Dubai International Airport is a major landmark in the city, connecting the UAE to the rest of the world since 1960. As one of the most popular airports in the world, it welcomed over 66.1 million passengers in 2022. If you plan to travel via DXB airport soon, here’s a quick guide on what you can expect when you land and what you should remember when flying out of this airport.
Getting to Dubai Airport
Dubai Airport is possibly one of the most well-connected landmarks in the city. Whether you prefer using the Dubai Metro, public bus, taxi or car, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has ensured the Dubai International Airport is easily accessible by all modes of public transportation.
Here’s a look at how you can access the airport in Dubai via public transport.
RTA taxis and other ride-hailing apps are the most popular and stress-free ways to get to the airport. If you are leaving the airport, there are dedicated taxi lanes from where you can hail a cab. The taxis leaving from the airport have a starting charge of AED 25 and subsequently charge AED 1.75 per km.
If you are travelling to Dubai Airport from any part of the city, you can easily book an RTA cab by calling +971-4-208-0808 or via the S’hail app.
Currently, two metro stations, Airport Terminal 3 and Airport Terminal 1, serve the Dubai Airport. Both Red Line Dubai Metro stations are named after the terminal they connect to. The trains run from 05:00 am to midnight from Monday to Thursday, from 05:00 am to 01:00 am (the next day) on Friday, from 05:00 am until midnight on Saturday and from 08:00 am to midnight on Sunday.
Accessing the Dubai Metro requires an NOL card which you can purchase from the station.
Please remember that Dubai Metro operations may differ on public holidays.
All three terminals at the Dubai International Airport have bus stops opposite the entrance. These buses also require an NOL card with a minimum balance of AED 7.50. You won’t be able to pay the driver in cash, so buying a NOL card first from a metro station is best.
If you plan to travel by car, there are international car rental kiosks at the airport. Car rental companies at the Dubai Airport include:
- Diamond Lease
- Fast Rent A Car
You can check out the complete list of car rental companies at Dubai Airport to know more about your options.
The multi-storey car park at the Dubai Airport Terminal 1, 2 and 3 is charged at an hourly rental rate starting from AED 25, AED 15 and AED 30, respectively. An extra AED 100 is charged for each additional day the car is parked there.
Now you can use Scan, Pay and Go at DXB Airport car parks for hassle-free parking fee payment.
DXB Airport Terminals
Dubai International Airport has three terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. All these DXB airport terminals are equipped with the latest technology to handle the arrivals and departures of various airlines.
Dubai International Airport Terminal 1 (T1)
Terminal 1 caters to international flights and can accommodate more than 20 million passengers annually. The airport’s Concourse D is an extension to accommodate more international flights and passengers. Over 60 international carriers can operate into DXB through T1’s Concourse D.
T1 has its own train, which takes passengers to and from the gates. The check-in stations, immigration stands, baggage carousels, e-gates and other counters are all equipped with the latest tech. Other facilities now part of this terminal include a food court, retail outlets and free Wi-Fi.
Dubai International Airport Terminal 2 (T2)
Terminal 2 was inaugurated in 1998 to relieve the congestion at Terminal 1. It handles international flights and caters to scheduled, charter and special interest flights during special occasions. Currently, T2 arrivals in Dubai can accommodate over 5 million passengers, with approximately 50 airlines operating from there. Dubai’s first budget airline, flydubai, also operates out of T2.
T2, like its counterpart T1, boasts the latest facilities and amenities, including modernised e-gates, check-in stations, immigration stands, baggage carousels, a food court and retail shops.
Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 (Dedicated to Emirates Airlines)
Terminal 3 exclusively operates arrivals and departures of all Emirates Airlines flights. It is the newest of the three terminals in Dubai and can handle 60 million passengers. Concourse A, an A380-dedicated facility, Concourse B and Concourse C are all parts of T3 DXB.
T3 features upgraded facilities to handle arrivals and departures from Dubai, including modernised e-gates, check-in stations, immigration stands, baggage carousels, a food court, a pharmacy, retail shops, and more.
Importantly, the arrivals hall of Terminal 3 has a dedicated passport control counter for children aged four to twelve. At these bright, distinctive space-themed designed counters, kids can stamp their passports. On special occasions, ‘Salem and Salama’, two mascots wearing the uniform of Dubai GDRFA employees, will receive the kids. So, if you are travelling via T3, this is something that will be fun and exciting for your child.
