Complimentary hotel rooms in Dubai, included in Business fares

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HardieBoys

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Apologies if information about this has been posted previously.

We recently flew back from Barcelona to Sydney, and were offered complimentary hotel accommodation in Dubai, due to the layover being over 8 hours. I thought I'd post information about this, as there was limited information provided by either Qantas or the Emirates staff in BCN.

We were issued with hotel vouchers when checking in for our flight in BCN. The vouchers didn't indicate where the hotel was, but it turned out to be Le Meridien. It's not a transit hotel, and thus, one has to clear Immigration and Customs at Dubai first. The Emirates ground staff don't really have much idea when you ask them, and just keep telling you to clear customs. So on disembarkation, take the train towards Immigration. Checked baggage remains at the airport, and you can't retrieve it. Thus, ensure everything you need for a night's stay is in your hand luggage (e.g. medications). On clearing customs, head towards Exit 4, but do not walk out the doors - turn towards the interior and walk towards the Emirates Business and First class service centre. Someone at the desk will take your vouchers, then organise a limousine for you, which takes you to the hotel. The hotel is about a 10 minute drive, and you'll be ushered towards a side lobby (i.e. it's not quite the full hotel experience) where someone will take your vouchers and assign you a room. Oddly enough, we weren't issued with room keys, but maybe they were in the room. Wifi, room service and mini-bar is not included, complimentary drinking water and breakfast is included. From landing to hotel probably took 70 - 80 minutes. The staff organise a limousine or minibus transfer on the way back, for collection about 2 hours prior to departure time.

Overall, even for an eight-hour layover, it was worth a reasonable period of sleep, and certainly better than spending eight hours in the First lounge. At least the showers are cold (unlike the tepid showers in the lounge). There are a couple of things to consider, and that is that many prescription medications are tightly controlled in Dubai (e.g. temazepam, Stilnox, all antidepressants) though we were never asked to complete an arrivals form. The second is that unmarried or same-sex couples may experience some awkwardness on the part of the hotel staff when asking for a room together.

(And look, it's voluntary and free, so any uncertainty or ambivalence on my part may sound like #firstworldproblems, but what I'm trying to do is outline the process for those who are interested.)
 

moa999

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Many thanks. What route were you that had such a layover??
 
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HardieBoys

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Many thanks. What route were you that had such a layover??

Barcelona to Dubai, leaving 16:10, arriving 00:50, then on the Qantas flight from Dubai to Sydney, leaving 09:20, arriving 05:10. Actually the plane was over 90 minutes late out of Dubai, which means we could've had an 7 hour sleep.
 
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