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The DXB endurance workout. Dubai airport is your very own PT.

Quickstatus

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So Miss QS and friend are transiting in DXB for the first time ever in Oct.

Arriving on an EK A380 which means A concourse and departing from C concourse on an EK B777.
According to EK the transit time is 1hr 50 min which is a bit tight.

Im unsure if there is a "Crush Hour" in DXB but the girls will be in DXB between 1320 and 1510 hrs


Assuming that the first flight arrives on time how long does it take including immigration and security?
MissQS in J and friend in Y.
 
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Pushka

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So Miss QS and friend are transiting in DXB for the first time ever in Oct.

Arriving on an EK A380 which means A concourse and departing from C concourse on an EK B777.
According to EK the transit time is 1hr 50 min which is a bit tight.

Im unsure if there is a "Crush Hour" in DXB but the girls will be in DXB between 1320 and 1510 hrs


Assuming that the first flight arrives on time how long does it take including immigration and security?
MissQS in J and friend in Y.
Being in J will help both of them. They are pretty efficient at screening. Just tell them not to dally at all the shops and lose track of time. Most Aussie flights seem to arrive around 5am.
 

Scott K

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So Miss QS and friend are transiting in DXB for the first time ever in Oct.

Arriving on an EK A380 which means A concourse and departing from C concourse on an EK B777.
According to EK the transit time is 1hr 50 min which is a bit tight.

Im unsure if there is a "Crush Hour" in DXB but the girls will be in DXB between 1320 and 1510 hrs


Assuming that the first flight arrives on time how long does it take including immigration and security?
MissQS in J and friend in Y.
Even with two hours and a march back and forth the entire length of the terminal, we still managed to have enough time to stop and sit for a drink when we got to our gate.
As Puska said, their gates are typically very efficient. And I have not had issues before, and since. But these long march around the place isn’t unique - so be prepared for a big walk when screening gates get flooded. But they probably will make it on time.
 

redbatz

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I can relate to that. Recently flew Emirates from Madrid to Adelaide via Dubai. Never been on Emirates or to Dubai airport before and as I thought I had at least a couple of hours to spare I assumed would have a fair amount of time to look around. I started walking but spent a little time for a quick look at a duty free shop but then decided I had better find my gate. I kept walking and walking - about halfway (didnt know that then as I was thinking the gate must be close now) they were giving out free icecreams. Could not pass that up but still thought I had better find gate first and eat it while waiting. Walking, walking and now starting to really rush as was not getting any closer. By the time I got there it was already boarding so I had to almost drink my half melted ice cream!
I really needed a drink by the time I got on board, with the really hot weather and ice cream now making me thirsty. But do you think Emirates would come past and offer water? No - and a lot of people around me were wanting it to. Quite some time after take off eventually someone came down with a tray with just a few cups of warm water only for those who asked for it!
 

Pushka

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I can relate to that. Recently flew Emirates from Madrid to Adelaide via Dubai. Never been on Emirates or to Dubai airport before and as I thought I had at least a couple of hours to spare I assumed would have a fair amount of time to look around. I started walking but spent a little time for a quick look at a duty free shop but then decided I had better find my gate. I kept walking and walking - about halfway (didnt know that then as I was thinking the gate must be close now) they were giving out free icecreams. Could not pass that up but still thought I had better find gate first and eat it while waiting. Walking, walking and now starting to really rush as was not getting any closer. By the time I got there it was already boarding so I had to almost drink my half melted ice cream!
I really needed a drink by the time I got on board, with the really hot weather and ice cream now making me thirsty. But do you think Emirates would come past and offer water? No - and a lot of people around me were wanting it to. Quite some time after take off eventually someone came down with a tray with just a few cups of warm water only for those who asked for it!
Didn’t you kind of realise how vast it was and that maybe you needed to scoot a bit? Most don’t offer water on boarding in Y so that’s not unusual, plus the air conditioning in Dubai is seriously freezing so really heat not an issue. Whenever I hear someone is transiting through Dubai I tell them to get the boarding gate as soon as possible and then sort out bathroom and refreshments.
 
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Scott K, one of the funniest pieces I've seen on the Internet for some weeks (although your legs would not have thought so).

