Dubai lures transit passengers with airport experience

The UAE announced a new transit visa policy last week allowing connecting passengers an exemption from entry fees



Dubai Tourism has introduced a new virtual experience at the emirate’s main airport, the world’s busiest for international passenger traffic, designed to encourage more connecting passengers to visit.

The MyDubai Experience allows travellers to learn more about the city via interactive screens and even puts together a two-day Dubai itinerary based on their interests.

The unveiling comes following the announcement of a new UAE transit visa policy last week allowing all transit passengers an exemption from entry fees for a 48-hour visit.

The visa can be purchased at passport control halls across UAE airports and extended for up to 96 hours for Dhs50 ($14).

Read: UAE announces new visa rules for residents, jobseekers and tourists

Dubai Tourism said the first MyDubai location at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3, Concourse A, comprises LED tiles in five 360-degree rings offering a variety of photographic, video, social media and user generated content.

Five 55-inch OLED screens below the tiles are paired with seven 22-inch touch screens allowing travellers to interact with and affect the content on display.

They provide information on attractions, landmarks, activities, itineraries and maps based on personal preferences in eight languages, while also offering the chance to win a monthly raffle for a luxury holiday to Dubai.

“Dubai International is the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, and with millions of travellers transiting in Dubai every year, there is a huge market waiting to be tapped,” said Dubai Tourism CEO Issam Kazim.

“Our aim is to encourage these passengers to enjoy an extended stopover in Dubai, to exit the airport and experience the city. We want them to view their transit in Dubai not as an unwanted delay in their travels from A to B, but as a fantastic opportunity to add value to their journey.”

Details of the concept, which is being offered in partnership with Dubai Airports, were first announced last month.

At the time, Dubai Airports said one option being explored was to allow passengers with a connection time longer than four hours to leave the airport for bus tours.

Read: Dubai allows transit passengers to leave airport for tours

Dubai Tourism said the content of the experience would continue to be updated, with plans for two photo-booths offering illustrated filters.

Dubai International welcomed 88.2 million passengers last year and aims to welcome 118 million by 2023.