I have passed through this airport more times than I care to remember over the past 9 years. I dread the thought of passing through there again. Not only are the public facilities filthy the staff that works there from the passport control to the gate attendants are all very rude and arrogant.
The last time I was there in December 2012 I was in the Emirates terminal looking at a new camera that I would like to purchase. Upon examining this camera at the photo shop I noticed some discrepancies. When I further examined the camera I found it to be a "knock off" of the real thing. Not only was the camera made of the wrong material and weighed 600 grams less than the manufacture states they priced the camera 25% above the Manufactures Suggested Retail Price.
At another location I found that some of the bottles of spirits had the seal with tape holding it on to the bottle. My first thought was what is in this bottle. My second thought was why does the airport allow this to happen.
If I am wrong please let me know. I believe this is the only airport in the world that charges money to the passengers if they need to travel from one terminal to another.
This airport is fake.
Dubai is a fantastic place and its airport is no exception. The terminal the Emirates used (I think it was Terminal 3) is as far as I know the largest airport terminal in the world, and I wouldn't disagree if anyone confirmed it was. The airport isn't as busy as alot of others across the world are with less than 50 million passengers a year, to give you an idea, Heathrow has 70 million. Despite this the airport feels empty due to its physical size yet check-in still takes your usual 15 or 20 minutes with security not alot shorter as there is no more desks than most airports of a similar passenger volume, the building is just very sparse with lots of empty floor space. It also takes ages to get from one place to the next with lots of lifts and esculators invloved also. It takes about 2 or 3 minutes to reach the check-in desk when going inside the airport. The airport is virtually silent as you can sit literally 50m away from anyone else as there is so much space. Althiough what many perople dream for in an airport is a bit of ther own space, to me Dubai has gone a little too far as the terminal is just too big for its own good, although a clean, modernand impressive terminal building to be in before a 7 and a half hour flight with loads of top quality food outlets, shops and many other facilities.
Prior to our trip to Dubai in January 2011 I had only ever been to Dubai as a transit passenger and you cannot fail to be impressed with the opulence and grandeur of the place. However our recent experience at arrivals has dimmed this view somewhat.
We arrived on time and prepared to disembark down the stairs and onto buses. I am sure there were walkways before but maybe I was wrong. The buses were waiting and went off pretty quickly once full but there were no seats so disabled passengers or those with any mobility issues would struggle a bit as the bus ride was a good fifteen minutes across the airport.
We finally arrived at the airport and arrivals to Dubai went left while those in transit went right. As soon as we got into the airport there was a large number of strollers available for those with babies which was very handy as it was a VERY long walk and a even longer wait before you got to collect your luggage and probably your own stroller. There were plenty of huge lifts around or two long escalators which took us down into the arrivals hall and passport control. Some nationalities need a visa before they get to passport control and that can be bought at the airport but this is not made clear and plenty of people spent time in one queue to be sent to another to get their visa. If you have a UK passport then you don't need a special visa you just get a visa stamp at passport control.
Anyway we came down the second escalator to see about 6 huge queues filing this hall and so we joined one of these. An hour or so later we made it though passport control and went on to collect our luggage. Luckily both our cases were there so that was one stress we didn't have to deal with as by this time we were feeling pretty fed up. Standing in a queue for over an hour after an all night flight does not really make you feel full of the joys of travel!
We hadn't been able to buy any water and we had not had a lot on the flight so I had a headache and we were both feeling tired and parched. Cases collected then though customs to see if we could find the person who was meant to meet us and take us to our hotel. We walked past the huge number of 'meeters' with names on boards and ours was not there. So my husband went back to have another look and this time a man leapt out and asked him if we were going to the Al Hamra Golf Resort. Yes! Great at least we were on the list.
We were sent to join a large group of people already waiting. We waited about another half hour while this man met others and moved us around and counted us then finally took 20 of us to a bus with our luggage leaving others behind for the next bus. It was total chaos but we got on the bus with the cases in a trailer behind and off we went to Ras Al Khaimah to our hotel which was about an hour away. On the way cars were hooting at us and the driver had to leap pout as the doors to the trailer had come open, luckily no cases had fallen out!
First impressions were not good and it had taken us just over two hours to get from the plane to the bus. The fact that the airport was huge, clean and state of the art is irrelevant when you have to stand in queues that long after a flight. All they needed was to put a few more staff on the desks and everyone would have been through in half the time.