Once again, truth is stranger than fiction, but like some others above, I decided a few years ago to not travel via the three Middle East airports after experiencing the DXB 0100 hours crush a couple of times and what was then the underwhelming AUH airport. Changi and others for me, thank you.

All that glitters is not necessarily passenger-friendly.
 

Flying mermaid

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I think I might need to revise my plans! We are going through Dubai in 10 days. We land around midnight and have booked the Transit Hotel - we appear to be in terminal A. I was planning a bit of a sleep and shower and then breakfast at the F lounge in A, before going to C where our plane to Nairobi departs.

I have walked from C to A before (plus train) and didn’t think it took us that long, but it sounds like maybe we should just go to th F lounge in C straight away to be safe? Obviously we would already have done security, so that doesn’t have to be factored in?
 

Austman

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but it sounds like maybe we should just go to th F lounge in C straight away to be safe?
The F lounge in concourse A is the apparently best one. And they have the best showers (if you need them with a transit hotel hotel seems doubtful). But concourse C is a long, long way away. So, confirmed by the advice given to me by the staff at DXB EK F lounges, you should go to the F lounge closest to your departure gate in good time. Eg between B and C allow 20 minutes.

The actual offerings (food and beverage) in all the F lounges is the same. I found the F lounge in concourse C, although smaller, to be blissfully uncrowded with superb cooked to order food.
 

Flying mermaid

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The F lounge in concourse A is the apparently best one. And they have the best showers (if you need them with a transit hotel hotel seems doubtful). But concourse C is a long, long way away. So, confirmed by the advice given to me by the staff at DXB EK F lounges, you should go to the F lounge closest to your departure gate in good time. Eg between B and C allow 20 minutes.

The actual offerings (food and beverage) in all the F lounges is the same. I found the F lounge in concourse C, although smaller, to be blissfully uncrowded with superb cooked to order food.
sounds good - I will do that then. Don’t want to be stressed racing along to get to the plane. Thank-you!
 

PineappleSkip

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I used to enjoy my evening constitutional from the wrong end of the A gates up to the Champagne and Caviar bar towards the other end of the B gates, then back to the old BA lounge at the C gates. Particularly marvellous is an arrivals concourse that morphs, via long escalators, from above the departure gates in C to below them in B. Helped fill in a lot of a five hour layover. The champagne was a waste of money, but it tasted nicer than the stuff at BA.

The Marhaba transfer people are very nice and know all the tricks, including short cuts involving lifts hidden around corners, little used and quiet security desks, which of the umpteen transfer desks to recheck at, how to get your bags retagged, and best of all they get you priority through security. If you're unsure and don't want to pay for a Marhaba, the people everywhere in the blue T-shirts are also pretty helpful.

However, like everything Dubai they are not cheap (about $80 for a standard transfer), and you have to find the Marhaba desk in the first place unless you want to pay more for a 'your name on a sign' transfer at the arrivals gate. If you don't have lounge access you can pay for an inclusive transfer + marhaba lounge service, which is half the price of paying for the lounge at the door. The Marhaba lounge is not inspiring, except at terminal 2 where it is much more inspiring than the great unwashed. The Marhaba desks are located here:
Terminal 1 (D gates) - follow the red 'connections' signs to the row of transfer desks on the departure level. They are the desk on the far right.
Terminal 2 (F gates) - arriving flights are bussed to doors into the arrivals area. As you go through the doors, the Marhaba desk is immediately to the right.
Terminal 3 (A, B and C gates) - My memory is fuzzy as I don't usually use them for EK>EK, and DXB's maps don't help. There are red 'connections' signs and I would follow them, asking the blue T-shirt people. I'll be transiting T3>T2 in a couple weeks and have another look. :)

Baggage checked to Dubai only? Have an onward flight and don't want to clear customs? You can usually pay Marhaba (of course, this is Dubai!) to get your bag tagged through to your next destination - this is their main value. Go to the Marhaba service desk in the terminal you arrive and they will check you in on your onward flight, and usually (every time I've asked so far) through check your bags using your baggage receipt. Don't pay the extra for personalised transfer as luggage checking isn't included and you have to pay again for the counter service (learning from bitter experience).

