- Airlines & Destinations
- Accommodation & Hotels
- Coffee & Restaurants
- Car parks
- Internet, Comunication
- Things to know
- Safety and security
Dubai International Airport is the primary international airport serving Dubai, United Arab Emirates and is the world's busiest airport by international passenger traffic. It is also the 3rd busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic,the 6th busiest cargo airport in world, the busiest airport for Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 movements, and the busiest airport in the world operating with only two runways.
In 2016, DXB handled 83.6 million passengers, 2.59 million tonnes of cargo and registered 418,220 aircraft movements.Dubai International is situated in the Al Garhouddistrict, 2.5 nautical miles (4.6 km; 2.9 mi) east of Dubai and spread over an area of 2,900 hectares (7,200 acres) of land.
The airport is operated by the Dubai Airports Company and is the home base of Dubai's international airlines, Emirates and flydubai. The Emirates hub is the largest airline hub in the Middle East; Emirates handles around 65% of all passenger traffic and accounts for approximately 42% of all aircraft movements at the airport. Dubai Airport is also the base for low-cost carrierflydubai which handles 11.6% of passenger traffic and 25% of aircraft movements at DXB. The airport consists of three terminals and has a total capacity of 90 million passengers annually. Terminal 3 is the second largest building in the world by floor space and the largest airport terminal in the world. As of January 2016, there are over 7,700 weekly flights operated by 140 airlines to over 270 destinations across all six inhabited continents.
Dubai International is an important contributor to the Dubai economy, as it employs approximately 90,000 people, indirectly supports over 400,000 jobs and contributes over US$26.7 billion to the economy, which represents around 27 per cent of Dubai’s GDP and 21% of the employment in Dubai.
Airlines & Destinations
The airport has three terminals and a fourth is scheduled to open in 2015. All terminals are numerically named.
- Terminal 1 is the main terminal, used by most major airlines and long-haul flights.
- Terminal 2 serves regional flights (mainly the Persian Gulf and South Asia region) and low-cost flights, including all FlyDubai flights.
- Terminal 3 is used by Emirates and Qantas. It is the second largest building in the world by floor space.
Most airlines have a designed area within their terminal. E.g. Lufthansa group (Lufthansa, Swiss Int'l Airlines and Austrian) use Terminal 1F as check-in.
Getting between Dubai Airport and various parts of Dubai and Sharjah is relatively quick and easy.
Most visitors opt for public taxis from the airport, which use the meter and start at Dhs 25. They are readily available just outside arrivals. They are on the left when you come out of terminal 1. A trip to Dubai Marina may cost around Dhs 100. If you look rich or Western, the taxi dispatcher may steer you towards a line of black limousines beyond the main taxi rank. If so, decline politely and take one of the regular taxis.
Terminals 1 and 3 each have a station for the Dubai Metro Red Line; they are in Zone 5 of the line. Trains depart every 10 minutes between about 6am and 12pm, except Friday (between 1pm and 1am).
Buses serves all three terminals. There are buses just opposite the exit gates after baggage claim, the most useful for visitors being lines 401 and 402 (Dhs 3), which go to the Al Sabkha and Al Ghubaiba bus terminals respectively. Tickets cannot be bought from driver so you'll have to buy NOL card before stepping into the bus.
All terminals have extensive parking lots.
Terminals 1 and 3 are directly connected to each other via the airside (no immigration needed for transfer) and are models of modern airport design. Terminal 2 is on the other side of the airport and, despite recent renovations, is still reminiscent of developing-world airports, with long check-in lines, queue jumping and every second passenger checking in 70 kg of luggage.
Free shuttle buses between the three termicals run every 20-30 min. However shuttles to Terminal 2 are sporadic at best, so a 30 min taxi ride may be your only option. A low-cost option for traveling to Terminal 2 is to catch the metro to a nearby station, such as Abu Hail metro station, and from there catch a 5 minutes taxi to Terminal 2.
Dubai International Airport has three terminals. Terminal 1 has one concourse (concourse D), Terminal 2 is set apart from the other two main buildings and Terminal 3 is divided into Concourse A, B, and C. The cargo terminal is capable of handling 3 million tonnes of cargo annually and a general aviation terminal (GAT) is close by.
