Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Dubai International Airport

sleeping in dubai airportWhether you are an experienced airport sleeper or new to the game, this sleep guide will give you the essential information to better prepare you for sleeping in Dubai International Airport.

Our guide is updated with the help of airport sleepers who tell us about their experiences at Dubai International Airport. If you have a tip to share, write a review to help us keep this sleep guide up-to-date!

This guide was last updated: 26 July 2018. Read the latest traveller reviews.

Sleeping inside Dubai International Airport

Locations & Seating

Airport Sleep GuideIn general, there’s a good amount of seating options here, but it may not be enough for the many transit passengers coming and going. Seats and benches at the gates tend to have armrests, making them unfriendly for sleepers. Rest zones are designated areas with reclining chairs, but they are often full – which is why you’ll likely see plenty of travellers getting some shuteye on the floor. Because of the airport’s straightforward layout, there aren’t many nooks or crannies for privacy, so spread out an extra cushiony layer and lay down for some rest.

Rest Zones

Dubai Airport offers designated rest zones where tired travellers can relax in recliner chairs and enjoy some stress-free time before their flight. Located throughout Terminal 3, Concourses A and B, near Gates A1, A16, A21, B1-2, B7-8, B10-11, B14-23, B25-27, B29, and B31-32. These fill up quickly and aren’t necessarily quiet areas, so snag a seat if one’s open and pop in your headphones.

Temperature

Travellers agree that it is downright cold in this airport, especially at night. Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.

Lighting

At the time of this update, we have not received reports from travellers related to terminal brightness.  Come prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.

Noise

With so many flights taking off around the clock, it stays pretty noisy here throughout the day and night. Expect typical airport noise like frequent loudspeaker announcements, TVs blaring international news, and the chatter of the many travellers. It may quiet down for a couple hours, between 2:00 AM – 4:00 AM, but it’s best to be prepared with earplugs, noise-cancelling headphones, and even a white noise app on your smartphone if you want to get any rest.

Pro-tip: If you chose a spot near any eateries, keep in mind that the staff arrive early and they can get pretty loud in the kitchen.

Showers

Freshen up (and loosen those stiff muscles) with a shower before your flight. Paid showers are located in Terminal 3, between the following Gates: A1-24, B13-19, and C18-22. The G-Force Health Club, near the Dubai International Hotel, has shower facilities, with packages starting at AED 45. Several pay-to-enter lounges also have shower facilities. See our Dubai International Airport Guide for details.

Food & Drink

Most eateries at Dubai Airport are open 24-hours, which is great news when you get the midnight munchies or need some coffee to stay awake.

Security & Safety

At the time of this update, we have no reports from travellers commenting on security or safety issues at Dubai International Airport. As a precaution, here are a few tips to ensure you have a safe airport sleeping experience:

  • Know Where Security is Located. Whether you are sleeping in the airport by yourself or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is located and look for video cameras in the spot you decide to stay the night. Ask security where it is safe to spend the night. They’ve probably seen many airport sleepers before you and they will direct you to a safe spot.
  • Don’t Seclude Yourself. If you are travelling alone we recommend that you sleep near other travellers. If you are sleeping in the public zone, make sure they are actual travellers and not homeless people – it is sometimes hard to tell in certain airports.
  • Hide Your Valuables. Don’t leave all your mobile devices out in plain view. We have received reports from people who woke up with earphones and no ipod and a laptop bag strap and no laptop bag (or laptop). Same goes with important documents and money. Keep these secure on your body, so that no one can get them without waking you up.
  • Secure Your Bags. If you are a deep sleeper, you may want to padlock your bag to something. If your bags have zippers turn the bag upside down (zippers to the floor) or sleep with your bag up against the wall, so that it would be hard for someone to access.
  • Choose to Stay Alert. If you don’t feel safe, drink coffee and stay awake and be alert. You can always sleep on the plane!

Pro-tip: If you are sleeping in the public zone, don’t be surprised if you receive an early morning wake-up call. Security is known to make the rounds waking people up as travellers begin to arrive for morning flights.

Lounges

While Dubai International Airport has a few lounges, none have designated sleep rooms or rest areas. If you just want to relax in a comfortable seat, check out this list of lounges in our Dubai International Airport Guide that you can pay to access.

Hotels

Prefer some privacy and comfort? If you would like a good solid sleep between flights without the stress of leaving and re-entering Security, you have a few options. The Dubai International Airport Hotel is a traditional hotel located inside Security, so you must be a transit passenger to check in here. (That means you won’t be able to access your checked luggage). Rooms rented in blocks of 6, 12, or 18 hours.

Two more sleep options are located inside the Secure zone, though they are for shorter stays in less traditional hotels. The Snooze Cube in Terminal 1, Gate C22, rents private compact rooms by the hour, with a 2-hour minimum. Sleep n’Fly Lounge, in Terminal 3, opposite Gate A1, has igloo-style sleep pods that accommodate up to 2 people. Pods can be booked from 1 hours to overnight, and you can pre-book some time slots.

Other hotels are located directly at the airport, but outside Security. See our Dubai International Airport Guide for details.

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