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Dubai International Airport

09 December 2015

Dubai has witnessed a great success attracting the tourists and entrepreneurs from all the corners of the world. The accessibility to the various countries of the world owes its credit to the highly advanced and planned aviation system of Dubai. Dubai International Airport gives an insight of Dubai’s success story exemplifying the world renowned image of class and its high life. Located at the Al Garhoud region of Dubai, it is one of the most important airports of the entire Middle East. Taken by the numbers of international passenger traffic, it has been credited with the world’s busiest airport. It also holds the record of being the busiest centre for Airbus A380.

Giving an immense contribution to Dubai’s economy, this huge airport is divided into three terminals serving almost 75 million passengers on an annual basis. Besides being an epitome of classic luxury, Terminal 3 is also the largest terminal in the world.

Terminal 1

With over 221 check-in counters, the Terminal 1 is used by around 100 global airlines proudly connecting 22 million passengers to their respective destinations. The terminal was initially designed to serve 18 million passengers but with the increasing number of passengers, the expansion was done to accommodate the increasing number of passengers. In 2013, the whole terminal went through a massive revamping process giving a facelift to the entire terminal including the transit area, baggage areas and check in desks.

With a cluster of number of cafes and restaurants in the food court, the Concourse C enjoyed the privilege of being the largest concourse at Dubai International airport till 2000. Committed to provide world class services to the travelers, the concourse C has all the facilities including prayer rooms and medical centres. It also houses a 5 star hotel under its facilities and not to forget the luring Dubai Duty Free shopping bonanza. Many airlines have their separate lounges dedicated exclusively for the passengers by their airlines.

dubai airport 

Terminal 2

Starting its operations in 1998, Terminal 2 is houses a massive area of 510,000 sq. ft. under its roof. It has a serving capacity of almost 10 million passengers with an approximate number of almost 50 airlines using Terminal 2. The terminal is used especially by the budget airlines with majority of the airliners operating to and fro in the Persian Gulf region. With the increasing passenger requirements, the terminal has undergone through a number of renovations including increasing check in counters and added food availability in the food court area.

Unlike Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, which are connected to each other, the passengers traveling through Terminal 2 cannot move to and fro Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 respectively. One needs to take any available public transport to commute to Terminal 1 or 3 from Terminal 2.

Like other two terminals, the Terminal 2 also has a huge 26000sq.ft. exclusive duty free shopping.

Terminal 3

Stepping up at Terminal 3, one can imagine the taste of luxury that is in the waiting. Credited as being the largest Terminal in the world, the terminal was initially dedicated exclusively for Emirates Airlines till 2012. Now the same terminal is also used by Qantas Airlines also allowing the sharing of A380 concourse.

The structure and huge floor space is well equipped with many recreational facilities and comforts including a number of restaurants and lounges with a splurge of shopping outlets making you indulge in a world of luxury and shopping.

Retail outlets:

Keeping in line with the shopping culture of Dubai and what every tourist aspires of, all the high end luxury brands have shelved under one roof. Be it electronics or jewelry, clothing or watches, one can shop for all high end brands at Dubai Duty Free.


 A huge array of culinary options lay at the dispense of the travelers coming from different corners of the world. The multi cultural environment has unarguably a variety of cuisines to offer ranging from fine to casual dining.

Relax and meditate in the composed Zen Gardens while taking a sip of coffee at Costa or a chilling break with a Haagen-Dazs icing desert. Satiate your hunger with a variety of global menu served at Giraffe enjoying a relaxing time with the family.

On Arrival Stopovers:

If you wish to do a stopover in Dubai, you can opt for a stay package which starts at a nominal range of USD45 per night on a twin sharing basis. Once you step in the airport, you can check at the “Hotels and Visas for Dubai” counter in the arrival section of the airport for the various packages available.

The package includes:

  • A number of staying options varying from hotel apartments to high end luxury hotels.
  • All taxes and Service charges
  • 96 hour UAE visa
  • Airport Transfers

The travelers requiring a visa can apply for a maximum 96 hour stay visa. It does not include any other additional immigration fee.

The sojourners can also opt for additional tourist packages like various tour packages, car hire and any other facilities they are looking for.

Transport facilities:

The transport available at the Dubai International Airport is very smooth and convenient providing comfortable public transport as well as private transfers. Terminal 1 and 3 are connected and Metro rail can be used to travel to and fro the two terminals. The airport shuttle service can also be used to transfer between the terminals which generally take an approximate time of 15-20 minutes.

The various transport facilities provided are:


The Metro links the airport with the various parts of the city. Terminal 1 and 3 have metro stations and the journey time taken depends on your destination. The train commences from 6 am which operates till 1am every day. The Friday timings for Metro are from 1pm to 1am.


One can travel in the RTA buses from any of the terminals. The tickets cannot be purchased inside the buses and one has to do the purchase from the NOL card from the machine outside the airport.  Bus No.401 and 402 takes to Al Sabka and Al Ghubaiba bus station from where buses to all parts of the city can be taken.

Besides the RTA buses, the Dubai Airport also provide transport to various parts of the city also covering more than 80 hotels. 


The taxis are easily available outside the airport. You can also go for a prepaid taxi by booking them at the Arrivals of the terminals.

Car Rental:

There are a number of car rental companies which provide their services at the arrival area. As soon as you enter the city, you can also pre book a car with any of the car rental companies and many of these companies also arrange for picking the car from the airport parking once you depart from the city.

Car Parking:

There are ample parking spaces available at the airport terminals.


The terminals have limited free wifi access for 30 minutes but the speed might not be fast at times.


With the shopping culture of Dubai, the Dubai Duty Free lives perfectly up to the shoppers’ aspirations. The Duty free shops provide 24 hour service to the travelers giving them a gaze of all the brands present in the city. There are a number of shops in the departure as well as arrivals with the various brands flocked in the three terminals. Beside the shopping experience, there are a number of offers available readily engaging the visitors in its charm. If you plan to go for shopping, the local currency notes can be used along with the international debit cards which are also accepted.


A four and five star hotel with 300 rooms is located at Concourse A of Terminal 3 along with a 300 room five star hotel premised at Terminal 1. Besides these hotels, there are a number of high as well as middle ranged hotels located in the vicinity of the airport. There are a number of hotel apartments also situated in the heart of the city which can be opted for depending on the duration of the stay.


The trolleys are available free of cost at the airport. If you are on a short stay in the city or a stopover and want to move freely in the city without any hassle of the luggage, then there is a facility of short term storage service available at Terminal 1 and 3. The cost for storing your luggage for 12 hours is approximately AED 25.

There is also a facility of baggage delivery available if you are flying with Emirates Airlines. You can go for the service by booking at the baggage counter at Terminal 3 in the Arrivals section.  

If your luggage is lost or misplaced, you can call at the airport which provides a 24 hour service for the passengers. The number to be contacted is +971 4 2245555.


Besides there are a number of other facilities available at the airport like medical centers, prayer rooms and lounges making your journey a comfortable one.

Sakina Habib

A creative freelance writer/editor living in Dubai, specializing in the areas of travel, food, education and lifestyle.

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