Dubai Airport has three passenger terminals. Terminals 1 and 3 are directly connected with a common transit area, with airside passengers being able to move freely between the terminals without going through immigration, while Terminal 2 is on the opposite side of the airport. For transiting passengers, a shuttle service runs between the terminals, with a journey time of around 20 minutes from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 and 30 minutes to Terminal 3. Passengers in Terminal 3 who need to transfer between concourse A and the rest of the Terminal have to travel via an Automated People Mover. Also after early 2016 when the construction of Concourse D was done, there is now an automated People Mover between concourse D and Terminal 3.
Situated beside Terminal 2 is the Executive Flights Terminal, which has its own check-in facilities for premium passengers and where transportation to aircraft in any of the other terminals is by personal buggy.
The three passenger terminals have a total handling capacity of around 80 million passengers a year.
Terminals 1 and 3 cater to international passengers, whilst Terminal 2 is for budget passengers and passengers flying to the Sub-Continent and Persian Gulf region; Terminals 1 and 3 handle 85% of the passenger traffic and the Executive Flights terminal is for the higher end travellers and important guests.
Terminal 1 has a capacity of 15 million passengers. It is used by over 100 airlines and is connected to Concourse D by an automated people mover. It is spread over an area of 520,000 m2 (5,600,000 sq ft) and offers 221 check in counters.
The Terminal was originally built to handle 18 million passengers, however with extreme congestion at the terminal, the airport was forced to expand the terminal to accommodate with the opening of 28 remote gates. Over the years, more mobile gates were added to the airport bringing the total as of 2010 to 28.
In 2013, Dubai Airports announced a major renovation for Terminal 1 and Concourse C. The renovations include upgraded baggage systems, replacement of check-in desks and a more spacious departure hall. Arrivals will also see improvements to help reduce waiting times. The renovation was completed by the middle of 2015.
Planning begun for further expansion of Dubai Airport, with the construction of Terminal 4, it was revealed on the day Emirates completed its phased operations at the new Terminal 3, on 14 November 2008. According to Dubai Airport officials, plans for Terminal 4 had begun and extensions would be made to Terminal 3. These are required to bring the capacity of the airport to 80–90 million passengers a year by 2015.
In May 2011, Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports revealed the Dubai Airport masterplan. It involves the construction of Concourse D (previously Terminal 4). With a capacity of 15 million, it would bring the total capacity of the airport to 90 million passengers by 2018 – an increase of 15 million. It also will see Emirates take over the operation at Concourse C, along with concourse A and B which it will already be operating. All remaining airlines will shift to Concourse D, or move to Al Maktoum International Airport. The airport projects that international passenger and cargo traffic will increase at an average annual growth rate of 7.2% and 6.7% respectively, and that by 2020 passenger numbers at Dubai International Airport will reach 98.5 million and cargo volumes will top 4.1 million tonnes.
Concourse D will have a capacity of 15 million passengers, include 17 gates and will be connected to Terminal 1 via an automated people mover. On 6 February 2016, members of the public were invited to trial the concourse in preparation for its opening. On Wednesday, 24 February 2016, Concourse D officially opened with the first British Airways flight arriving at gate D8.
Terminal 2 built in 1998 has an area of 47,000 m2(510,000 sq ft) and has a capacity of 10 million as of 2013, after several, decent reconstructions and a major expansion in 2012 which saw capacity double. It is used by over 50 airlines, mainly operating in the Persian Gulf region. Most flights operate to India, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In June 2009, Terminal 2 became the hub of Air India Express and Flydubai, and the terminal houses the airline's corporate head office.
Terminal 2 has undergone a major refurbishment recently, extending check-in and boarding facilities, changing the interior and exterior décor, and offering more dining choices to passengers. Capacity was increased to allow for 10 million passengers, an increase of 5 million.
The terminal has now increased the number of facilities available to passengers. Check-in counters have increased to 37.The boarding area is more spacious, with more natural light. Also the new open boarding gates allow several flights to board simultaneously, improving passenger and aircraft movements. There are a total of 43 remote stands at the terminal. However passengers cannot move between Terminal 2 to 1 or from 2 to 3 and vice verse inside the airport. They have to make use of Taxi service or public transport available outside.
