DXB: Dubai International Airport

Dubai International Airport is one of the most modern airports in the world. Just like the city, this airport has gone through an extensive renovation and expansion to become a state of the art facility which, as of December 2012, ranked as the world's 2nd busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic.

Dubai airport is located near the heart of the city and is accessible from all major routes. It is within a 30 minute drive from the farthest spot in Dubai, so it is quite conveniently situated. The airport has 3 terminals. Terminal 1 is used by all international and regional airlines. Terminal 2 is used mainly by low-cost charter airlines and special flights for pilgrimage. It is also detached from the other two terminals and is accessed separately by car. Terminal 3, which opened in 2008, is dedicated to Emirates Airlines, the flagship carrier of Dubai. The airport serves more than 145 airlines flying to over 260 international destinations in six continents. Passenger numbers are projected to reach 98 million by 2020... up from 64.4 million in 2013!

Marhaba Service

There is nothing like a friendly face to greet you when arriving at a foreign destination. Dubai International Airport offers an exclusive meet and greet service called Marhaba, which means ‘welcome’ in Arabic and reflects the warmth and hospitality of the Arab culture. A dedicated employee in an elegant yellow uniform will meet you at the gate upon arrival. He or she will escort you to the passport control where there is a dedicated line for Marhaba service. Once through, you can spend some time shopping in the Duty Free Shop while a Marhaba concierge collects your suitcases. This standard service starts from AED 85 per passenger.

Marhaba Service is available at departure as well. For detailed information and bookings visit Marhaba.

VIP Lounge (Majlis)

This is a luxurious lounge located at Terminal 1. It has its own passport and customs control area and offers a comprehensive assortment of refreshments on arrival and departure. Passengers are met at or taken to the aircraft with a limousine. The only disadvantage is that Majlis does not provide a stop at the Duty Free Shop on arrival, in case you needed to stock up on select consumables for your stay in Dubai.

Dubai Duty Free

On Arrival: The Duty Free Shop sells mostly cigarettes, confectionaries and alcoholic beverages. Most inbound travellers take advantage of the notable price reductions and are mindful to buy their preferred alcoholic beverages at Duty Free before exiting the airport. In Dubai, alcohol is only served in hotels, unless the consumer (usually a resident) holds a liquor license, which means that s/he can purchase liquor from licensed, government controlled retail shops located throughout the city.

On Departure: Dubai Duty Free offers a great shopping experience that is unmatched by airport shopping retailers worldwide. Do not confuse it with the Duty Free Shop from the Arrivals section in the terminal. This experience takes on a life of its own. It is the top grossing duty free shopping centre in the world by revenue. Dubai Duty Free is available to passengers travelling via Terminal 1 and 3 only. Terminal 2 has a smaller Duty Free area. If you wish to take advantage and do some shopping you need to be there well before your flight. Duty Free covers an enormous area and is usually extremely busy. Great deals are to be had on watches, jewellery, perfumes, electronics and apparel. Prices are usually 15-25% lower than those in Dubai.


Upon exiting the airport, passengers should experience no delays securing a ride once they have chosen a mode of transport to get to their destination. Taxis are abundant, and are usually queued right outside the Arrivals exists at all terminals. Taxi fares from the airport start at 20 Dirhams plus the usual per kilometre increments. Check our Public Transport section for complete details.

Dubai Metro is another alternative transportation mode for the discerning traveller. Stations are positioned conveniently outside Terminals 1 and 3. However, it is not a simple pay and ride system. To utilize the metro, you will need to buy a pre-paid access card called a Nol card. More details on that are also available in the above mentioned public transport section. But do not worry because you can purchase a Nol card from the station at one of the customer service counters. The process should take a handful of minutes before you are on your way to the train decks, so no extra time or effort is spent after your journey to Dubai. If you are new to Dubai, plan your train ride ahead by visiting this link.