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Updated November 2023
As a major international connection point for long-haul flights to and from countries in Europe, Asia, North America, and Oceania, Dubai International Airport (DXB) has always been among one of the world’s busiest airports in terms of international passenger traffic.
If you’re planning on transiting or flying to or from the city of Dubai, here’s our complete guide to Dubai International Airport; arrival, departure, and transit.
Table of Contents
Dubai Airport guide: Emirates
Dubai Airport, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is among the most bustling airports globally. It serves as a connecting point for various international destinations and functions as the primary headquarters of Emirates Airlines. Here’s how to navigate it when flying with Emirates:
Before you fly:
- check your flight status and terminal info on Emirates’ website or app
- arrive at the airport three hours before your flight for check-in, security, and immigration
- follow Emirates baggage rules for packing your bags, which depend on your travel destination and class
- consider booking Meet & Greet airport services for a smoother and more comfortable experience
- Emirates provides online check-in and self-service kiosks at the airport
- Emirates provides special check-in desks and priority boarding for First Class or Business Class travelers
- Emirates passengers can drop off their luggage at the check-in counters
Immigration and security:
- Dubai Airport uses biometric technology for faster immigration and security processes.
- passengers must go through security screening before entering the departure gates.
- place liquids, gels, and aerosols in a clear plastic bag with a seal. Size restrictions apply.
- Emirates presents numerous lounges at Dubai Airport, including the First Class Lounge, Business Class Lounge, and Emirates Lounge.
- The lounges offer various facilities, including refreshments, shower areas, and recreational activities.
- Access to the lounges is based on your class of travel and Emirates Skywards membership status.
- Dubai Airport offers a range of transfer options for passengers connecting to another Emirates flight or a flight with a partner airline.
- Passengers can use the inter-terminal shuttle train to travel between Terminal 3 and Terminal 1, where partner airlines operate.
- Emirates also offers a complimentary chauffeur-drive service for eligible passengers, which can help make transfers more comfortable and convenient.
Dubai Airport terminals
Before making your way to the airport, make sure to determine your terminal of operation. Generally, airlines are assigned to the following:
Here’s an overview of what both arriving and departing passengers can expect in terminals 1 to 3.
Terminal 1 serves most international airlines, except Emirates Airlines.
- Aerosvit Airlines
- African Express Airways
- Air Algérie
- Air Blue
- Air China
- Air France
- Air India
- Air Malta
- Austrian Airlines (Tyrolean Airways)
- Azerbaijan Airlines
- Bahrain Air
- Biman Bangladesh Airlines
- British Airways
- Bulgaria Air
- Cathay Pacific
- China Eastern Airlines
- China Southern Airlines
- Cyprus Airways
- Daallo Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Djibouti Air
- Enter Air
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Georgian Airways
- Gulf Air
- Iran Air
- Iraqi Airways
- Jazeera Airways
- Jet Airways
- Jordan Aviation
- Kabo Air
- Kam Air
- Kenya Airways
- Korean Air
- Kuwait Airways
- Libyan Airlines
- Mahan Air
- MIAT Mongolian Airlines
- Middle East Airlines
- Nas Air
- Nordstar Airlines
- Norwegian Air Shuttle
- Oman Air
- Onur Air
- Pakistan International Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Brunei Airlines
- Royal Jordanian
- S7 Airlines
- Safi Airways
- Shaheen Air International
- Singapore Airlines
- Somon Air
- SriLankan Airlines
- Sudan Airways
- Swiss International Air Lines
- Syrian Air
- Tajik Air
- Tatarstan Airlines
- Thai Airways International
- Transaero Airlines
- Turkish Airlines
- Ukraine International Airlines
- United Airlines
- Ural Airlines
- Uzbekistan Airways
- Virgin Atlantic Airways
Passengers may treat themselves to some shopping and dining at Terminal 1. The terminal’s food court located at Concourse D offers a variety of international dining options the likes of Japanese, Arabic, Mexican, and more. If you’re looking for a pre or post-flight drink, numerous bars and cafes offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Those looking to buy some gift-wrapped souvenirs may do so with ease as Concourse D offers an impressive 175-outlet lineup. You can find everything from electronics and books to authentic Arabic coffees and dates.
