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.