things to the at the airport

Dubai International Airport isn’t just a hub for connecting flights; it’s a destination in itself. With an array of luxury amenities, shopping extravaganzas, and culinary delights, this airport turns layovers into a mini-vacation.

Whether you’ve got an hour or a day to spare, there’s something for everyone to explore.

Visit Duty-Free

Dubai Duty-Free isn’t just a retail space; it’s practically a shopping haven. Located across all terminals, this duty-free area is one of the largest in the world and offers an extensive range of products.

Whether you’re in the market for luxury items like Rolex watches and Chanel perfumes or looking for the latest Apple gadgets, the selection is vast and diverse.

Beyond high-end brands, you’ll also find alcohol, tobacco, and even a raffle where you can win cars or large cash prizes.

DXB Airport Credit Image Redwan Halim
DXB Airport Credit Image Redwan Halim

Dine in Style

For travelers with a penchant for good food, Dubai Airport doesn’t disappoint. With options ranging from casual to upscale dining, the airport caters to all types of culinary preferences. Notable restaurants include The Noodle House in Terminal 3, offering a variety of Asian dishes, and Wolfgang Puck in Terminal 1, known for its American and international fare.

If you’re aiming for a full meal, it’s advisable to allocate at least an hour to enjoy the offerings. For quicker, on-the-go options, fast-food chains like McDonald’s and KFC are also readily available and usually require less time.

Cho Gao Credit Image GINESH K G-min
Cho Gao Credit Image GINESH K G-min

Lounge Access

Dubai Airport is home to more than 40 lounges spread across its terminals, each designed to meet the needs of various travelers, be they flying first class or looking for a moment of respite.

The Emirates Business Class Lounge in Terminal 3 stands out for its comprehensive offerings, such as buffets, showers, and dedicated workstations.

Entry is complimentary for Emirates first and business class passengers, while others can gain access for around $100. To fully enjoy the amenities, plan for a 2-3 hour stay. For a complete rundown of lounge options, check out our Dubai Airport lounges.

Marhaba Lounge (Terminal 3, Concourse B) Credit Image Saqib Sajjad
Marhaba Lounge (Terminal 3, Concourse B) Credit Image Saqib Sajjad

Zen Gardens

Situated in Terminal 3 close to Gates A, the Zen Gardens are designed to be a sanctuary within the airport’s bustling atmosphere. This space incorporates water features, rock formations, and lush foliage to create a balanced and calming environment.

In addition to benches and secluded areas, the garden’s design also aids in noise reduction, making it a peaceful escape. For those looking to unwind or meditate, a 15-30 minute visit offers a valuable respite before boarding your next flight.

Credit Image Plant'td
Credit Image Plant’td

Sleep Pods

For travelers looking for some rest, Dubai Airport offers two main options: SnoozeCube in Terminal 1 and Sleep ‘n Fly in Terminal 3. Both provide enclosed sleep pods equipped with a bed, USB ports, and even television screens in some cases.

SnoozeCube features ventilated units that also offer touchscreen controls for lighting and temperature. Sleep ‘n Fly offers a variety of pod styles, including single and double occupancy options.

Rates for these pods typically start from $20 per hour. Whether you have a shorter layover and need just a power nap, or a longer one that allows for a deeper sleep, these facilities cater to a range of needs. Most travelers spend between 1-4 hours at these pods to recharge before their next flight.

Sleep ‘n fly Credit Image Charles Fernandez
Sleep ‘n fly Credit Image Charles Fernandez

Work Out

For those eager to keep up with their fitness regimen, G-Force Health Club in Terminal 3 is the go-to spot. The facility offers a fully-equipped gym with a variety of cardio machines and weightlifting equipment.

If you prefer swimming as part of your workout, there’s also a pool available. The gym provides towels and locker rooms, making it convenient for travelers to freshen up after their exercise. Passes for entry typically start at around $13.

Depending on your workout preferences—from a quick cardio burst to a full-body routine—plan to spend between 1-2 hours at this health club to make the most of its offerings.

