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Dubai Airport Guide

dubai airport guide

In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Dubai Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!

Dubai International Airport has recently implemented a new Wi-Fi product. It is a single click to login to 'DXB Free WiFi' with no personal details needed. The internet has no limitations on time, is high speed and completed free.- a traveller

Airport Overview

dubai airport
Terminal 1. Photo by Dubai International Airport

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us during their time at Dubai International Airport.

What to Expect

  • Many flights leave in the wee hours of the morning, so expect to see a lot of folks trying to catch some Z’s.
  • The airport is huge, and expanding rapidly, so be prepared to walk. The main terminals are T1 and T3, home of Emirates Airlines, and they are connected by transit and inter-terminal shuttle (see Airport Transportation below). T2 is home to budget airlines and is connected by bus, about 20 minutes away.
  • The airport is cold, so bring a warm sweater and travel blanket!
  • The cool, modern architecture, and 24/7 shops and eateries will keep you entertained for a long time.
  • WiFi is free, but often runs too slowly. After that, you’ve got to pay up. See more WiFi information below.

Where to Sleep

  • Traveller reviews indicate that it is not uncommon to see people sleeping on the floor due to lack of free sleep options.
  • There are chairs everywhere, but most have armrests, so you won’t be comfortable.
  • The few reclining chairs are always full so if you see one, snag it! For a list of locations, see Rest Zones below.
  • The airport’s open layout means you won’t have much privacy. Bring earplugs because the airport is loud.
  • A few of the lounges have GoSleep sleeping pods ($).
  • Because so many flights leave in the middle of the night, you won’t get kicked out for trying to snooze.
  • For uninterrupted sleep, there is a transit hotel and Snooze Cube sleep cabins inside the secure area of the airport. See our Airport Hotel section below for more info.

Good to Know

  • Showers are free, though the cleanliness may be questionable. For locations, see our Showers section below.
  • Economy class passengers can pay to use a few of the first class lounges. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and rates. Be forewarned, there are times when the lounges are almost as busy at the airport itself.

For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our Dubai Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.

» Read all Dubai Airport Reviews Write a Review Rate Airport

Dubai Airport Information

In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Airport Lounges

If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at Dubai airport either by purchasing a lounge pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):

  • Business Class Lounge - Location: Terminal 1, Airside, Concourse D. Showers are available. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Buy a lounge pass (£28 - up to 3 hours or £35 - up to 5 hours - 24 hour advance purchase is required)
  • Marhaba Lounge - Location: Terminal 1, Airside, between Gates C23 and C25. Showers are available ($). Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (AED190.00)
  • Marhaba Lounge - Location: Terminal 1, Airside, Concourse D. Showers are available ($). Hours: open 24 hours. Pay at the Door (AED190.00) • Buy a lounge pass (£42.00 - up to 3 hours - 24 hour advance purchase is required)
  • SkyTeam Lounge - Location: Terminal 1, Concourse D, Airside. Hours: 2:00AM - 8:00PM (Daily).
  • Marhaba Lounge - Location: Terminal 2, Airside, opposite Gates F3 and F4. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (AED150.00) • Buy a lounge pass (£33.00 - up to 3 hours - 24 hour advance purchase is required)
  • Lounge B - Location: Terminal 3, Airside, Concourse B, Departure Level, East Side, next to Gate B26. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Buy a lounge pass (£28 - up to 3 hours or £35 - up to 5 hours - 24 hour advance purchase is required)
  • Marhaba Lounge - Location: Terminal 3, Airside, Concourse A, between gates A3 and A2. Showers are available ($). Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (AED195.00) • Buy a lounge pass (£42.00 - up to 3 hours - 24 hour advance purchase is required).
  • Marhaba Lounge - Location: Terminal 3, Airside, Concourse B, east end of Level 4 on the north side of the concourse, near gate B21. Showers are available ($). Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (AED195.00) • Buy a lounge pass (£42.00 - up to 3 hours - 24 hour advance purchase is required).
  • Marhaba Lounge - Location: Terminal 3, Airside, Concourse C, the East End of Terminal 1, between Gates C23 and C25. Showers are available ($). Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (AED195.00) • Buy a lounge pass (£42.00 - up to 3 hours - 24 hour advance purchase is required).