The Dubai duty-free shopping area covers 2,400 m2 (26,000 sq ft) in departures and 540 m2 (5,800 sq ft) in arrivals. The 3,600 m2 (39,000 sq ft) extension included a larger arrivals hall as well.
The partly underground Terminal 3 was built at a cost of US$8 billion, exclusively for Emirates and has a capacity of 65 million passengers. The terminal has 20 Airbus A380 gates at Concourse A and 5 at Concourse B and 2 at Concourse C. It was announced on 6 September 2012 that Terminal 3 would no longer be Emirates exclusive, as Emirates and Qantas had set up an extensive code sharing agreement. Qantas would be the second and only one of two airlines to fly in and out of Terminal 3. This deal also allows Qantas to use the A380 dedicated concourse.
Upon completion, Terminal 3 was the largest building in the world by floor space, with over 1,713,000 m2 (18,440,000 sq ft) of space, capable of handling 60 million passengers in a year. A large part is located under the taxiway area and is directly connected to Concourse B: the departure and arrival halls in the new structure are 10 m (33 ft) beneath the airport's apron. Concourse A is connected to the terminal via an APM. It has been operational since 14 October 2008, and opened in four phases to avoid collapse of baggage handling and other IT systems.
The building includes a multi level underground structure, first and business class lounges, restaurants, 180 check-in counters and 2,600 car-parking spaces. The terminal offers more than double the previous retail area of concourse C, by adding about 4,800 m2 (52,000 sq ft) and Concourse B's 10,700 m2(115,000 sq ft) of shopping facilities.
In arrivals, the terminal contains 72 immigration counters and 14 baggage carousels. The baggage handling system – the largest system and also the deepest in the world – has a capacity to handle 8,000 bags per hour. The system includes 21 screening injection points, 49 make-up carousels, 90 km (56 mi) of conveyor belts capable of handling 15,000 items per hour at a speed of 27 km/h (17 mph) and 4,500 early baggage storage positions.
Concourse A part of Terminal 3, openend January 2, 2013, has a capacity of 19 million passengers and is connected to the two major public levels of Terminal 3 via an automated people mover (APM) in addition to the vehicular and baggage handling system utility tunnels for further transfer. The concourse opened on 2 January 2013 and was built at a cost of US$3.3 billion. The building, which follows the characteristic shape of Concourse B, 924 m (3,031 ft) long, 91 m (299 ft) wide and 40 m (130 ft) high in the centre from the apron level and accommodates 20 air bridge gates, of which all are capable of handling the Airbus A380-800. There are also 6 remote lounges for passengers departing on flights parked at 13 remote stands. The gates in concourse A are labelled A1- A24.
The concourse includes one 4 star hotel and one 5 star hotel, first and business class lounges, and duty-free areas. The total built-up area is 540,000 m2 (5,800,000 sq ft). The concourse allows for multi-level boarding and boasts the largest first and business class lounges in the world. Each lounge has its own dedicated floor offering direct aircraft access from the lounges. The total amount of retail space at the concourse is 11,000 m2 (120,000 sq ft), and there is also a total of 14 cafe's and restaurants.
Concourse B is directly connected to terminal 3 and is dedicated exclusively to Emirates. The total built up area of the concourse itself is 675,000 m2 (7,270,000 sq ft). The concourse is 945 m (3,100 ft) long, 90.8 m (298 ft) wide (at midpoint) and 49.5 m (162 ft) high. The terminal has 10 floors (4 basements, a ground floor and 5 above floors). The building currently includes a multi-level structure for departures and arrivals and includes 32 gates, labelled B1- B32. The concourse has 26 air bridge gates and 5 boarding lounges for 14 remote stands that are for Airbus A340 and Boeing 777 aircraft only. For transit passengers the concourse has 3 transfer areas and 62 transfer desks.
The concourse also includes the Emirates first and Business class lounges, and the Marhaba lounge. The First class lounge has a capacity of 1,800 passengers and a total area of 12,600 m2 (136,000 sq ft). The Business class lounge has a capacity of 3,000 passengers and a total area of 13,500 m2(145,000 sq ft). The Marhaba lounge, the smallest lounge at the concourse has a capacity of 300 passengers at a time.
