Dubai Airports Guide

Catch the right flight with this Dubai Airports Guide.

26 Jun 2018, words by Aneesha Rai in The Guides

Dubai airport t1 with train

Dubai is widely acknowledged as the gateway to the Middle East and the stepping stone to many other countries. Home to Emirates, a massive airline,  it also operates budget carrier Fly Dubai. Dubai receives over 6,500 direct flights a week.The major airport remains to be Dubai International Airport, but then as the Expo draws closer, it appears that the new Dubai World Central will prove to be the bigger hub. Located not too far away from that airport is the Emaar South community. 

1. Dubai International Airport, Terminal 1

Snooze cubes
Snooze cubes at Dubai Airport Terminal 1

This is by far one of the most popular terminals of the Dubai International Airport and is situated in the Garhoud area. Most airlines fly in and out of this airport other than Emirates, which has its own terminal. This airport is as busy as it gets and is home to several lounges, a pool, gym, sleeping pods and more. If you didn't have a flight to catch or are on a stopover, all the options at this terminal will keep you entertained. You can opt to dine, shop, rest & relax. The Marhaba lounge is second to none and perfect for relaxation. The other lounges in the airport also are pretty good, with each one providing food & beverages as well as a shower. If you'd prefer a nap, then there are three hotels you can take advantage of, including snooze cubes - a mini hotel room complete with wifi, bed, storage & TV. 

The Dubai International Airport also hosts its very own zen garden, spa, and health club. Besides this, it also has baby care rooms, a child's play centre, car rental, currency exchanges, many special assistance facilities, smoking lounges & prayer rooms. 

This terminal hosts e-gates for UAE residents which make it easier to pass through immigration every time. Both the arrival & departure areas are connected via a train and this terminal is connected to the red line through Dubai Metro. This airport also charters jets through companies such as Empire Aviation, Gama Aviation as well as Heli Dubai. 

2. Dubai International Airport, Terminal 2

Terminal 2 interiors

The Dubai International Airport's second Terminal is situated in the area of Al Qusais and is not in the same vicinity as the terminals 1 & 2. If you're coming from an area as far as the Dubai Marina, expect about an hour till you get here.

This is an airport mostly through which the budget carrier Fly Dubai operates. Expect a much smaller airport, with limited shopping & dining options as well as only one lounge. However, expect the gates to be very conveniently located. You must note however, that there is no metro connectivity to this airport. You will most probably need to take a cab here.

3. Dubai International Airport, Terminal 3

Majlis lounge Terminal 3 Dubai International Airport
The entrance to the VIP Majlis lounge

The Terminal 3 or the "Emirates terminal" as it's more commonly called is the newer and more modern terminal out of all the ones at Dubai International Airports. It is also connected to the metro through a different metro station. The Terminal 3 increased Dubai International’s total capacity by 43 million passengers per year to 60 million when it opened!

This terminal is as glam as it gets for airport terminals in Dubai, especially if you're travelling through business or first class. Shopping, dining & entertainment are readily available as well as a 4 star hotel complete with a fitness club & spa. It also has the e-gate pass available to UAE Residents. There are three different lounges: a First class lounge, Business class lounge & Marhaba lounge. This terminal emulates a lot of the facilities in Terminal 1. 

4. Dubai World Central (DWC) Airport

DWC Airport at sunset

Also known as Al Maktoum International Airport, the newest of the lot, the DWC airport hosts a couple of flights every day as well as the charter of some seaplanes through Jet-Ops. This particular airport is due for expansion and promises to be the new main airport of Dubai come Expo 2020. Currently, it is served by only four passenger carriers, operating an average of 74 flights weekly to more than 18 international destinations and is home to 23 scheduled cargo operators that fly to as many as 68 destinations around the world. FlyDubai operates out of here as well, so check your tickets carefully once you book them, you could be flying out of this airport!

Located near the Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone, DWC will make air-sea connectivity achievable in four hours. This also makes it possible for it to contribute to the logistics & transportation sector. The new expansion plans will lead it to receive 24 million passengers per year. 

Images by Dubai Airports