

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New chairs, called "GoSleep" chairs, were unveiled on Sunday in Terminal three at the Abu Dhabi airport, according to the Telegraph. The chairs feature a sliding door/roof, which is designed to either partially or fully enclose passengers within the chair, similar to a pod. This is to shield passengers from unwanted noise, light and crowds.

The airport currently has ten pods in the terminal, with ten more in Terminal one. They expect to have an additional 35 later this year. After their installation, the pods will all be upgraded to have internet access, storage space for luggage and other valuables, as well as a power source for laptops and other electronic devices.

The pods look similar to another device that was launched last year, the Ostrich Pillow. That is a portable device that is placed over your head to "enable power naps anytime, anywhere," according to Kawamura-Ganjavian, the company that developed it. The device also has a mouth hole to allow for easier breathing and is ideal for airport lounges, trains and airplanes.

 

A capsule hotel in Osaka.

 

Devices of this type are popular in Japan, where many hotels offer compact, short-term accommodation. One of the first capsule hotels in the world was the Capsule Inn Osaka in Japan, which opened in 1979.

Capsule hotels have also opened in Britain. The founder of the YO! Sushi restaurants has opened two capsule hotels, called Yotels, at London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports. They offer single and double cabins with free Wi-Fi and come with flat screen TVs, multiple power outlets and showers. Other Yotels are located at Amsterdam Schiphol and New York City, with a location two blocks from Times Square.

Moscow has also recently gotten in on the capsule hotel idea, installing the Sleepbox Hotel Tverskaya, which contains 50 windowless pods that can accommodate up to three people in each pod. They have Internet access, soundproofing and air-conditioning.

The pods at the Abu Dhabi airport cost approximately $12 per hour to use, for which payment can be made using a credit card.

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