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Dubai: Mess Or Easy?  
User currently offlineScotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3
Posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4604 times:

I've just booked Emirates to fly GLA-DXB-BKK on Feb 21 returning Mar 10. Layover outbound is 7 hours and the return 3.

From some of the reviews I've read, DXB is either a nightmare or worse. Is that true?? All flights are on their 773, which I'm quite excited about.

Help appreciated.

Cheers

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEmirates773ER From Pakistan, joined Jun 2005, 1450 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4605 times:

Quoting Scotron11 (Thread starter):
I've just booked Emirates to fly GLA-DXB-BKK on Feb 21 returning Mar 10. Layover outbound is 7 hours and the return 3.

From some of the reviews I've read, DXB is either a nightmare or worse. Is that true?? All flights are on their 773, which I'm quite excited about.

Help appreciated.

Cheers

Depends on the timings of your flight, I have flown early morning usually and the place resembles a fish market. But I guess you may make it in time for the opening of the new Emirates terminal, should be a sweet ass lay over if that happens.



The Truth is Out There ---- Face It!!!!!
User currently offlineScotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4595 times:

Quoting Emirates773ER (Reply 1):

Depends on the timings of your flight,

Flight GLA-DXB arrives 0055 and departs 0810. Return arrives 0500 departs 0750. Hopefully the new terminal is open by then.

Cheers


User currently offlineAerokiwi From New Zealand, joined Jul 2000, 2716 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4552 times:

Mess. It's also quite garish and a surreal experience to get off a flight in the wee small hours and find yourself among a heaving mass of shoppers, queing up just to use the toilet. Ugh! Awful! The only peaceful time I've ever had in Dubai was transfering from the plane at a remote stand. It took what seemed an eternity to drive all the way around the terminal building just to be processed into transit. But at least everyone was subdued and you could enjoy the calm environment, watching the sweltering heat outside.

Oh and a tip - if you are lucky to get a seat, pitch a tent and make it home for your stay because those things are in short supply. There is actually quite a lovely lounge upstairs in the middle of the concourse that overlooks some gate areas. I believe it's the entrance to a hotel. anyway, there's a lobby there where you can enjoy very comfortable seating and it's removed ffrom the throng. Above Gate 17 I think (?)


User currently offlineAntskip From Australia, joined Jan 2006, 932 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4504 times:

To me, DXB transit lounge is something out of Dante (and not the paradise bit). After half an hour in the place I longed to return to the chains of cattle-class for 14 hours. The terminal is more like a giant hangar crossed with a shopping mall. Overpriced duty-free shops mix with a poor selection of coffee and food shops, horrible overwhelmed toilet facilities, all wrapped up with an overcrowded and exhausted population, each individual seemingly keen as one-self to leave such an awful place for the relative homeliness of their aircraft...It is the weak link in EK's otherwise impressive worldwide network. If you can, retreat as soon as you can to one of the various members-only airport lounges.

User currently offlineETStar From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 2103 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4440 times:

I was looking at EK's flight arrival info at DXB yesterday and was wondering of the same - multiple wide-bodies arriving at the same time during different banks, other airlines also offloading pax at the same time, a mall-terminal that does not appear large enough to handle all this traffic - DXB must be bursting at the seams. How's the baggage claim area?

How is gate allocation done at DXB? Assuming that EK gets preferential treatment, which other airlines get gates and which ones always seem to get a remote stand?


User currently offlineRivet42 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 818 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4413 times:

I actually quite like the continual buzz in DXB - it has the atmosphere of a giant chaotic arabian souk, complete with travellers from all over the World, rubbing shoulders and generally competing for refreshments, shopping, or just pushing their trolleyettes around taking in the 'sights'.

Having said that, the last few times I was in transit there I was able to enjoy the various EK & DXB business lounges, where there is a degree of tranquility outside of the peak hours. I recall 2200 - 0200 being particularly busy, and 1500-1700, when even in the lounges it can be impossible to find a seat. Mid to late morning is relatively quiet.

It is a very busy airport, so how one might expect it not to be full of people is rather odd. Nevertheless, if you don't have enough EK miles for the lounges, and you're travelling economy, then there used to be a complimentary dining hall for EK passengers on a long stopover, and there is at least one airport lounge that you can pay to enter, although I don't know if that includes free refreshments.

Enjoy! It can be crazy, but it's the Middle East, after all, and one shouldn't expect something sterile like SIN.

Riv'

Ps. One thing I should add - if you are intending to pass some of your stopover time plane-spotting, be very careful! The airport police take a very dim view of anyone pointing binoculars or telescopes out of the windows and writing numbers (or anything else) down in a notebook, and they are quite likely to march you off to the (airside) police station where your passport will be photocopied. It's a great shame, it's a fascinating airport, especially for what parks up over on the cargo side. They treated me to this particular form of 'welcome' a couple of years ago, so until I get a new passport I try to make do with what I can identify with the naked eye.

