12 great ways to kill time at DXB airport

Flying home or planning a holiday? No matter where you’re headed – make sure to get to the airport as early as possible because there’s just so much to do!

Dubai Airport terminal 3 dxb

Get there more quickly

Take your Emirates ID cards to skip the queues at immigration and pass through the airport’s electronic Smart Gates. There are 127 in arrivals and departures across all three terminals at DXB. Just follow the purple signs!

All Terminals. Families travelling with children below the age of 18 should head to the manned counter next to the Smart Gates


Make use of the Emirates lounges

Sign up for the airline’s free Skywards reward scheme and (for a price) you can access Emirates’ plush business and first class lounges in Terminal 3. Everyone flying Emirates or Qantas can refresh with a private spa shower or enjoy a spread of food and beverages. If you’re already a Skywards members, then check your privilege – Emirates First Class Lounge is complimentary for first class travellers and Skywards Platinum members. Business Class, Emirates Skywards Gold and Sliver members don’t pay for access to the Business Class area.

It’s AED 385 (approx) for Skywards members to use the business class lounge, and AED 771 (approx) for first class. Children can enter for half price. www.emirates.com


Take a nap


Head to Gate A1 in the Emirates’ terminal and you’ll be able to stretch out in one of 27 new Scandinavian-designed sleep ‘n fly pods and igloos. Sleepy travellers can book a bed for anything from an one-hour power nap to an entire night, or anything in between, with prices starting from AED 62.

Gate A1 in Concourse A. Reserve pods and cabins at www.sleep-n-fly.com and yes, Priority Pass and LoungeKey users are welcome.



No need to skip arms day because you’re travelling. G-Force Health Club at Dubai International Hotel helps you pass the time pumping iron. You can book a room for a few hours, if you need a snooze after your workout.  The hotel has three health clubs – if you’re more about the chill, concourse B and C’s offerings include a relaxation pool and C also has saunas.

Dubai International Hotel, Terminal 3, Concourse C (above C15 gate), Concourse B (above B12/B22 gates), and Concourse A (above A1 gate). 04 224 4000. From AED 75 an hour. Open 24 hours. 


Get a (really good) massage


Start your break in a blissed out state – hour-long back massages or facials at Timeless Spa start from AED 400. You can find the spa at Dubai International Hotel in the airport’s Terminal 3. FYI,  a complimentary 15-minute mini treatment is offered to first class passengers.

Terminal 3 – Dubai International Hotel. 04 505 9555. www.timelessspa.co


There’s fun for little travellers too

If you’re travelling with children, you’ll want to head to Kids’ Zone. The family area includes an interactive games area and a climbing frame, which is a great way to tire out overexcited kids before flying. The airport also has baby care rooms – ask at the information zones to find your nearest.

Concourse B, Terminal 3.


Check out the Zen Gardens

Dubai Airport Zen Garden

The perfect place to relax and unwind for free  free. If it all gets too much, we recommend escaping to the Zen Gardens in Terminal 3. Find these two oases of calm by gates B7 and B27, filled with verdant tropical plants, places to sit and a play area for kids.

Terminal 3, gates B7 and B27.


Take a shower

Long flight ahead? Board that plane feeling fresh with complimentary showers at Terminal 3. Remember to take a towel.

Departures level of Terminal 3 (between gates C18 and C22 and B13 and B19).


Grab a chicken and avocado sandwich from Pret-A-Manger


We were so excited when the popular UK restaurant chain Pret-A-Manger finally came to Dubai. If you’re travelling through Terminal 1, head to Concourse D to try Pret’s amazing chicken and avocado sandwich (AED 30).

Open 24 hours. Ground Floor, Terminal 1, Concourse D. 04 294 3555.


Binge watch

WiFi at DXB (which they’ve sassily called WOW-Fi) claims to be the world’s fastest, so arrive early, get comfortable and start the binge-watching. Grab one of the reclining sofa beds, plop down and catch up on all those movies or TV shows you missed. Or if you’re active on social media, go ahead and Snapchat all the cool things you just did at DXB!


Chill in the Marhaba lounge


Catch up on work, read or graze the international buffet at Dubai Airports’ Marhaba lounges at Terminals 1, 2 and 3. They can get crowded at busy times, and it costs AED 53 extra to use the showers.

You can pay at the door when space is available. Four hours access starts from AED 187 per passenger, but entry is complimentary with some credit cards – check with your bank. www.marhabaservices.com


Rock out

Hard Rock Cafe

The world famous Hard Rock Cafe is now open at Dubai Airport. The licensed restaurant and store seats 110 customers and serves round the clockHard Rock is known for its juicy burgers, huge portions and glittering rock and roll memorabilia. In DXB Terminal 3, fans can see a Versace shirt once worn by Prince, Jimi Hendrix’s fringed leather vest, and mask Rihanna donned for a fashion shoot.

By Departures Gate 25, (Concourse B) Terminal 3. Open 24 hours. 04 232 8900.



We all know Dubai Duty Free has everything at slightly cheaper prices, so stock up on make-up, perfume and other treats. Find all of life’s other essentials here too, so if you’ve goofed up on your packing, now in your chance to make good.

Find our more about Dubai International Airport (including when your flight is leaving) at  www.dubaiairports.ae

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