We land around midnight and have booked the Transit Hotel - we appear to be in terminal A. I was planning a bit of a sleep and shower and then breakfast at the F lounge in A, before going to C where our plane to Nairobi departs.

I have walked from C to A before (plus train) and didn’t think it took us that long, but it sounds like maybe we should just go to th F lounge in C straight away to be safe? Obviously we would already have done security, so that doesn’t have to be factored in?
If you've booked the transit hotel (Dubai International Hotel), their people should also meet you at your gate if you provide your arrival and departure flight numbers, and they'll usually escort you to the Hotel at the Concourse your departing flight is most likely to leave from, even if you've booked different. In this case Marhaba is redundant. There are transit hotels at A, B and C, and they're all fine. If you want a particular hotel, they'll take you there (you might pay a little more). From A to C would be about 30 minutes. I usually go for the B gates hotel because it's an each way bet - if your flight doesn't depart from B its a (longish) walk to C, or a train ride to A. Breakfast at the B gates F lounge is just as nice as A, you just miss out on the lifts direct from lounge to airbridge. The menu in C is the same as the others, but the lounge itself is inferior.

Don't assume an EK flight will arrive/leave from the same concourse that it did yesterday. The only safe assumption is that if you're on a 777 it won't be at the A gates.

Cheers skip
 
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Flying mermaid

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I used to enjoy my evening constitutional from the wrong end of the A gates up to the Champagne and Caviar bar towards the other end of the B gates, then back to the old BA lounge at the C gates. Particularly marvellous is an arrivals concourse that morphs, via long escalators, from above the departure gates in C to below them in B. Helped fill in a lot of a five hour layover. The champagne was a waste of money, but it tasted nicer than the stuff at BA.

The Marhaba transfer people are very nice and know all the tricks, including short cuts involving lifts hidden around corners, little used and quiet security desks, which of the umpteen transfer desks to recheck at, how to get your bags retagged, and best of all they get you priority through security. However, like everything Dubai they are not cheap, and you have to find the Marhaba desk in the first place unless you want to pay a whole lot more for a 'your name on a sign' transfer at the arrivals gate.

If you're unsure and don't want to pay for a Marhaba, the people in the blue T-shirts are also pretty helpful.



If you've booked the transit hotel (Dubai International Hotel), their people should also meet you at your gate if you provide your arrival and departure flight numbers, and they'll usually escort you to the Hotel at the Concourse your departing flight is most likely to leave from, even if you've booked different. In this case Marhaba is redundant. There are transit hotels at A, B and C, and they're all fine. If you want a particular hotel, they'll take you there (you might pay a little more). From A to C would be about 30 minutes. I usually go for the B gates hotel because it's an each way bet - if your flight doesn't depart from B its a (longish) walk to C, or a train ride to A. Breakfast at the B gates F lounge is just as nice as A, you just miss out on the lifts direct from lounge to airbridge. The menu in C is the same as the others, but the lounge itself is inferior.

Don't assume an EK flight will arrive/leave from the same concourse that it did yesterday. The only safe assumption is that if you're on a 777 it won't be at the A gates.

Cheers skip
yes the hotel has promised to meet us and take us to the hotel. The booking says we are in A, but I don’t mind where we end up - if we are departing from C it would be quite nice to be in C hotel. All terribly confusing :)

We plan to check very carefully before we leave the hotel where we are departing from. It is a 777 and has been fairly consistently leaving from C, but I will check :)
 

Austman

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The F lounge in C is much less impressive than the F lounges in B and A. And B is less impressive than A. But the food and beverage offerings are the same and C can be lovely and quiet.

Being near to your departure gate is the main thing when it gets closer to your flight because the concourses are so far apart!
 
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PineappleSkip

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yes the hotel has promised to meet us and take us to the hotel. The booking says we are in A, but I don’t mind where we end up - if we are departing from C it would be quite nice to be in C hotel. All terribly confusing :)
You'll be right, they'll walk you through. Save their phone number and if they're not at the the gate (unlikely) give them a call.