» Buy a Lounge Pass

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Airport WiFi / Internet

Free unlimited WiFi is available at Dubai Airport. Connect to the "DXB Free WiFi" or “DWC Free WiFi” networks. Additionally, internet kiosks are located beside Global Link (Gate C16) and Connect. These touch screen kiosks can be operated by those who have a Etisalat internet account or by swiping a credit card. Additional internet kiosks can found opposite the DCA First Class Lounge (Gate 9) and the Irish Village (Gate 23).

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Airport Hotels

There is a hotel inside Dubai Airport in addition to other hotels near the airport:

    • Dubai International Hotel - Located inside the transit area of the airport. From Terminal 1, access the hotel in Concourse C. From Terminal 3, access the hotel in Concourse A & B . If you arriving at Terminal 2, do not exit the terminal or go through immigration. You will have to go to the Transfer Desk and use the free inter-terminal shuttle. This hotel is for transit passengers.
    • Holiday Inn Express - (2 minutes from the airport) Located opposite Terminal 3. Free airport shuttle bus runs every :30 on the hour to/from Terminals 1 & 3.
    • Premier Inn Dubai International Airport - (2 minutes from the airport) Located opposite Terminal 3. Free shuttle bus runs 24 hours a day to/from airport Terminals 1 & 3 and from Terminal 2 between 3:00AM - 10:00PM.
    • TIME Grand Plaza Hotel - (3 minutes from the airport) A well-equipped budget hotel near the airport. No airport shuttle.

    Short-term sleep options within the airport for passengers passing through Dubai airport in transit include:

    • Snooze Cube - Located inside Terminal 1, Concourse D at Gate C22. These 13 soundproofed compact rooms come with bed, TV, music selection, and internet. Rates start at AED 75 (about $21 USD) per hour for single cube and AED 100 (about $28 USD) per hour for shared cube. Minimum 2 hour stay required.
    • Sleep n' Fly Lounge - Igloo-syle sleep pods that can accommodate 1 - 2 passengers are located inside Terminal 3, Concourse A, opposite Gate A1. Showers are available. Rates from 1 hour ($17) to Overnight ($77). Pre-booked pods are available in 4, 6, 8 and 10 hour time slots.

    To see more options there is a list of hotels near Dubai Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

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    More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

    • ATMs / Cash Machines - Yes, in Terminals 1, 2 and 3.
    • Baby Care Rooms - To access one of the airport’s Baby Care rooms, go to one of the Information Zones or ask a “May I Help You?” staff member for assistance.
    • Car Rentals - Yes, see our Airport Transportation section below.
    • Children's Play Area - Location: Terminal 3, Airside, near Gates B7 and B8.
    • Currency Exchange - There are foreign exchange counters open 24 hours in Terminals 1, 2 and 3 (Airside).
    • Food & Drinks - All food and beverages concessions are open 24 hours including: McDonald's • Baskin Robbins • Costa Coffee. See also Meal Vouchers below.
    • Gardens - Need a little peace and quiet or want to reconnect with nature? Zen Gardens, an indoor oasis are near gates B7 and B27 in Terminal 3.
    • Health Club - Passengers can use the swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room, and gym on an hourly basis. Location: G-Force, Airside, behind the Dubai International Hotel. Access points are Terminal 1, Gate 115 and Terminal 3, Concourse 2 (above the Emirates Business & First Class lounges. Fees range between Dhs 15 (approx US$ 5) and Dhs 30 (approx US$ 8). Massage services are also available.
    • Information Desk - "one above each end of duty free airside T1. Landside has dedicated "May I help you?" staff walking around in blue polo shirts". (submitted by a reader)
    • Luggage Storage & Lockers - Short term baggage storage is available in two areas of the airport: Terminal 1 (Arrivals - near RTA Taxi Area) • Terminal 3 (Arrivals - near Baby Changing area/washrooms). Hours: open 24 hours. Rates: from AED 20 - 25 (depending on the baggage size) every 12 hours.
    • Luggage Trolleys - Available for use, free of charge, at any terminal.
    • Luggage Wrapping - Fee: AED 25 - AED 30 per item. Locations: At the check-in areas of Terminal 1,3, and DWC.
    • Medical Centre - First aid and emergency medical attention is available at two locations: Terminal 1, below Gate C13 or Fox 7 • Terminal 3, between Fox 22-23, Level 0.
    • Pharmacy - Boots (Location: Terminal 3, Departures, B Gates) • DDF Pharmacy (Location: multiple locations in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 Departures).
    • Prayer Rooms - Muslim prayer rooms are located throughout the airport and car park. Ablution facilities are available.
    • Rest Zones - There are quiet zones that provide reclining chairs to nap in between flights. Locations: Terminal 3, Concourses A and B, near Gates A1 • A16 • A21 • A24 • B1-2 • B7-8 • B10-11 • B14-23 • B25-27 • B29 • B31-32. Rate: Free. Pack some warm clothes and headphones. This airport gets cold and noisy.
    • Showers - Showers are available in the Business and First Class lounges. There are also free shower facilities at the following locations: Terminal 1, between Gates C18 - C22 • Terminal 3, between Gates B13 - B19 and Gates A1 - A24.
    • Smoking Rooms - Locations: Terminal 1, airside, Gate D12, upper level • Terminal 2, airside, Departures • airside, Terminal 3, at Gates A2, A23, B7, B27, C9, C23.
    • Spa - Pamper yourself with relaxing massage services (including aromatherapy), body scrubs, reflexology.
      • Timeless Spa - Location: Dubai International Hotel, Airside. Access points: Concourse A, A1 or A24 • Concourse B, B14 and B22 • Concourse C, C15 and C17.
      • G-Force Health Club - Location: behind the Dubai International Hotel, Airside. Access points: Terminal 1, Gate 115 and Terminal 3, Concourse 2 (above the Emirates Business & First Class lounges.
      • Be Relax, O2 Spa & Salon, XpresSpa - Locations: Be Relax (Gate A, Gate C, Gate D) • O2 Spa & Salon (Gate B, Gate C) • XpresSpa (Gate B).
    • Tours - There are tour operators that offer short city tours in the Arrivals Area. (submitted by a reader).