Spa Treatments

Situated in Terminal 3, Be Relax Spa is an oasis for weary travelers looking for a quick rejuvenation. The spa offers a menu of services, including massages, facials, and even oxygen therapy to help combat jet lag.

The massages range from targeted neck and back treatments to full-body experiences. If you’re short on time but still want a quick refresh, they offer 15-minute massages starting at around $25.

For those looking for a more comprehensive pampering, there are treatments that last up to an hour. Given the range of options and treatments, a 15-30 minute session is generally sufficient for a good relaxation experience.

Be Relax Credit Image Senthur Balan Savadamuthu
Be Relax Credit Image Senthur Balan Savadamuthu

Take a Shower

For travelers looking to freshen up between flights, shower facilities are available at strategic locations throughout Dubai Airport. The Emirates Lounges in Terminal 3 provide this amenity, often included in the cost of lounge access.

Additionally, standalone shower facilities are present in Terminal 3, specifically in Concourse A. These are usually equipped with essentials such as towels, shower gel, and shampoo.

Given that the facilities are designed for quick turnover, a 20-30 minute slot is typically adequate to shower and change. This is particularly beneficial for long-haul passengers or those coming from a hot climate, making the rest of the journey more comfortable.

Kids’ Play Area

If you’re traveling with children, Dubai Airport has you covered. The kids’ play areas are strategically located in Terminal 3 near Gates B7 and B8.

These spaces are designed to be both safe and engaging, featuring slides, climbing structures, and a variety of interactive games.

Soft flooring and seating areas for parents add to the convenience. Given the variety of activities offered, a 30-minute stop should be sufficient to burn off some youthful energy and keep the little ones entertained before boarding.

The play areas are free of charge, making them an easy and budget-friendly way to keep younger travelers occupied.

Game Space DXB

For travelers looking to add some fun and excitement to their layover, Game Space DXB in Terminal 3 offers a variety of arcade games and interactive experiences.

This entertainment zone features classic arcade games, racing simulators, and virtual reality experiences that appeal to both kids and adults.

It’s an ideal place to kill some time and get your adrenaline pumping before your next flight. Expect to spend around 30 minutes to an hour here, depending on how engrossed you get in the games. With a range of options to choose from, Game Space DXB is a hit for gamers and anyone looking to unwind.

Game Space DXB Credit Image Dennis Barina
Game Space DXB Credit Image Dennis Barina

WiFi and Charging

Connectivity is a priority at Dubai Airport, and to that end, free WiFi and charging stations are abundant throughout all terminals.

The WiFi is generally robust enough for streaming, video conferencing, or quickly catching up on emails. Charging stations come equipped with multiple types of outlets and USB ports to accommodate a wide range of devices. Some stations even offer wireless charging pads.

Visit Dubai for Long Layover

If you have a layover of 4 hours or more, it’s possible to exit the airport and explore Dubai. The Metro system connects directly to the airport and can take you to key spots like the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa within 30 minutes. Other options include hiring a taxi for a quick city tour.

Burj Khalifa Credit Image Mudassir Mushtaq
Burj Khalifa Credit Image Mudassir Mushtaq

Re-entry procedures and travel time back to the airport should be factored in; hence a minimum of 4-5 hours would be needed for this venture.

  • Burj Khalifa: Standing as the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa is a 20-minute metro ride from the airport. You’ll spend about 1-2 hours exploring and taking in the view from the observation deck.
  • Dubai Mall: Also accessible within 30 minutes by Metro, this massive shopping center has something for everyone. From high-end shops to a giant aquarium, budget at least 2 hours to make the most of it.
  • Dubai Fountain: Located outside Dubai Mall, the fountain show is a must-see, lasting about 5 minutes. It’s worth planning your mall visit to coincide with one of the frequent evening shows.
  • Dubai Creek: A 20-minute taxi ride from the airport, the Creek offers a look at Dubai’s history. Take a traditional “abra” boat ride, lasting about 10 minutes, for a different perspective of the city.
  • Jumeirah Beach: If you’re looking for sun and sand, Jumeirah Beach is around a 30-minute taxi ride from the airport. Plan for at least 1-2 hours here to unwind.

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