About Dubai International Airport (DXB)
Dubai International Airport is not only the busiest aviation hub in the Middle East, it continues to hold the position of world’s number one international airport, with annual traffic exceeding 90 million passengers. If that is a number just too big to wrap your head around, consider this: Dubai International Airport has a whopping 526 check-in counters. Yes. It’s big.
Of course, an expansive airport doesn’t mean much if the experience isn’t great but this is also where Dubai International Airport delivers the goods. Restaurants are first class, shopping is top-tier (as you would expect) and you’ll find an impressive range of spas, lounges and other services.
What facilities are at Dubai International Airport ?
There’s a lot going on at Dubai International Airport, so world-class facilities are a must. From baby care rooms to VAT refunds, you’ll find Dubai International Airport has all the services you need.
Due to the sheer scale of Dubai International Airport (DXB), it pays to know where you need to check in. Here’s an overview of which airlines fly from which terminal:
Dubai International (DXB) Terminal 1: All international airlines (except Emirates, Qantas and flydubai).
Dubai International (DXB) Terminal 2: flydubai and other regional and International airlines.
Dubai International (DXB) Terminal 3: flydubai and all Emirates and Qantas flights.
Note that Dubai International Airport (DXB) is adjoined by a smaller airport: Dubai World Central (DWC). This airport services the airlines Wizz Air, flydubai and Aeroflot, as well as Ural Airlines, Azur Air, Condor and other seasonal charter operators. Be aware that Aeroflot, Ural Airlines and flydubai have operations at both DXB and DWC, so be doubly sure of the terminal before your flight.
Check-in is a breeze at Dubai Airport. Counters usually open 180 minutes before an international flight. You have the choice of checking in at the self-service kiosks, at the desk, online and now you can even check in from the comfort of your hotel. If you’re flying from either Terminal 1 or 2, you can use the DUBZ home (hotel) check-in services, or if you’re flying from Terminal 3 you can take advantage of the home (hotel) check-in service from Emirates. For the most streamlined experience, make sure you have your tickets, passport and baggage all ready for handling when you arrive at the airport.
There’s a well-developed service industry in Dubai and the airport is no exception. If you need a little help with your bags, porters can be hired at every terminal. All you need to do is pay the small fee of around AU$10 (AED25) directly to the porter.
Trolleys are available free of charge and baggage wrapping services are available at the check-in areas of Terminal 1 and 3.
If you would love to meander through Dubai International Airport unencumbered by any bags at all, you can take advantage of the short-term baggage storage in Terminals 1 and 3, which is available 24/7. There is currently no baggage storage facility in Terminal 2.
Baggage delivery is also an option if you’ve flown in with Emirates Airlines. Emirates will deliver its passengers bags within the UAE, for a fee. To book, just visit the baggage counter in the Arrivals hall of Terminal 3, near exit 1.
Is there a currency exchange?
Yes there are several foreign exchange outlets in Dubai International Airport, including Travelex which is located in the Arrivals hall at Terminal 3. If you’re travelling onward from Dubai to Europe from Australia, you can order and pick up any foreign currency before you leave home, at Travel Money Oz.
Things to do for families
DXB has a dedicated Kids Zone at Terminal 3 near Gate B7, where children can burn off some energy in the climbing area, play interactive games or enjoy some of the family-friendly entertainment. There are also restaurants which cater for kids and adults alike.
What are the other services and facilities?
- Unlimited free high-speed Wi-Fi
- Currency exchange
- Business Centre (located in the Dubai International Hotel)
- Baby care rooms
- Luggage storage
- Prayer rooms
- Smoking rooms
- Car rental
- Sleeping areas (Sleep’n’fly Lounge, SnoozeCube)
- Spas (Be Relax, XpresSpa, Timeless Spa, Dubai International Hotel health club)
- Special assistance
- Medical Centre
- Home check-in services
- VAT Refunds
Transport and terminal transfers
What’s the best way to get to and from Dubai International Airport?
Taxi: You’ll find clear signage at Dubai INternational Airport directing you to the official taxi rank at each terminal. Alternatively you can ask the “May I Help You” team to arrange a taxi for you. In Dubai, the taxis are cream in colour and the ones with a pink trim have female drivers.
Bus: For the least expensive option, you can take the bus. The network is extensive, however, and you’ll find that mostly residents or people very familiar with the city take the bus. To take the bus, you’ll need to get your hands on a Nol card, which you can purchase at the Airport Metro Station. Some good news for Emirates passengers is that passengers in Economy Class can take advantage of a free bus service between Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. You’ll find bus stops on the Departures Level outside Entrance 3 at Terminal 3, and at Terminal 1 on the upper level between the arrivals and departures buildings. Bus etiquette to remember: the first three rows of seats on a bus are reserved for female passengers.
Metro: Both Terminal 1 and 3 are served by Dubai Metro’s Red Line that can be accessed directly via air-conditioned walkways to departure and arrival areas of the terminal. Quick, affordable and frequent, as with the bus you’ll need a Nol card to ride the train.The Dubai Metro runs roughly every ten minutes from Terminals 1 and 3, beginning at 5.50am from Saturday to Wednesday, 5.50am on a Thursday, and note: there is no service on Friday mornings. Friday services begin at 1pm and the Metro stops at midnight (1am on Thursday and Friday).
There are two lines, which makes it very easy to use, and most major hotels and tourist destinations are close to a station.
Parking: 24-hour car parking at Dubai Airport is available at all of the terminal buildings and both short and long-term parking is catered for. Rates do vary between parks so if you are on a budget the cheapest of the car parks is Car Park B at Terminal 1, which is free for the first fifteen minutes, and both car parks at Terminal 2. Keep your car park ticket with you because you have to pay your fee before returning to your car at one of the numerous handily located pay stations. For lengthier stays take advantage of the long-term car parking options at Dubai Airport. Situated just 5 minutes from Dubai Airport’s terminal buildings, you don’t have to brave the heat to get to your flight from the car park thanks to the complimentary bus service that runs to and from each of Dubai’s airports terminals.
Car rental: Renting a car is another option in Dubai, with luxury models very popular (and accessible). Car rental companies include Hertz, EuropCar and Budget. You can hire a car on arrival, or pre-arrange car hire here before you travel.
How do I transfer between terminals?
It’s easy to transfer between terminals at Dubai International Airport. The Metro runs between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3; there is a free 24-hour shuttle service between Terminals 1, 2 and 3; and if you’re connecting to another flights, you’ll be automatically transferred as part of your connection.