    Airport Hours

    The airport is open 24 hours.

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    Layover Sightseeing

    Do you have a long layover? With the proper documentation and a long enough layover, you may have time to leave the airport and do some sightseeing. Here are a few Dubai Airport Layover Sightseeing ideas. As this is a new page, if you have a suggestion for other layover sightseeing options, send a tip to editor@sleepinginairports.com and we will add it to the list.

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    Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport


    Taxis are available 24 hours a day from the official taxi ranks located at each terminal. The most recognizable taxis are Dubai Transport Corporation’s cream-colored taxis. Taxis with pink trim have female drivers. Taxis are metered, with a flag drop of AED20 from the airport. Limousines are also available for hire from the airport.


    Two Metro lines connect Dubai International Airport with the city. These lines run every 10 minutes from Terminals 1 and 3, starting at 5:50AM daily (5:30AM on Thursday and 1:00PM on Friday). Services end at 12:00AM nightly (1:00AM on Thursday and Friday). Metro tickets and rechargeable NOL cards can be purchased at the airport. Designated carriages are available for women traveling alone or with children. Try a front “Gold Class” carriage for a scenic driverless front window view. All Metro stations have taxi ranks and busses available for onward travel. Many hotels are conveniently located near a Metro station.


    RTA public city buses can be found in the bus stands opposite all three terminals. The new SkyBus service runs direct between the airport and many of the area hotels. Passengers will need a NOL card to ride any of the RTA buses, including SkyBus. NOL cards can be purchased at the airport, the Hotels Information Desk, RTA bus drivers and all RTA metro and bus stations. For more information, visit the RTA web site.

    Inter-Terminal Shuttle

    Passengers needing to travel between Terminals 1 and 3 may do so by using the airport’s free 24-hour shuttle bus or the Dubai Metro, which runs between both terminals as well. Passengers with connecting flights are automatically transferred as a courtesy.

    Hotel Shuttles

    Some hotels in the area provide courtesy airport shuttle service. Ask your hotel about shuttle service details and availability. Here are some hotels that offer airport shuttle service: Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport   •   Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai   •   Premier Inn Dubai International Airport.

    Car Rentals

    Al Wefaq, Budget, Diamondlease, Europcar, Fast, Hertz and Sixt operate onsite in Terminal 1 Arrivals. Payless can be found in Terminal 2 Arrivals. Hertz and National are located in Terminal 3 Arrivals. Avis, Dollar and Thrifty are the only three car rental agencies located in the Arrivals area of all three airport terminals.

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    Last Updated: 31 July 2017

    This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning and is subject to change at any time. The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please contact us.

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