We arrived at the airport and were able to easily find the Emirates check in area. You had to use the self service check in machines and then take your printed boarding pass to the counter to check in your bags. As I had checked in on line on my iphone the day before it decided it would not print a boarding pass so we went to the desk anyway. No problems here and the lady checking us in was very pleasant.
Once checked in you then make your way to security which was also quite slick and neither of us set off any alarms so we moved into the huge departure area.
Once again I was quite disappointed. I remember palm trees and orchids on previous visits in the transit area but in the departure area they have split the airport horizontally so all the departure gates are on one side of a wall and all the shops on the other. This means that you either wander round the shops or sit in the departure area near your gate. You can't easily get back and forth as there are not many breaks in the wall. So we sat looking at the planes or the blank wall once we had both had a quick look around.
Luckily there was free wifi so I got out my laptop and read a few reviews while my husband explored the options on the other side of the wall. The toilets were about 200yards down from our gate so it required quite a walk if you needed them but they were lovely and clean which is always a bonus. In fact throughout the tour we had pretty clean toilets and some were excellent in the malls.
About a hour before the time to depart they started moving people down to another departure gate down stairs. The announcements were very confusing but suffice to say we managed to cope and board the plane.
I was very disappointed with the parts of the airport we experienced this time. Entering Dubai was a real hassle with passport security taking hours. The physical building is lovely, big, bright and airy but they need more staff to cut down the queuing time. Leaving was easier but I was really looking forward to spending time in nice shops and sitting in an area with something to see other than the other people on our flight or planes and the only way I to go around the huge wall and walk for miles up and down the area on the other side. We seemed to only have jewelers and toys around our area and I wanted the perfumes and local stuff to look at but I suppose it did save me spending any money.
So I am not sure if we were in a different part of the airport or if they have changed things but it certainly does not compare to Singapore, Bangkok or Hong Kong for interest in the areas we were in most recently. Things were more efficient on departure than on arrival but as it was awful on arrival it wouldn't take much to better the experience.
A large airy airport with smart lists and lots of glossy pillars etc but they need more staff and leave seating areas amongst the shops rather than separating them.
Thanks for reading and this review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
Dubai International Airport is wicked, it is the best airport I have ever been to, and as a travel agent have heard so many good words about the airport.
The airport itself is huge, which at first is a little daunting, however once you are in the correct terminal it is very easy to navigate around and find exactly what you need. Everything in the airport is very clearly signposted, and very easy to find, and the members of staff are very helpful and go out of their way to assist you.
I travelled with Emirates, and found the check in process very smooth and quick, with adequate members of staff to assist me. The check in process took around 10 minutes which is fab!
Once through to departures there is a shop for everything, ranging from your normal duty free, fast food chains, to souvernir shops and supermarkets. I found that whilst in Dubai, souverniers were pretty expensive, however at the airport was amazed by how cheap the gifts were. I love to buy a snowglobe when i visit a new destination, and was able to purchase a snowglobe at the airport for 10AED (approx £2.00), compared to £15.00 for the same item in Dubai. The prices of cigarettes and alcohol is amazing. Upon arrival we purchased a litre of Smirnoff Vodka for £5.00, and 200 cigarettes for £3.00....only in Dubai can the airport be this cheap!
I would advise to anybody who likes a drink and smoke, to purchase alcohol and cigarettes when you arrive in Dubai at the airport, as it is extremley difficult to purchase when you are in the city, and when you can buy alcohol its very expensive.
The airport has a waterfall inside which really is beautiful and just out of this world, its definatly not what you expect from an airport!
I found the members of staff on passport control quite daunting, as my partner was able to just breeze through however i was stopped and questioned on why i was visiting the country, what my intentions were, and where i was staying....maybe they was just making conversation but i think not!!
One piece of advice is make sure that you get into an authorised taxi, as being a bit naive we followed a man who offered to take us into the city for £25.00, into his little tiny Suziki Swift parked on the multi storey carpark...he was definatly not a taxi driver and I really thought we was going to be mugged or kidnapped or something!!! The taxi's can easily be identified as they are a creamy/brown colour and each taxi has a brightly coloured roof.
Overall Dubai Airport is one of the best I have visited, and despite the size its not as bad as it seems!
I used to live in Dubai, and was constantly in and out of the country at least once a month - so, you would think that with that amount of travelling, I would be sick of this airport - but i must admit that it is my most favourite airport in the world - now that im back in the UK and have to travel from here, I really do miss it!! (sad though that sounds, it really is true!)