Dubai Duty Free
One of the most talked-about aspects of travelling through the DXB International Airport is shopping at the Dubai Duty Free. Whether it’s luxury brands, makeup, chocolates, electronics, food or liquor, you can find everything here. After all, it is the largest travel retail operator in the world, with record sales each year. The Dubai Duty Free has been successful since its inception. When founded in 1983, it recorded sales of $20 million in the first year.
DDF presently operates 40,000 sq.m. of retail space across DXB International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport. It was recognised as the ‘Best Airport Retailer of the Year’ ten times.
DXB Duty Free successfully sponsors green initiatives and massive events such as the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship and mega raffle draws. Dubai Duty Free stores are in all three terminals, with the largest in Terminal 3.
Other facilities at DXB International Airport
Each airport in Dubai has exciting retail, dining and lounge options that travellers can access. If you are in transit at the Dubai International Airport, here are some amenities and facilities you can spot around the gates.
DXB Airport Lounges
The airport in Dubai has some amazing lounges with premium services. Whether you want a glass of bubbly, a hearty meal or a rejuvenating massage, these Dubai Airport lounges offer the best facilities. Certain credit card providers usually offer free access to lounges at Dubai Airport. If you have a credit card, check with your bank if you qualify for free access to lounges at Dubai Airport.
Restaurants in Dubai Airport
Besides lounges, there are plenty of great restaurants in the Dubai Airport where you can get a nice, warm cup of coffee, a quick bite or even a regal meal. Starbucks, Costa Coffee, KFC, Burger King, McDonald’s, Pret a Manger, Jacks Bar and Grill, and Delize are some places to grab a quick bite.
Check out the guide to top restaurants at Dubai Airport to learn more.
Sleep & Shower facilities
If you have a long wait before your next flight and need a place to crash, head to ‘sleep ‘n fly’ sleeping pods at the Dubai Airport. Whether you want an entire cabin or just a single sleeping pod, ‘sleep ‘n fly’ provides multiple cabin sizes that you can choose from, depending on your requirement. These are present in Terminal 1’s D Gates and Terminal 3’s A, B and C Gates.
After your nap, you can use the shower facilities in Terminal 3 Gate B and Terminal 1 Gate D. Shower facilities are also available at the Be Relax spa near Gate A1 in Terminal 3.
What’s the Dubai International Airport code?
The IATA code for Dubai International Airport is “DXB”, and the ICAO code for the Dubai Airport is “OMDB”.
How many airports does Dubai have?
Dubai has two airports:
- Dubai International Airport (DXB) – Terminal 1, 2 and 3
- Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC)
Are there any hotels near Dubai International Airport?
Holiday Inn Express and Premier Inn Dubai are two of the most affordable hotels near DXB Airport. If you are looking for something more upscale, the Le Méridien Duba Hotel and Movenpick Grand Al Bustan Dubai are two of the most popular hotels close to the airport in Dubai.
What can I do when in transit at the airport in Dubai?
From relaxing in the premium lounges to getting a massage at a spa, there are plenty of fun things to do at Dubai Airport. Here’s a list of the best activities at the Dubai Airport when in transit.
What items are banned in the DXB Airport?
Some items banned at the DXB airport include narcotic drugs, weapons, duplicate or forged currency, goods from boycotted countries, certain medicines and even live animals such as bats and swine. Here is the complete list of items banned in Dubai Airport.
How can I get a VAT refund at Dubai Airport?
Tourists visiting the UAE can claim VAT refunds at the VAT refund counter at Dubai Airport. To find out exactly how to do it, here is a descriptive article on VAT refunds for UAE tourists that will answer all your questions.
Is there a way to travel between the terminals?
Usually, if you have connecting flights, you will be automatically transferred as part of your connection. However, should the need arise, there is a free 24-hour shuttle bus service between Terminals 1 and 3, which takes 15-25 minutes. The helpful staff at the airport can help you find these shuttle buses between Dubai Airport terminals. Alternatively, the Dubai Metro can help you travel between Terminals 1 and 3.
How do I contact the DXB Airport?
The Dubai Airport Phone Number is +971-4-224-5555. This line is available to passengers 24/7.
For Dubai immigration-specific queries, you can call +971-4-313-9999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
That brings us to the end of our Dubai airport guide. We hope you found this informative enough to plan your trip to or out of the city. If this is your first time visiting the emirate, here is the complete Dubai tourist visa guide that will guide you through the process.