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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

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 about their time at Dubai International Airport.

What to Expect

Dubai International Airport is a massive complex of facilities that include a common transit area and three terminals with four concourses. Terminals 1 and 3 (primarily international passengers) are directly connected with the transit area, while Terminal 2 (primarily Persian Gulf regional passengers) is located on the opposite side of the runways. Terminal 1 has one concourse—Concourse D—while Terminal 3 is divided into Concourses A, B and C. Terminals 1 and 2 are not as modern as Terminal 3. We often receive complaints about these two terminals, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

Shopping, dining and services are plentiful, and most eateries are open 24 hours. There is free WiFi and plenty of mobile charging stations throughout the airport. Economy class passengers can opt for fee-paid entrance into any number of airport lounges, some of which offer showers. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and rates.

Where to Sleep

As a major transit hub, long layovers are common and there are usually plenty of people looking for in-airport sleeping options. Reclining style chairs are available in various Rest Zones around the airport, but they generally tend to stay full. Gate areas have chairs, but most have armrests, thus it’s not uncommon to see people sleeping on the floor. As the terminals and concourses have an open layout, private nooks are rare. Noise and cold temperatures are frequent complaints, so consider ear plugs/noise-cancellation headphones and a warm sweater or travel blanket.

For uninterrupted sleep, there is an transit hotel in Terminal 3 and sleep pods in Terminals 1 and 3. See our Airport Hotel section below for more info.

Good to Know

The airport is served by two lines of the Dubai Metro system, for easy access into the city of Dubai.

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

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

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program (ie. Priority Pass). Visit the individual lounge page for more details about itself and how you can enter one of these lounge even with an economy class ticket!

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Airport Hotels

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

  • In Transit Dubai International Hotel - Located inside the secure zone of the airport. This hotel is for transit passengers only. From Terminal 3, access the hotel in Concourse A, B and C. Hotel guests have no access to and cannot retrieve their checked luggage while staying in the hotel. Rates are available in 6, 12 and 18 hour packages.
    »  Terminal 3, Concourse A - SGL/DBL rates from US$ 143 (6 hours) - US$ 221 (18 hours) » book a room
    »  Terminal 3, Concourse B - SGL/DBL rates from US$ 143 (6 hours) - US$ 221 (18 hours) » book a room
    »  Terminal 3, Concourse C - SGL/DBL rates from US$ 143 (6 hours) - US$ 221 (18 hours) » book a room
  • At Airport 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. » Check Rates
  • At Airport 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. » Check Rates

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

  • In Transit 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.
  • In Transit Sleep n' Fly Lounge - Igloo-syle sleep pods that can accommodate 1 - 2 passengers. Location: inside the secure zone of 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. » Check Rates

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

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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.

If you do not have a mobile device, 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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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • ATMs / Cash Machines - Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Terminals 1, 2 and 3.
  • Baby Care Facilities - 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.
  • 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). Service fees are (as of December 2017):
    » Shower - AED45
    » Nautilus Gym - AED 45
    » Gym + Shower - AED 70
    » Steam Room, Sauna, Jacuzzi, Relaxation Pool - AED 55 each
    » Relaxation Pool + Jacuzzi - AED 85
    » Gym, Shower, Jacuzzi - AED 90
  • 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 Porters - If you need help with your luggage there are porters available to assist you. Rates: AED25 for a regular trolley and AED75 for a family size trolley. Pay the porter directly.
  • 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 40 - 50 (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 and 3.
  • 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. You can also ask any of the “May I Help Staff” for assistance, they will get you the attention you need.
  • Mobile Charging - At the time of this update, we did not have any information about mobile charging availability. If you know, write a review or email us at guides@sleepinginairports.com.
  • Pharmacy - Boots (Location: Terminal 3, Departures, B Gates) • DDF Pharmacy (Location: multiple locations in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 Departures). Hours: At the time of this update, hours were not known per location; however there pharmacies open 24 hours.
  • 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 Gym [ see Health Club above ] and lounges [ see Airport Lounges above ]. There are also free shower facilities at the following locations: Terminal 3, between Gates A1 - A24, Gates B13 - B19 and Gates C18 and C22.
  • 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 B, 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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Airlines

As of March 2018, Dubai International airport is served by the following airlines: Air Blue • Aeroflot • Air China • Cathay Pacific Airways • Safi Airways • Indi Go • Jet Airways • KLM • Air India • British Airways • Royal Brunei Airlines • China Southern • Delta • Kenya Airways • Libyan Airlines • Mahan Air • Malaysia Airlines • Air Algerie • Air France • Azerbaijan Airlines • Biman Bangladesh Airlines • China Eastern • EgyptAir • Ethiopian Airlines • Finnair • Gulf Air • Iran Air • Jazeera Airways • Korean Airlines • Kuwait Airways • Lufthansa • Middle East Airlines • Norwegian • Oman Air • PIA • Royal Jordanian • Saudi Arabian Airlines • Shaheen Air International • Siberia Airlines • Singapore Airlines • Spicejet • Srilankan Airlines • Swiss • Syrian Arab Airlines • Linhas Aereas de Angola Airlines • Tarom • Thai Airways • Tunis Air • Turkish Airlines • Ukraine International Airlines • United Airlines • Ural Airlines • Uzbekistan Airways • Virgin Atlantic Airways • Yemen Airways • Fly Nas • Air Astana • Philippine Airlines • Cebu Pacific • Air Canada • Sichuan Airlines • Equatorial Congo Airlines.

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Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Taxis

Metered taxis are available for hire 24 hours a day from the taxi rank at the ground transportation area of the airport. Taxis are cream-colored, except for pink trimmed taxis, which are operated by female drivers. A flag drop charge of AED25 applies to rides departing from the airport and the charge for each km is AED1.96.

Metro

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.

Bus

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: 25 April 2018

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 .