AIRLINE REVIEWS

SURVIVAL GUIDE : Dubai Airport

Airport code: DXB

Passenger’s per year : approx. 70mil.

Terminals : currently 4


  •  T1 – all international airline
  •  T2 – Flydubai and budget airlines only (separate terminal and not connected with T1/T3 )
  •  T3 – exclusive to Emirates
  •  T3 concourse A – exclusive to Emirates A380 aircrafts ( only accessible via train )
  •  T1 concourse D – opening November 2015
Dubai_Airport_overview

DXB Airport Complex from above


T1: also known as Sheik Rashid Terminal is at the present time under re-furhbishment. Until renovations is finished, expect lots of noise, bad lighting, low ceilings, crowds and long queues. 63 check-in counters are serving all international airlines.

The entire building is outdated, chaotic and gate areas with duty free are ugly.

Passengers sleep on the floor as there isn’t enough seating and even the business class lounge is terribly overcrowded and old. There are the usual fast food and cafe options.

Pros : e-gates
Cons : long distances, long queues, construction, wi-fi never works


T2: flydubai’s hub just have been renovated and extended. Arrival hall spacious and clean but flydubai check-in counters always with long queues. Immigration and security usually quick.

Terminal is smaller size and all gates are in one big “warehouse” style space. Very noisy and busy at all times. Flydubai business class passengers have their dedicated lounge. There is a duty free and wide range of cafe’s.

Flydubai currently operates 49 B737 and flying to 94 destinations

Pros : quickly “in an out” due to relatively small sq.ft, modern and bright. Wi-fi sometimes works, e-gates
Cons : very noisy, dirty toilets, nowhere to sit


T3: relatively new ( opened 2008 ) and exclusive to Emirates airline which currently handles 64% of all passenger traffic.

Huge check-in area and efficient immigration and security. Longer queues usual during night time at the weekends. Train to T3 A on right side after security and shiny lifts on the left brings you swiftly to the “gate floor”. Here all the magic ends and you find yourself in very long, narrow, extremely crowded space with low ceilings and nowhere to escape. You can not find one quite space and makes travelling stressful.

After traveling thru Singapore Changi, Hongkong Intl., Amsterdam Schiphol or Munich Airport, it is difficult to understand why something much better didn’t happen here at DXB Airport.

I am passing thru the airport very often and notice never-ending effort for improvement, but due to design and floor plan, there are mainly “cosmetic” changes being applied. Even the only one green little oasis at the end was destroyed to make a space for kids area, which adds to the noise.

Are the architects to blame?

Pros: modern, clean, easy to navigate, wi-fi sometimes works, e-gates
Cons: claustrophobic and overcrowded, low ceilings, shops everywhere, nowhere to sit and relax


T3 – concourse A: newest addition to the airport. Opened 2013 and fully dedicated to the best aircraft      A380.

It’s almost 1km long and connected with T3 via underground train ride. In a few minutes you enter much more quite and somehow spacious space, improved gate floor lay-out with interesting selection F&B outlets.

Due to used materials, flooring and lights, the entire experience is much more calming and civilised then all other terminals. It’s not Changi yet, but so much more comfortable and civilised.

Building is designed to handle 20 A380 at any given time and business class passengers enjoy lovely lounge with water features and multi level boarding. + two adjacent hotels.

Transfer desks are easy to find for all passing passengers.

Pros: passenger friendly, bright, not so crowded, nice restaurant, wi-fi usually works
Cons: Non just yet


T1 – concourse D : coming February 2016

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