Dubai airport is located roughly 3 km outside Dubai which makes the city easily accessible if you are stuck there for a long layover. In order to know if you can leave the airport and visit the city during the layover you need know if your nationality requires a visa even for short visits into UAE. If it isn’t feasible to leave, don’t worry, Dubai airport offers many options with respect to shopping areas and restaurants.
What to Eat
Dubai airport has more than 80 eateries top choose from. You can get a variety of cuisine options from fast food to gourmet sit down restaurants like The Kitchen By Wolfgang Puck. You can get a map of the airport that will show you where the restaurants are. If you are venturing out from the airport to the city, go for a Peruvian inspired dinner at Coya in the Four Seasons Resort, but make sure you reserve your table in advance, as it is very popular. If you’re going to be in Dubai at breakfast time, check out the best breakfasts Dubai has to offer here.
Shopping & Facilities
The airport has almost any duty free shop you can think of and they’re open 24/7. You can pick up designer brands, the latest couture, and the usuals like tobacco and alcohol. Buy some gold! Dubai is known for selling gold at really great prices. If you need a little peace and quiet there are Zen Gardens and an indoor Oasis.
There is also a women’s lounge and a children play area. There are Dubai International first class lounges for specific airlines, Business class lounges for specific airlines and there is also a Dubai international business class lounge if your airline does not provide a lounge of its own. If this isn’t enough, you can visit one of the many malls of Dubai, but you may want to send your purchases to your home address, as you don’t want to overload your luggage.
Where to Sleep
Dubai international airport hotel is a five star hotel that offers hourly rates as well as overnight rates if one wants to rest during a layover. The hotel has a health club, business centre, 24 hr laundry and room service. You can pay fees to go swimming in the pool, use the gym, Jacuzzi, and use the shower facilities.
The airport also has resting places called the Snoozecubes if you are interested in taking a quick nap during your layover. Sleep n Fly lounge is another option if one wants to take rest between flights. Both these places charge hourly. If you’d like to spend a night in Dubai away from the airport, then have a look at the options for fabulous accommodation in Dubai here.
Explore Dubai City
Usually your luggage will be being transferred from one plane to another for you, but if you’re switching airlines there is a chance you might have to collect your luggage and check it in with your next airline. If you need to store it somewhere until the check in desk opens, or if you just don’t want to take all your hand luggage with you, you can store it before heading out.
You can visit the park at Burj Khalifa, the first 7 star hotel in the world, and watch the musical fountain, or play in the water park. Hop on a helicopter and take a 15 min ride around the city past major sites like Burj Khalifa, The World’s Islands and Burj Al Arab. Take a ride across the creek and head to Al Fahidi, a historical district, where you can see traditional Arabian architecture. Visit the Dubai museum or Dubai traditional markets that are called “souks”. Make sure you check in with your airlines about the security check in times for your next flight to your destination country.