Other facilities include business and first-class lounges, currency exchange, pharmacy, baby care spaces, and more.
Terminal 2 caters to some budget airline passengers, along with other regional and international airlines.
- Air India Express
- Alexandria Airlines
- Ariana Afghan Airlines
- Caspian Airlines
- Eritrean Airlines
- Euro-Asia Air
- Fars Air Qeshm
- Gryphon Airlines
- Iran Aseman Airlines
- Jubba Airways
- Jupiter Airlines
- Kish Air
- Kyrgystan Aircompany
- Mihin Lanka
- TAAG Angola Airlines
- Taban Air
- Toumaï Air Tchad
- Travel Service Hungary
- Turkmenistan Airlines
- United Airways
Among others, you can find ATMs, Baby care facilities, currency exchange services, information points, lounges, and prayer rooms here.
Terminal 3 is the world’s largest airport terminal serving primarily Emirates Airlines.
- Air Canada
- Emirates Airlines
Here, you can find over 40 restaurants, cafes and bars across the B and C concourses. As with Terminal 1, dining options are varied and you can find everything from Indian to Italian cuisines and everything in between.
In addition to business and first-class lounges, Terminal 3 also offers a full-scale hotel. Dubai International Hotel is within Terminal 3’s premises and accommodates transit passengers only. Rooms are offered in 6, 12, and 18-hour packages.
Naturally, you can do some serious shopping at the famed Dubai Duty Free store. From electronics, liquor to perfumes and luxury brands, you can pretty much find anything here. You can even try your luck at the Dubai Duty Free raffle runs by buying a ticket and standing a chance to win a luxury car or motorbike.
Transfer between terminals
There is a free 24-hour shuttle bus service between Terminals 1 & 3, and Terminals 2 & 3. Simply follow the signs or ask the Guest Experience team.
You can also use the Metro between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. If you’re connecting flights, you will be automatically transferred as part of your connection.
How to check for Dubai Airport flight status, departures, and arrivals?
You can check your departure and arrival status, timing, and terminal by visiting Dubai airport’s flight status page.
Dubai Airport arrival
Transiting through Dubai International Airport
The international airport is huge and going the wrong way may result in travellers missing their flights. Those with a short connection time of 60 to 120 minutes need to be alert and efficient to avoid missing their connecting flight. After disembarking, transit passengers looking to catch their next flight need to follow the ‘Connections’ signage and make their way to the transfer area.
To avoid getting on the wrong transfer route, make an effort to consult the staff wearing a “May I Help You” t-shirt. The friendly and well-informed staff will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
To know more about the complete transit procedures at the Dubai International Airport, and things to do while waiting in transit, check out our article–Transiting in Dubai: Everything You Need to Know About Transit Rules in Dubai International Airport
Dubai Airport Customer Service
To assist passengers and answers their queries, DXB has launched a 24-hour contact centre that combines live and tech-enabled services that enables travellers to access the airport support services through phone, email, live online chat and social media. The service is also set to launch in WhatsApp Business soon.
The contact center team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days/week to answer your queries. Alternatively, the live chat team is available all day to deal with any questions you may have. The bilingual 24-hour contact service can be accessed
Other methods of communication include:
- Via email: [email protected]
- Via social media: @DXB and @DubaiAirports on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels
Dubai Airport Autism-Friendly Services
Dubai Airport has signed an MOU with Dubai Autism Center (DAC) in an effort to enhance the travel experience for passengers with hidden disabilities. The airport itself received the Autism-friendly certificate in November 2022. It has successfully provided services and facilities to support people with autism, which include the following:
- travel planner for pre-travel preparation
- Autism Friendly Route, which includes a prioritized route for check-in, passport control, security checkpoints, and boarding
- Specially trained Guest Experience Ambassadors and employees
Dubai Airport Careers
As one of the most advanced and busiest airports in the world, the Dubai International Airport has several career opportunities available in different fields. You can search for jobs at DXB here on their official website careers.dubaiairports.ae