25 Apr 2019
It can be daunting stepping through the automatic doors and being swept into the bustling crowds that flow through Dubai Airport (DXB). Not only is it the main airport for Dubai and the UAE, it’s also the busiest in the world for international traffic. That means the crowds are diverse, exciting and filled with faces from around the globe, milling between the three terminals, from Terminal 1 – the Sheikh Rashid – to the huge, state-of-the-art Terminal 3, reserved for Emirates flights.
No matter how you spend your time before departure, this ultimate survival guide to Dubai Airport has you covered.
Relax in Style
Start your airport experience as you mean to go on and break free from the crowds in the VIP Al Majlis reception and service centre. For a price you’ll have access to 25 different VIP lounges, as well as a personal escort to guide you through the mundanities of airport administration. For those with less deep pockets you’ll also find a range of meet and assist services and plenty of opportunities to relax and kick-back in the Marhaba Lounge. Or, if you’re travelling Business Class, you’ll be privy to a selection of private airline lounges that cater equally for either relaxing or working.
If you're flying with Emirates and you're a Skywards member, you may have complimentary access to the lounges. You’ll find seven Emirates Lounges across Concourses A, B and C. If you're not a Skywards member, you can always buy entry from $100.
If you have a long time between connecting flights, look out for the Sleep'n'Fly Lounge. Once inside you'll find a room of 20 Scandinavian sleep pods, with igloo-esque interiors and minimalistic double cabins with pull-out beds. It’s a great place to relax amidst the bustle and to fit in a power nap. But if you fancy burning the midnight oil, the pods also double as office spaces, allowing you to work in comfort at enviable Wifi speeds.
Finally, if you’re looking to loosen your travel-weary muscles, Be Relax spa facilities, seaweed facials, manicures and full body massages are also available – not to mention a chance to bounce through a few lengths in the Health Club swimming pool.
Indulge in a Little Retail Therapy
Dubai airport is as much about shopping as the rest of the city. The airside Duty Free is expansive incorporating multiple brands into one vast shopping arena. Delve into selections of mementos, souvenirs and authentic Arabian treasures, stroll through sweet-smelling aisles of makeup and skincare, or escape with a little exploration amongst racks of clothing from top international designers.
From a city where jewellery is found in abundance, throughout the bejewelled souks and shop-lined side streets, it’s no surprise to see the glittering array of gold bangles, necklaces and earrings for sale alongside a glittering Swarovski store and watch stores with industry-leading brands, like Omega and Rolex.
Airport Dining from Around the World
Aside from the usual burger chains, Dubai Airport’s food offering is excellent. From the Asian Cho Gao Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Indonesian cooking will bowl you over with a wave of Eastern flavour and rich, lamplit décor. Pick up a burger and milkshake from the uber-hip American Shake Shack or something simple and organic from the Belgian Le Pain Quotidien café.
For something a little more upmarket American super-chef Wolfgang Puck’s The Kitchen has beautifully-prepared Modern American cooking and the great steaks. Not unlike Jack’s Bar & Grill with its no-nonsense Tennessee menu with more than its share of mouth-watering Southern steak. Alternatively, Delizie’s menu of customisable pasta, pizza and salads uses only selected Italian imports and homegrown ingredients. If that wasn’t enough you can then go on to scoop-up colourful and delicious flavours of ice cream at the world-famous Baskin Robbins.
Entertaining the Family
Dubai airport is dotted with playrooms for your little ones to let off steam. The more boisterous among you will find room to flail and cut loose at the BOUNCE trampoline park in Terminal 3, with multiple trampolines, cool graffiti installations hurled across the airport walls and an arcade room filled with games. For those in Terminal 1 head to the feel-good family restaurant Giraffe, where they serve great coffee and fresh food for travellers big and small.
Get Connected or Stream a Movie
The airport is well-connected with unlimited, free and super-fast Wi-Fi throughout, rushing you to every coded corner of the internet, or deep into the in-airport ICFLIX entertainment list, crowded with newly released blockbusters available in three languages. All terminals offer currency exchange bureaus, baby care rooms, smoking lounges and baggage storage facilities. The staff ensure special assistance through mobility and medical facilities
Dubai Airport (DXB) is the gateway to the city and your arrival and departure point for one of Jumeirah’s beautiful hotels in Dubai.