During my Spain & Portugal trip, I have the chance to transit at Dubai International Airport (DXB) before arriving in Madrid Spain. We were flying with Emirates A380 from Singapore. There are three terminals, 1,2 and Terminal 3 (DXB) which is for Emirates, Qatar Airway, Gulf Air and Qantas flights. There are lots of things to do if you are at Terminal 3. Let’s find out my airport review here.
Terminal 3 DXB has one of the best facilities at Dubai Airport, I shall review with you the retail therapy, food and drink, spa and smoking area here. Well, before that, let’s find out more about Dubai, it is a famous business hub and travel destination. Not sure if you are aware, if you are traveling to Europe from Asia, most likely your flight will stopover in Dubai International Airport. It is because it is centrally located in the world and acts as an intercontinental link. Dubai International Airport is also the largest airport in the Middle East and in the world by international passenger traffic. Base on CNBC news, the airport has handled 89.1 million passengers in 2018, slightly below target but still remaining the world’ busiest for international travelers.
Let’s go Shopping
The Duty-free Mall can be fun and lot of things to look at, there are even alcohol which may be a little surprise for me. (Side note, drinking alcohol is illegal in Dubai, except for tourists or residents with an alcohol licence). Electronics, Pharmacy, souvenirs, perfumes, jewelry, and gold are the items you will see displayed at the airport. The duty-free allowance includes 4l of alcohol, 400 cigarettes or 2kg of tobacco and 200ml of perfume.
Check out the Top 10 souvenirs to buy in Dubai International Airport.
The top 10 things are great for souvenirs as they are cultural and traditional to the Middle Eastern. Affordable and easy to bring back for your loved one.
Luxury Designers Shopping
Top designer stores are here, such as Chanel, Gucci, and Salvatore Ferragamo. If you want some high-end shopping, there are a number of big brands here.
“Win This Car” Prize
Do not forget to enter the lottery for the million-dollar car after you have done your shopping.
Spa & Manicure
Spa & manicure are great places to relax and chill. Have your manicure done while waiting for your connecting flight. Relax also offer express manicures and pedicure if you are in a rush. Waxing services are also available, including treatment from eyebrow waxing, legs or full back wax 🙂
Dubai Airport Toilets Review
The toilets are clean and neat to use but one thing that catches my attention was there is an Abulation area near the entry of the toilet. This area is for wiping parts of the body, a type of ritual purification for Islamic procedure. We don’t usually see the Abulation area in the toilet in other parts of the world.
I was quite impressed at how clean the toilets are despite the airport is always very crowded and packed.
Emirates Baby Strollers
This is a super family-friendly airport, you will find a rack of complimentary strollers at T3. These strollers are there to help you transfer from one gate to the next or shop in the duty-free shop with your kids. This is really a plus especially for families traveling with kids.
There are several prayer rooms at the airport and even a mosque at T3. The prayer rooms are separated for Muslim men and Muslim women.
Winston Smoking Lounge
There are smoking rooms (Winston Smoking Lounge) at the airport, go look for them before you light up your cigarette. Please note the airport is a non-smoking zone.
Reclining style chairs are available in various Rest Zones around the airport, but they generally tend to stay full. Gate areas have chairs, but most have armrests making them unfriendly for sleepers. The recliner chairs located throughout T3, Concourse A is great to take a nap.
Dining at Dubai Airport T3
There is a huge selection of restaurants and bars and fast-food chain, McDonald’s.
Always very crowded no matter what time of the day, even in the midnight. Open 24 hours.
Jack’s Bar & Grill
Crowded and the decoration and ambiance are great. Place for you to taste the steak and a good burger.
Flour + Stone Bistro – (Lebanese)
The Bistro at Dubai Airport is the perfect place to experience traditional Lebanese food at good prices. Check out their Manakish Zaatar, traditional Lebanese variety of pita bread spiced with Zaatar. Similar to a pizza, this is Middle Eastern version made of soft pita base topped with zaatar spice mix.
Other Flat Bread
Cho Gao Asian Cuisine
Missing some Asian, then go Cho Gao located between Gates A6 and A7 at the Concourse A “West Side”.
Tourists and visitors can claim refund on VAT paid on purchases they made during their stay in the UAE. There is a minimum spend of Dh250 for goods to be eligible for the scheme. There will also be a Dh4.50 charge for each tax-free tag that is presented at the point of refund.
UAE home to one fo the world’s highest percentage of immigrants and you can see it in the Dubai Airport. I have spotted lots of airport workers were from the Philippines, India, and Africa.
Other facilities – Snooze Cube
There are other facilities which may interest you such as Snooze cube, there are little rooms with a bed and tv for you to catch a nap. A minimum stay of two hours is required to rent the Snooze Cubes. Rent it only if you have lots of time to kill. (Note the Dubai Airport is very large so walking from one point to another may require a lot of time. Don’t be late for your departure if you are renting a Snooze cube).
Zen Garden & Play Area
For kids, there is a dedicated play area and the Zen garden. 🙂
Emirates A380 Review
Emirates is one of the best airlines, ranked the world’s fourth-largest and the largest and best in the Middle East. If you are traveling to Europe, then most likely you will choose Emirate because it offers a competitive price.
Boarding takes slightly longer time as this is a very large plane with almost full capacity as we travel during peak season in December. (600 passengers)
The economy cabin is configured with 10 across seats in a 3x4x3 layout with reasonable seat width. A pillow, blanket and headphones are provided.
Each economy seat features an in-flight entertainment screen in the seatback. I really enjoyed the In-Flight entertainment as it has one of the best entertainment programs, lot of new movies, classics movies, drama, from Hollywood, Bollywood, and Asian (Japanese, Korean, Thai and Chinese). Emirates claimed to have taken home Skytrax’s award for Best In-Flight Entertainment 14 years running.
Safety video in Arabic with English caption was run before the takeoff.
Food and Beverage
The menu was handed by the attendants to all passengers. Beverages were served and it was not a stingy serve, a small bottle of wine was generously given. I have several meals onboard and they all tasted good, I won’t say very delicious but better than a lot of the flight that I have experience. The good thing is they give you real metal silverware which is easier to eat.
My choice of lunch is Salmon with rice. I think there is another choice of BBQ chicken with potatoes of fish. So fish or chicken?
Dubai International Airport is huge and crowded 24 hours a day. I remembered it was midnight when I was flying from Bacelona to Dubai on my way back to Singapore, the crowds is still very busy, after all, it is a major transit hub.