We plan to check very carefully before we leave the hotel where we are departing from. It is a 777 and has been fairly consistently leaving from C, but I will check :)
They'll want to take you to the C gates hotel then. Ask at reception when you check out, they have all the flight details. Hotel is fine but concourse C is a bit dingy since they turned half the lights off to save energy. F Lounge is not up to the standard of the others, but the food and service is fine.
 

redbatz

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Didn’t you kind of realise how vast it was and that maybe you needed to scoot a bit? Most don’t offer water on boarding in Y so that’s not unusual, plus the air conditioning in Dubai is seriously freezing so really heat not an issue. Whenever I hear someone is transiting through Dubai I tell them to get the boarding gate as soon as possible and then sort out bathroom and refreshments.
No I really had no idea how big it was - obviously I know now! And I guess am used to Qantas giving out bottles of water after take off.
 

Flying mermaid

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We ended up in the Hotel in terminal A, although came in at B. We ended up being awake early, so were checking out before 7. The Emirates F lounge in A could be reached by just getting the lift down 2 floors from the hotel, so we ended up going there having breakfast and then moving to the F lounge in B. We will be departing from B

I actually really like the lounge in B - find it very pretty and still big enough. Perhaps a little noisier than A as there seems more ambient noise and announcements coming from the general concourse. I wouldn’t have any problems in using it instead of A. (Although I haven’t seen the showers, as we showered at the hotel).
 

PineappleSkip

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As promised I spent some hours in DXB trying to untangle the bus connections and fill the gaps in my previous post. There is a signposted bus transfer from T3 C gates to A gates (obviating a km or more walking and a train) which leaves from downstairs near the terminal 1 end (low numbered gates). Possibly a hangover from the days when C was terminal 1.

That suggests one in the other direction - A to C gates. This is unsignposted, other than on the official terminal map, which reckons you can get a bus transfer from either end of the A gates, and on lift buttons at those places, one of which lifts is through a doorway to A7 and A8. I didn't go down but floor 0 is marked 'bus transfers'. I also asked the people in blue and they admitted there was a bus transfer for 'rush transfers' but were vague about where you caught such a bus.

No wonder people get confused when the map and sibnposts are inconsistent. Doesn't help advance planning. In addition the terminal maps show gates but not their numbers, which makes orienting yourself to the map harder.

Three basic rules of navigating transfers which appear to work across all terminals.
1. If you haven't checked for your onward flight, follow the red connections signs AND ask the people in blue which transfer desk to go to.
When you have your next flight boardjng pass,
2. If you see blue signs to your terminal (gates A,B,C,D,F) follow the signs.
3. If you don't, follow the red 'connections' signs.

There is something of a hub in the centre of terminal B, and the blue terminal signposting directs one to that hub en route to your other terminal/gates. There is also a little used coffee shop downstairs where the train to A is. Follow the signposted lift with your terminal (gates) letter.
Transfers in summary,
Interterminal 3
Between B and A - train
Between B and C - walk
Between C and A - bus from C to A, unknown in reverse. Alternately walk C-B and v.v. and train A-B and v.v..

Between Terminals (A, B and C are all T3) the following exist.
T3 B gates and D (terminal 1) - bus
T3 B gates and F (terminal 2) - bus
D and F - bus (generally only every 1/2 hour)

BTW there is construction at C gates adjacent to the EK F lounge, where McGettigans pub used to be, and opposite adjacent to the EK J lounge. This suggests a sorely needed revamp of those lounges to bring them closer to the standard of the others.

cheers skip
 
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Flying mermaid

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Visited the C Concourse F lounge last week. Once again didn’t use showers. The lounge is “plainer” than the other two, but perfectly acceptable. Staff were lovely - the guy at the desk apologised for the long walk and staff came to ask us if they could bring us anything to eat or drink. It was very quiet when we first arrived so had two seats with poufs facing the window and it was quite private. I wanted some fruit which I couldn’t see on the buffet, but they made me a fruit platter and brought it to my seat - I didn’t think to look at the menu.

Heaps of people flooded in around midnight and it was very busy, particularly the dining room. I noticed there was an upstairs and went to look and it still had heaps of empty seats.

If going through Dubai again I wouldn’t have any problem using any of the F lounges (having tried all 3 on this trip), I would just go the closest one to my departing gate :)
 

Quickstatus

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Do all passengers arriving into DXB on an international flight need to clear immigration upon disembarkation and prior to a connecting international flight?

And can someone clarify the difference between Concourse and Terminal?
 
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