In the past 12 months I've passed through Dubai International Airport 8 times on return journeys. 2 of the flights were a stop over from South Africa to the UK and to Dubai. All my flight bar 1 when I went on a visa run to Oman were long haul and either required a 4 hour stop over or for me to check in 2 hours prior to flying.
There's plenty to do at the airport, but not much that is free. As my flights have involved a journey of between 7 and 14 hours each way, i like to spend my time walking rather than sitting prior to flying and Dubai Airport is plenty big enough to do this. On check in, terminal B & C are connected over 2 levels, there are plenty of bars, shops, restaurants and smoking areas and if you visit the smoking lounge in Terminal C, you'll find some reclining chairs over looking the run way.
There are several free showers and plenty of rest rooms and if you're a silver card member with Emirates airline you can use the lounge for larger free showers with towels provided and free food and drink.
Despite the amount of travel I do, a lot of it is using hubbies air miles for economy travel. I've yet to reach silver status myself, so I find myself wandering around, trying not to spend too much money before my holiday actually starts.
There is a fantastic duty free shop in the baggage claim hall at Dubai Airport, so while I'm waiting for my suitcase, I spend the last of my holiday money on arrival in Dubai rather than purchasing my duty free before I travel. There is also an exchange counter with reasonable rates to change that last bit of left over holiday money.
Dubai airport is huge and spectacular, with waterfalls and plants. Prior to my trip to the UK earlier this month I googled free things to do at Dubai Airport and a visit to the Zen Gardens was recommended.
There are lots of plants at the airport and I'd seen the area on previous visits and decided on this trip to take a closer look.
Although it looks very tranquil and is beautifully laid out with some stunning plants, it's very noisy and enclosed with glass panels so you can only look at it.
It's a fairly large area and you can walk through
But the seating is not at all comfortable and is very limited
It's also located next door to a large children's play area and coupled with the constant tannoy announcements it was not at all relaxing as the the name would suggest.
I'm off to South Africa in 3 weeks time to work with a couple of charities I was involved with in the 4 years I lived there. I will be away from home for 6 weeks, so there is actually nothing going on in the sand pit right now. Some of my indoor plants died while hubby and I were in the UK and the sandpit/garden is looking a little empty. However the bougainvillea are still flowering as they do all year round adding plenty of colour to the beigeness of the desert.
I'm looking forward to my return to Dubai in mid November for winter with more manageable temps and some rain and putting a bit more time and effort into the sandpit/garden and to explore the gardens and parks around Dubai.
Hi Suzanne, we had an eight hour wait for a connecting flight to South Africa a few years back and we loved it. It was so clean and shiny. I do remember seeing what I would describe as a garden bit, right down one end of the airport, but I have a feeling it was not finished then.ReplyDelete
Next time we head to South Africa I plan to make sure we get a stop in Dubai airport; I really was that impressed!
are you from SA or have family there? let me know when you next travel through, theres quite a lot you can do in a day if you can leave the airport if you have a long stop overDelete
Dubai Airport has changed a lot since I was there in 1992... which is hardly surprising! I hope you enjoy your nest trip to South Africa xReplyDelete
it changes every time i fly through it...lolDelete
My whole garden would be dead if it needed me to look after it. We pretty much water for a week or two while plants settle in. If they don't survive after that it's to bad. I'd be putting a bit of pigface (Carpobrotus glaucescens) and other succulents in that sand pit.ReplyDelete
i'm off to the garden centre this afternoon to pick up some succulentsDelete
Last time I was in Dubai airport was about 10 years ago! Have a great trip to South Africa - fantastic how you're still involved with the charities there.ReplyDelete
thanks I'm really looking forward to catching up with my friends alsoDelete
very cool. it is not often that i see any green life in an airportReplyDelete
there is a lot of the outdoors, inside in DubaiDelete
Nice to have a bit of greenery in the airport even if it was still noisy. Good luck on your travels.ReplyDelete
it is laid out very well and does look niceDelete
I think they need to rename the Zen Gardens! Still at least they have made an effort to put some greenery in. I find airports quite soul destroying and try to avoid them as much as possible!ReplyDelete
as airports go this isn't a bad oneDelete
I totally missed this at Dubai airport last year - it's good that they make the effort to bring some outdoor inside.ReplyDelete
All the best for South Africa, sound like you have a rewarding few weeks ahead of you x
thanks am really looking forward to my trip and to catch up with my friends alsoDelete
It's amazing how the larger airports incorporate gardens into their designs, there was something similar in Singapore I remember. I can't imagine Gatwick or Heathrow doing the same though :) #hdyggReplyDelete
It seems that the outside the UK from experience travel is much more relaxingDelete
Wow that is so pretty, I really do believe they should do this in more airports. It looks so relaxing x HDYGGReplyDelete
im afraid it was very noisyDelete
It looks lovely but how sad you can only look and not walk through it.ReplyDelete
a shame really they could do so much more with itDelete
The Dubai Duty Free is definitely worth a visit the next time you are in Dubai. A whopping $540 million expansion of the Dubai International Airport resulted in making it a shopping heaven. You can notice it right in the middle of Sheikh Zayed Terminal.duty free aeroporto fiumicinoReplyDelete
Did you get Dubai transit visa visa during stopover???ReplyDelete
There is no authentic details about transit visa on internet so asing to you?
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almost all the time, I have a waiting flight from Dubai, which makes me wait at the airport. This blog is very interesting for frequent travelers like me who have to invest most of their time at the airport. With the help of this blog, I came to know the things I can do at the airport to utilize my time. I will again have to travel to Dubai because I have got my new Dubai visa for business purposes.ReplyDelete