Stuck on a Dubai layover in the United Arab Emirates? Dubai is the fastest-growing transit hub in the world, and has one of the nicest airports. The Dubai International Airport is located roughly 3 miles outside Dubai, which makes the city a very accessible destination for those stuck on long layovers. If you’re trying to determine whether you can leave the airport during your Dubai layover, click here for useful tips.
The Dubai airport is lined with palm trees and offers upscale shopping and restaurants. The Dubai International Airport also has many services including a Women’s Lounge & Children’s Play Area located between gates 12 and 14, internet kiosks near Gate 9 and Gate 23, a medical center on the ground level of the Concourse, post office near Gate 18 (open 24 hours), four prayer rooms in Arrivals and the main Concourse, and banking and currency exchange located near Gates 8, 18 and 22.
There are also many lounges to keep you occupied during your Dubai layover. There’s an International First Class Lounge between Gates 114 and 112, a Business Class Lounge beside Gate 108, and lounges for the following airlines: Air France, Gulf Air, Emirates, British Airways, KLM and Star Alliance between Gates 21 and 26. In addition there are two Quiet Lounges in the Sheikh Rashid Terminal near Gates 9 and 23 free of charge.
For the tired traveler, inside the hotel is the five-star, Dubai International Airport Hotel. You can pay by the hour (starting at $40) or the entire night (from $200) and offers a health club, business center, 24 hour laundry and room service. For additional Dubai hotels of varying price points, click here and for hotels specifically near the airport, click here.
If you’re planning on seeing some sights during your Dubai layover, keep in mind that Dubai has some strict laws. The slightest amount of any illegal substance can land you in jail for many years, even life. In addition, don’t walk in front of somebody when they are praying, don’t drink alcohol in the street or in any public place (alcohol is only allowed in hotels or private clubs), avoid passionate displays of affection in public, and women should not dress suggestively to avoid any hassle.
Immigration can be long, as well as taxi lines. Give yourself plenty of time for delays. Depending on what city you’re coming from, you may also need to get a visa, and pay permissions to enter the country. (You can check out Visa Requirements in the widget on the right hand column of this page.)
There are a number of transportation options if you plan to leave the airport and travel into Dubai. There are official taxi ranks at each terminal, with taxis available 24/7. There’s an AED20 taxi charge from the airport, and a ride to the more distant areas of the city, such as Dubai Marina, would be around AED100. Trains run every 10 minutes from Terminals 1 and 3, starting at 5:50am and stopping at midnight (with no service Friday mornings). In addition, buses leave from stations opposite Terminal 1, 2 and 3. For routes and times visit the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). You can also book a private transfer.