The total retail area at the concourse is 120,000 m2 (1,300,000 sq ft), which also includes 18 restaurants within the food court. There are also 3 hotels in the concourse; a 5 star hotel and a 4 star hotel.
There is a direct connection to Sheikh Rashid Terminal (Concourse C) located at the control tower structure through passenger walkways. There is also a 300-room hotel and health club including both five and four star rooms. Concourse B includes five aerobridges that are capable of handling the new Airbus A380. Emirates Airline continues to maintain a presence in Concourse C, operating 12 gates at the concourse as well as the Emirates First Class and Business Class Lounges.
Concourse C, is a part of Terminal 3, was opened in 2000 and used to be the largest concourse at Dubai International Airport before Concourse B in Terminal 3 opened. It incorporates 50 gates, including 28 air bridges and 22 remote gates located at a lower level of the terminal. The gates are labelled C1 – C50.
The concourse includes over 17 food and beverage cafes and restaurants, with the food court being located on the Departures Level. Also located in the concourse is a 5 star hotel and a 5,400 m2(58,000 sq ft) duty-free shopping facility. Other facilities include prayer rooms and a medical centre. Concourse C became part of Terminal 3 in 2016 after concourse D opened.
Al Majalis VIP Pavilion and Dubai Executive Flight Terminal
The AL Majalis VIP pavilion, was exclusively built for the Dubai Royal Air Wing and opened on 1 July 2008. The entire facility is a 3,400 m2 (37,000 sq ft) terminal, and includes a Royal Majlis and an antenna farm. It also includes eight aircraft hangars with a total built up area of 69,598 m2 (749,150 sq ft) and maintenance hangars for Boeing 747s and Airbus A380s, and a 1,200 m2 (13,000 sq ft) gatehouse for VIP service. In 2010 there were 47,213 customers, 13,162 movements and in 2009, there were a total of 43,968 customers and 14,896 movements.
Executive Flight Services (EFS) caters to those passengers of high class or special importance that travel through Dubai International Airports. It is the largest dedicated business aviation terminal of its kind in the Middle East. It is located at the Dubai Airport Free Zone close to Dubai International's Terminal 2. It only caters to private flights exclusive to the terminal. Airlines operating from the terminal are expected to maintain a lounge. In 2010 EFS handled 7,889 aircraft movements and 25,177 passengers.
The centre itself is located close to Terminal 2, and includes a 5,500 m2 (59,000 sq ft) two-storey main building, a 3,700 m2 (40,000 sq ft) hangar, a 3,700 m2 (40,000 sq ft) ramp area for aircraft parking and a special VIP car park for long term parking. The centre also has its own immigration and customs sections, its own Dubai Duty Free outlet, a fully equipped business and conference centre, eight luxury private lounges and a limousine service between aircraft and the terminal. The ramp area of the terminal can accommodate up to 22 small sized private jets, between 8 and 12 medium-sized jets or up to 4 large sized jets such as a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), the Boeing 727 or the Airbus A319. The facility makes EFC the largest dedicated business aviation terminal in the Middle East.
Cargo Mega Terminal
The cargo village at Dubai International Airport is one of the world's largest and most central cargo hubs, with most of the cargo for Asia and Africa coming through the facility. Forecasts in 2004 for cargo growth predicted that additional major cargo handling facilities were needed to satisfy demands. Plans were put in place to construct the first stage of the cargo mega terminal, which by 2018 will have the ability to handle three million tons of freight. Phase 1 of the cargo mega terminal was completed by 2004 and the next phase of expansion was scheduled for completion in late 2007. Presently the airport has a cargo capacity of 2.5 million tonnes, and will be expanded to handle 3 million.
Dubai airport has constructed a flower centre to handle flower imports and exports, as Dubai is a major hub for the import and export of flowers and the airport required a specialist facility since these products need special conditions. The flower centre's first phase was completed in 2004 at a cost of $50 million.
The flower centre is not yet finished and construction will continue in another two phases. The centre will offer an enhanced level of automation over a five to seven-year period for processing flower products. It will begin with a semi-automated system with manual sorting before eventually becoming fully automated.