[Edited 2007-10-21 20:55:07]


I travel, therefore I am.
User currently offlineChrisrad From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1069 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4380 times:

A photo a family member of mine took last week, he agreed it was like a zoo.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/chrisrad/dubai.jpg



Welcome aboard Malaysia Airlines! Winner of Best Cabin Staff 2001,2002,2003,2004,2007,2009,2012
User currently offlineStar_world From Ireland, joined Jun 2001, 1234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4380 times:

Quoting ETStar (Reply 5):
How is gate allocation done at DXB? Assuming that EK gets preferential treatment

I've been reliably informed that EK does not actually get preferential treatment (and this seems to be the case, looking at the number of EK a/c lined up on remote stands whenever I'm there!) Instead foreign airlines are given priority as the airport authority can collect higher fees from them if they have a gate rather than a remote stand, which obviously they cannot do with EK. Therefore a huge amount of EK a/c go to remote stands, the foreign a/c get the gates, and the airport gets richer  Smile


User currently offlineRivet42 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 818 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4377 times:

... I should also add - if you are intending to pass some of your stopover time plane-spotting, be very careful! The airport police take a very dim view of anyone pointing binoculars or telescopes out of the windows and writing numbers (or anything else) down in a notebook, and they are quite likely to march you off to the (airside) police station where your passport will be photocopied and give you a verbal warning not to continue doing whatever you were doing. It's a great shame, it's a fascinating airport, especially for what parks up over on the cargo side. They treated me to this particular form of 'welcome' a couple of years ago, so until I get a new passport I try to make do with what I can identify with the naked eye.

(I tried editing the previous post but it kept failing with a database error, so apologies if the above text eventually appears several times!!)

Riv'



I travel, therefore I am.
User currently offlineSOBHI51 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jun 2003, 3479 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4303 times:
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Another alternative, there is a hotel inside the airport no need to go through immigration,it is if i remember well that it is charged by 3 or 4 hours block.So get a room and a good 6 hour sleep


I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
User currently offlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1856 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4256 times:

Quoting Antskip (Reply 4):
Overpriced duty-free shops mix with a poor selection of coffee and food shops, horrible overwhelmed toilet facilities, all wrapped up with an overcrowded and exhausted population, each individual seemingly keen as one-self to leave such an awful place for the relative homeliness of their aircraft..

OOoh, thats a bit harsh... Its really not that bad.. Even though DXB can be a nightmare, the collague of flighs and differnet airlines make it all worthwhile. There are over a 100 differeent airlines serving DXB and its fun seeing people from all over. If DXB is a nightmare to walk through, what would you call LHR, which seems to me, chaotic.

Its fun in DXB, I love the atmosphere, and there are lots of things to do to waste your time there. Good luck and bon voyage.



لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
User currently offlinePhilzh From Switzerland, joined May 2007, 146 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4199 times:

Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 11):
If DXB is a nightmare to walk through, what would you call LHR

Very well said, IMHO.
DXB is indeed garish and can be disorienting after a short night with little sleep in a plane, but it's still miles from the chaos and general state of decay at Heathrow, I found.


User currently offlineEK773 From Malta, joined Jul 2004, 235 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4059 times:

Is it not possible to book yourself on EK384 DXB-BKK STD 03:15? That would cut your transit time down to about 3hours. More than enough time you need to spend in DXB airport

User currently offlineVincewy From Taiwan, joined Oct 2005, 767 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4033 times:

Quoting Chrisrad (Reply 7):
A photo a family member of mine took last week, he agreed it was like a zoo.

That doesn't look too bad unless you don't enjoy the buzz of a busy street market, many popular shopping malls in Asia (clean and cozy BTW) look like that, BTW, when was the pic taken? Was it outside the aforementioned peak periods of 1500-1700 and 2200-0200?


User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12569 posts, RR: 46
Reply 15, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3987 times:
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It's a terminal at a very busy airport for goodness sake. What do you all expect, the place to yourself?  sarcastic 

Quoting Rivet42 (Reply 9):
The airport police take a very dim view of anyone pointing binoculars or telescopes out of the windows and writing numbers (or anything else) down in a notebook

I have spent many hours at DXB inside the terminal with binoculars and cameras and never had any problems. I have seen others doing the same with no dire consequences. Outside the terminal is a different matter.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineScotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3957 times:

Quoting EK773 (Reply 13):

Is it not possible to book yourself on EK384 DXB-BKK STD 03:15? That would cut your transit time down to about 3hours. More than enough time you need to spend in DXB airport

I looked at that option but booked the later flight as I'd heard good things about Dubai. My other option ( and more expensive) was to transit thru LHR which would have entailed a change of terminal. Also lets me experience another airport.

Looks like the new terminal won't be opening until May 2008. Pity!


User currently offlineNcfc99 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 740 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3957 times:

I traveled MAN-BNE on EK in 2004, I found DXB to be a pleasant experience, I even considered stopping intentionally at DXB for 7-8 hours on my latest trip to OZ to make my arrival time back in the UK a bit better and try to aleviate some jet lag. So in answer to your question, I found it easy.

User currently offlineChrisrad From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1069 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3941 times:

Quoting Vincewy (Reply 14):
when was the pic taken? Was it outside the aforementioned peak periods of 1500-1700 and 2200-0200?