Dubai is an amazing place to live and visit, there is grandeur if that is what you want, you can also live the party-lifestyle very easily - and when it comes to the airport you know that there is the best of the best, and the amount of choice is amazing - almost any brand is available - and as soon as I step off the escalator and am faced with all those shops I have to struggle to remember that I am there to catch a flight - which (the only downfall of the airport) is usually quite a trek away from the duty-free/shopping area.
I would definitely recommend going there early for when you are flying back because it is an experience... Having said that, it is cheaper to buy things actually in Dubai as they allow you to haggle and negociate... For example, they sell gold - but i got a much better deal from the shops in Meena Bazaar (a district of Dubai)... i wanted to buy an authentic but elegant sheesha - as an ornament to put near my fireplace at home, and picked one up made of brass and around 60cm's tall from near the Dubai Creek for less than £20 - at the airport i found one similar but it was going to cost me £60 with no negociation on the price! Perfumes are also much cheaper in Dubai as is the make-up from the many malls - im not sure why/how but they are and i didnt complain!!
More about the airport - yes a multitude of shops, escalators and signs to help you find your way around - but lots of staff are available to help if need be... and most understand English very well which is great... There are food shops too - and a few souvenier places as you move through departures. the Lounges are easy to find too for first class customers and the entire airport has a clean, high-end feel!
Arrivals also have a smaller duty free which i use only to change some money over for taxis and things before i can get to a larger money exchange in the malls, but they also sell alcohol and cigarettes - which is ideal if you need to buy it... after this, there is no such thing as an off licence in dubai, so you would need to go to clubs/hotels/bars which can be expensive...
I wasn't looking forward to Dubai International Airport - for our transit from LGW to Johannesburg with Emirates. I had heard some real horror storries about the place but the stories must be about the older terminals as terminal 3 is Very Impressive!
It can be slightly confusing finding where to go once you get into the new terminal, However there are staff there who will direct you in the right way (basically you keep going up any escalators you see until you find long queues - that's when you know you have reached the right place)
Once through security (which can take quite a while - depending on how many flights have just come in at the same time as yours) you will be blown away by the enormity of the structure that is Terminal 3! Shops as far as the eye can see, plenty of places to eat.
One thing that did suprise me is the lack of seats. For the amount of people who come through between midnight and 2-3:00am if you don't run to get a seat you will end up on the floor somewhere - not that this is a major problem as the place is very clean and tidy and, most importantly for Dubai, air conditioned.
The terminal is very spacious so leave enough time to get to your gate! You have been warned!
Well, im not sure where to start, in the last year i have been in Dubai's terminal 1 emirates airport at least 8 times,arriving and departing and in early January this year the new termianl 3 opened, and all i can say is wow.
I was always pretty impressed with terminal 1 but now, wow lol. Everything you want/need is there from restaurants to rolexes. Its bright, clean and so much more spacious than terminal 1, which is saying something.
When i landed there this time i came off the plane right into arrivals and as you go down the elivator to get to the baggage consoles its just wow, and all the carasoles are now so easy to find.
One thing i would say which really annoyed me as im a smoker is the length you have to walk to be able to find a smoke room, my dept gate was 227 and the smoke room was in 125 in the old terminal 1, so be warned.
Dubai has to be my favourite airport. It is bright, spacious and well lit. There is ample seating, which is spread out throughout the airport and tend to be close to the departure detail monitors. The decor of the airport is unusual - there are palm trees inside, which is a nice touch!
There is a good selection of eateries on the upper floor, including traditional food and a McDonalds. However seating in the food area can be limited at times.
The toilets are clean and there are plenty of cubicles. They are also easy to find, which is always a bonus after a long flight!
The shopping is fantastic and makes passing the time until your flight a pleasure. There is a large duty free shop containing the usual alcohol, chocolates etc, a perfume shop, a book shop and some smaller shops selling postcards and any last minute souvenirs that you may be tempted by!
I look forward to returning in the near future!
Dubai - luxurious airport - and you can smoke in it - shopping is fantastic - great savings on named brands - sadly limits on duty free into uk mean you cannot enjoy too much for a lot less. Facilities are superb, people are helpful, its very clean, easy to negotiate round and information easily available for wherever you are going.
Any currency is accepted and the exchange rates are normally good. great structure if you are into buildings
This is the best airport I have been to in my entire life, and that's saying something!
It is very big in size and there are many shops and restaurants to keep you occupied. The toilets are very spacious and luxurious and are cleaned regularly.
There is lots of seating and the seats are comfortable and modern. The interior design is very good and the floor is marble.
The people are very friendly and you can hire a golf cart-like buggy to escort you from A to B if you are in a hurry.