The centre when completed and functioning will have a floor area of approximately 100,000 m2 including different export chambers and offices. The handling capacity of the centre is expected to be more than 300,000 tonnes of product throughput per annum. The entire facility (with the exception of the offices) will be maintained at an ambient temperature of just 2 to 4 °C (36 to 39 °F).
Accommodation & Hotels
There are three hotels located within the airport complex. A 300 room five-star hotel in Concourse C of Terminal 1, a 4 star hotel and a 5 star hotel in Concourse A of Terminal 3. DXB is within the Deira district of Dubai which offers a wide range of hotels.
- THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL HOTEL (Terminals 1 and 3), , e-mail: [email protected]. Check-in: From 14:00, check-out: Until 12:00.
Coffee & Restaurants
There are plenty of fast food and fine dining restaurant located in all three terminals of the airport.
- Chowking Orient Restaurant
- Mezze Express
- Nestle Toll House
- Taste of India
- The rupee room Express
- Cho Gao
- Jack’s Bar & Grill
- Le Pain Quotidien
- Moet Champagne Bar
- Wafi Gourmet Restaurant
- Caviar House
- Heineken Lounge
- Ocean Basket
- Red Carpet Cafe & Seafood Bar
The airport is famous for its duty-free shopping. However, prices in the airport's duty-free stores are equal or higher than what you can find in the many malls of the city. Alcohol here is very cheap, though. Alcohol is also available at an inbound duty free store situated in the baggage reclaim area. The amount of alcoholic beverages and beers should not exceed 4 liters of alcohol beverages, or 2 cartons of beer (each consisting of 24 cans, not exceeding 355 ml for each can or its equivalent).
All three terminals have free, 30 minute Wi-Fi access, although coverage and speed can be spotty at times. There are standalone computer terminals at all terminals with access to the Internet.
Things to know
Just as you’d expect from a major airport connecting all corners of the globe, DXB has several exchange bureaus in all terminals, so you can get the right currency for your destination. What’s more, you can even reserve today’s rate and collect as you come through the airport!
For those with some serious work to do, a business centre can be found in the Dubai International Hotel. It’s complete with meeting rooms, secretarial service, photocopying, Internet, lamination and binding, faxing, and conference facilities.
Children’s play area
If you’re travelling with children, head to our family facility ‘Kids Zone’ to discover a whole range of fun activities. The area includes an interactive games zone and a climbing frame, which is great for getting kids to burn off excess energy before flying. It’s located between Gate B7 and B8.
Baby care rooms
Travelling with your baby? Our dedicated baby care rooms will help you attend to them in privacy. Head to our Information Zones, or just ask our ‘May I Help You’ staff to find one closest to you.
At Terminal 1 and 3, we’re happy to look after your bags while you explore. The cost is either AED20 or AED25 for every 12 hours, depending on the size of your bag. Just check on our interactive maps to find this service.
Sorry, but smoking in public areas is not allowed. The good news is there are comfortable, well-ventilated smoking lounges in all our terminals. To find them, just follow the signs.
Terminal 1: Gate D12, Upper level.
Terminal 2: Near the departure area.
Terminal 3: Gates A2, A23, B7, B27, C9, C23.
Safety and security
The Civil Aviation Authority of Dubai manages the overall safety and security of the airport. Pre-screening takes place in all terminals at the entrance of the airport. Retinal scanning has been implemented in all UAE airports. This type of scanning prevents those deported from the UAE for serious criminal charges from returning again using fradulent documents (UAE nationals are exempt from retinal scans).
In early 2007, Dubai Airport introduced a new type of airport screening device which not only detected weapons, but also could screen the passenger for drugs in the blood. With the new system in place, travellers entering Dubai can be jailed for four years or more if found in possession (including in the bloodstream and the bottom of the shoes) of illegal drugs (even in quantities as small as 0.001 g (3.5×10−5 oz)), including poppy seeds from bagels and prescription and over-the-counter medicines such as codeine. A senior Dubai judge was quoted on 11 February 2008, by Seven Dayssaying, "These laws help discourage anyone from carrying or using drugs. Even if the amount of illegal drugs found on someone is 0.05 grams, they will be found guilty. The penalty is a minimum four years if it is for personal use. The message is clear – drugs will not be tolerated". A number of travellers have been held pending charge while Dubai authorities test their possessions, blood and urine for any trace of contraband.