His flight was to HAM on EK which leaves at 0855, so yes out of those times.....

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 15):
It's a terminal at a very busy airport for goodness sake. What do you all expect, the place to yourself?   

Obviously you enjoy over-crowding when you are dead tired, and not being able to find a seat?



Welcome aboard Malaysia Airlines! Winner of Best Cabin Staff 2001,2002,2003,2004,2007,2009,2012
User currently offlineAntskip From Australia, joined Jan 2006, 932 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3853 times:

Quoting Scotron11 (Reply 16):
I looked at that option but booked the later flight as I'd heard good things about Dubai

If you want to visit Dubai, that is quite a different question to visiting the DXB transit terminal! You will see nothing of Dubai (except a few residents) unless you leave the terminal building - a terminal that to many of us is really not up to the task. Maybe you will post back here after your time there and let us know what you think of it?

The EK B773 is a very nice plane, and I am sure you will enjoy it. The flight route goes south over Iran, and if it is daylight and the weather good, you will get a fantastic look at some wonderful towns and cities and awesome mountain scenery.


User currently offlineEK773 From Malta, joined Jul 2004, 235 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3845 times:

Quoting Chrisrad (Reply 18):
His flight was to HAM on EK which leaves at 0855

The morning is also a peak time with mostly European arrivals and departures. The main departure bank start at 07:30 till about 09:30, you'll find flights to every European port departing and also the regional flights within ME.


User currently offlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3920 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3808 times:

Quoting ETStar (Reply 5):
How's the baggage claim area?

Becasue of the missiive volume of connecting trafffic, its a lot smaller and less crowded than one might have expected. And in DXB one would never do anything sodemeaning as take ones baggage directly from the carosuel, they have baggage handlers inside to do that as well!

Quoting ETStar (Reply 5):
How is gate allocation done at DXB? Assuming that EK gets preferential treatment, which other airlines get gates and which ones always seem to get a remote stand?

A lot of EK on remote stands, the LON flights tend to get gates, Im not sure about others.

DXB itself is well set up for connections, and although it is not your 'typical' airport, it is different. When I visited in 2006 on it was fine, a bit crowded yes, but nothing too bad, and certainly far better than the disgrace that is DUB.

Brian.



Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12569 posts, RR: 46
Reply 22, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3802 times:
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Quoting Chrisrad (Reply 18):
Obviously you enjoy over-crowding when you are dead tired, and not being able to find a seat?

No, but I am a realist.  wink 



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3787 times:

I travelled through DXB twice a year ago and I have to say they were rather claustrophobic experiences. The terminal itself looked great but it was absolutely packed with stressed (or sleeping) passengers. It was really hard to find free space to sit down, have a coffee, for shopping or anything. The staff looked like they hoped to be some where else instead and I don't blame them... Great news if they get more space there.

User currently offlineTennis69 From Qatar, joined Apr 2007, 402 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3753 times:

I have transited thru DXB 36+ times and each experience is different. If you can get in them the first and business class lounges are ok. Just watch were you step if you arrive in the early morning. There are pax sleeping on every sq cm of floor space. Another fun observation, I've seen more Arabs drinking alcohol in this airport than any other.

25 Pe@rson : I enjoyed my connecting flight through DXB: good terminal; decent places to eat and drink; and a fair number of viewing areas. I'd happily connect thr
26 Rivet42 : ... that's very encouraging!! How recently was that...? My encounter with the police was a couple of years ago, but when I checked later on Airliners
27 YOWza : The late night/early AM arrival and departure wave is CRAZY at DXB. Manageable but mad. Thankfully for your Ramadan is over. During Ramadan DXB is may
28 AirxLiban : Dubai is a zoo, particularly between 10pm and 4am when a lot of flights are taking off. People literally just sleep on the floor. Anyway, Emirates is
29 EKSkycargo370 : Transitting through DXB with EK...guaranteed your bag will get lost. If you are sending cargo with EK through DXB,it will either get lost or end up at
30 Rivet42 : Untrue. I've done exactly that several times and never arrived without my luggage (so far). Riv'
31 SQA350 : I don't understand why any aircraft enthusiasts, and I believe we all are here on A.net, can complain about an airport. Whenever I am at an airport it
32 Post contains images CDG : Hi Riv the Philosoph !! Very well said, to me DXB is an " Adventurous Airport Lover's Heaven " Colorfull, Vibrant, it is quite the opposite of Changi
33 Post contains images BRxxx : At first I thought LHR terminal 3 was the worst ever!!
34 CupraIbiza : Geez how precious have we all become that we compare DXB to Dante's Hell. I mean come on. Sure there are lots of people, but its not that bad. What do
35 Scbriml : I finished a 9-month project in May this year. I had one trip home per month, so spent plenty of time at DXB. As I said, spotting and taking photos f
36 Rivet42 : Dang! That's exactly from where I was escorted to the police station by a (very polite) security person who didn't know if what I was doing was permi
37 EK77W : EK025/026 (DXB-GLA-DXB) is flown with a 77W, not a 773, so ICE will be installed.
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