With the summer holidays on in full swing, transiting at Dubai International Airport is a strong possibility for many passengers thanks to Emirates’ global network.
But faced with long transit times, many travellers are often in a dilemma as to how to spend the hours sitting inside an airport.
Fortunately, Dubai International provides some unique facilities to keep passengers comfortable and engaged.
Here are 10 options –
1. Relax at the Zen gardens
In Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport offers the Zen gardens – an area that comprises of a fish pond, lush trees and benches to sit on while listening to the sounds of water. This is a perfect spot for reading a book or catching up on pending work. Zen garden also provides a play area for children to keep them occupied.
2. Enjoy a good meal
The airport has a vast number of food and beverage outlets across the board, offering fast food and full dining options.
On offer are Italian restaurant Carluccio, international cafe Giraffe, Asian outlet Cho Gao and fast food regulars such as Burger King and Mc Donalds.
The restaurants are also located across the terminals with coffee shops dotting the area near the gates so that you can also board when required.
3. Pamper yourself in a five star hotel
If your transit time in the airport stretches on for several hours and you have a long onward journey daunting you, you can also consider staying at the airport’s five-star hotel. The Dubai International Hotel, with 253 rooms, provides you with facilities such as a sauna and swimming pool, shower facilities, various gym facilities and a dedicated spa. Room rates begin from Dhs 650 onwards per night.
4. Browse the internet with free wifi
Free wifi is provided throughout the airport, enabling you to communicate with your family and friends, catch up on news or browse aimlessly on social media. However, note that the service is only free for 60 minutes. Following that, you can buy data from provider Boingo for Dhs 19.95 per hour for mobile devices or Dhs 29.95 per day for laptops.
Travellers can also subscribe to Boingo’s worldwide programme which allows access to 1,000,000 hotspots around the world for Dhs 49.95 per month.
5. Shop till you drop
Dubai International offers you the opportunity to complete all your pending shopping for the holidays. The tax-free Dubai Duty Free shops offer a wide range of products, from local delicacies and souvenirs to global luxury brands.
There are also separate sections for electronics, fashion and luxury products, so even if you don’t want to make your pocket lighter, you can while away time browsing through your favourite section.
6. Get fit
The G-force club is the place to visit if you want to work out between flights. This club provides members a gym, shower rooms, saunas, jacuzzis and a co-ed pool. Prices range from $15 for an hourly package to $36 for a four-hour package. Guests staying at the Dubai International Hotel can enjoy the facility for free.
7. Catch some shut-eye
If you are exhausted and don’t care much for eating or shopping, you can head over to a snooze cube to catch some undisturbed rest before your next flight.
Similar to micro-hotel rooms, guests have access to a bed, free wifi, a touchscreen TV offering music and movies and a place to hang coats on. This facility costs Dhs 75 for a single cube and Dhs 100 for a shared cube.
8. Finish that pending work
For those who are itching to get work done before boarding the next flight and need the right ambience, the airport provides a business centre and meeting rooms at the Dubai International Hotel. They offer services such as internet access, photocopying, faxing and secretarial services.
9. Have some family fun
For those travelling with children, it might be worth heading to a new facility between gates B7 and B8 at Concourse B.
Dubai Airports has opened a new facility which features a children’s area with play equipment, television screens featuring children’s programming and baby changing rooms.
There’s also a climbing area and interactive games zone for kids who need to burn off excess energy before their flight.
10. Indulge in the ultimate luxury experience
While first and business class lounges offer a number of facilities for those who can access them, you can also take your experience to an altogether new level of luxury at the Dubai airport.
The Al Majlis VIP service takes care of all travel formalities, with a limousine assigned to also transport you from the airplane to the airport facility. The facility constitutes of three large lounges for groups and six relatively smaller lounges for families. While you can avoid the queues, you will also be offered the services of a personal assistant during your Duty Free shopping.
The service, obviously, comes at a price. Adults are charged Dhs 1500 per head, children below 12 are charged Dhs 300 and children under 3 years are admitted free of charge.