Dubai Layover Guide (DXB)
Dubai International Airport (DXB) is the primary international airport in Dubai. Being one of the busiest airports in the world it is located in the Al Garhoud district, and it is situated 4.6 km (2.9 mi) east of Dubai. The airport was first opened in 1960. Dubai is the eponymous capital of one of the UAE’s 7 emirates and is known for its riches, stunning development, stupendous architecture, vibrant array of different cultures and religions, and boasts a lot of things for visitors to mesmerize.
Can you leave Dubai Airport (DXB) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It is possible to visit Dubai during the layover. However, some visitors will require visa. (more info).
Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing
Dubai Burj Khalifa Tour
Marvel the beautiful views over Dubai from the observation deck of the iconic Burj Khalifa. Ascend 123 floors of the world’s tallest building for a panoramic 360-degree view over the Arabian Gulf. During the tour, you can take the world’s fastest elevator to reach the deck of a staggering 2,723ft skyscraper. » book this tour
Atlantis Aquaventure & Lost Chambers Aquarium Dubai Tour
Jump into a world of excitement at the Middle East’s number 1 water park. On this tour, you can visit the largest aquarium in UAE which has more than 65,000 animals. While chilling up at the private beach you can also see the sharks and rays being fed by the marine specialists. » book this tour
Dubai: Safari, Quad Bike, Camel Ride, and Buffet Dinner Tour
Discover the beautiful and mysterious Lahbab Desert during this tour which has a bit of everything. You can try the dune bashing ad sandboarding. And from discovering the desert on a quad bike or a camel you have a barbecue dinner with many options and many other things. » book this tour
Things to do / Sightseeing
Sightseeing Helicopter Ride from The Palm
During your layover in Dubai flying above the city like a rock star is a great experience. So, enhance your experience by flying along the Persian Gulf coast and across the World Islands on a helicopter. You will be able to soar over iconic sights like Atlantis, the Palm, Burj Al Arab, and the Golden Mile. » buy ticket
Time required: 1 hour.
Airport to here: 21 minutes via taxi.
Private Luxury Yacht Cruise
Discover the wonders of Dubai Marina on the private boat cruise. Where you can enjoy a luxury experience with your friends or family. And sail around the marina and admire the staggering sights, soak up the extravagant sunshine and make unforgettable memories.
Time required: 2 to 8 hours.
Airport to here: 1 hour 5 minutes via public transport and 22 minutes via private transport .
Visit Aquarium & Burj Khalifa Level 124 or 125
Visiting the top levels of Burj Khalifa and Aquarium is a must thing to do if you’re in Dubai. Because you can see the most significant sights in one go. Get the panoramic views from level 124/125 and discover the amazing marine life from around the world in the unique tunnels of f underwater zoo.
Time required: 12 hours.
Airport to here: 31 minutes via public transport and 11 minutes via private transport.
Jet Ski Adventure
If you’re the one who loves adventure then in Dubai you can go the amazing jet ski adventure. You can enjoy the speed of a high-powered waterborne vehicle to get a ride in Dubai. Moreover, you can see the city’s skyline from the sea and jet ski near the iconic Burj Al Arab to get some of the best photos of your vacations. » buy ticket
Time required: 1 hour.
Airport to here: 24 minutes via public transport
Visit the Museum of the Future
Get an immersive experience with an empowering vision of the future while your visit to the Museum of the Future in Dubai. See 50 years into the future to get an idea or an imaginative glimpse of what the world will be like based on the conception made by visionary technologists. » buy ticket
Time required: 1.5 hours.
Airport to here: 10 minutes via taxi
Dubai Miracle Garden
Spend your time while enjoying at Dubai Miracle Garden. Where you can smell the sweet aroma of more than 150 million flowers in full bloom. Also, while strolling around the picturesque garden, be sure to visit the mesmerizing floating lady. And explore the Floral Clock and marvel at the world’s largest floral Emirates A380 Airbus. » buy ticket
Time required: 4 to 5 hours.
Airport to here: 25 minutes via taxi
Get Sky Views of Dubai
Get your ticket to Sky Views Dubai with three adrenaline pumping adventures. In this, you will be able to explore the Sky observatory and can take the Sky Glass Slide, and walk the Sky Edge Walk. You can get a new perspective with this thrilling action in the heart of Downtown Dubai. Slide down from the 53rd floor of a high-rise building within a glass capsule and much more. » buy ticket
Time required: 5 hours.
Airport to here: 13 minutes via private transport and 42 minutes via public transport
Visit the Green Planet the Unique Indoor Rainforest in Dubai
Visit the Green Planet that recreates the enchanting world of a tropical forest with more than 3,000 plants and animals. Being the world’s largest indoor man-made and life-sustaining tree it is one of the best places to spend your time during the layover. In addition, experience the unique beauty of another world and explore the Earth’s amazing flora and fauna through an immersive expedition into the tropics. » buy ticket
Time required: 3 to 4 hours.
Airport to here: 49 minutes minutes via public transport
Relaxing and Sleeping
Airport Lounges and Relaxing
There are different airport lounges available at Dubai airport in terminal 1, 2 and 3. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online
Hotel and Sleeping
There are several hotels, sleep pods available inside and close to the airport. » view all or book an airport hotel online
Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
Quiet zones are located in Terminal 3, Concourses A and B, near the following gates: A1, A16, A21, A24, B1-2, B7-8, B10-11, B14-23, B25-27, B29, and B31-32.
WIFI/Internet and SIM Card
WIFI/Internet: Free unlimited WiFi is available at Dubai airport. Connect to “DXB Free WiFi”.
SIM Card: Free SIM cards are available at Dubai airport and also on the shops in the Dubai. You can also buy SIM card from mobile operators Du, Virgin & Etisalat - Bayut. at the arrival hall. » buy a global sim card for Dubai, United Arab Emirates that you can use for other countries as well!
Transportation to/from airport
Taxi: Metered taxis are available 24/7 from ranks at the ground transportation area. They're cream colored and those with pink trim have female drivers.
Train: Dubai International airport has two stations on Dubai Metro. For metro access, you can try the Nol card that provides discounts on standard fares. You can buy tickets at the airport stations and can also purchase from the station or from vending machines outside the terminal. (more info).
Bus: Buses are available from stands opposite Terminals 1,2, and 3 and they cover extensive areas of the city. (more info).
Shuttle: Some hotels near the airport offer free shuttle services and can be found near the terminals and in the airport free zone, as well as on the main Airport Road.
Car rentals: There are 3 different car rental agencies available in the Arrivals area of all three airport terminals. » view available cars or rent a car now online
Parking: Short-stay and long-stay parking are available at all terminals. Terminals 1 and 2 offer economy and premium options. Premium parking spaces are closer to the terminals.
Luggage Storage & Lockers
Short term baggage storage is available in two areas of the airport: Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. Hours: open 24 hours. Rates: from AED 40 – 50 (depending on the baggage size) every 12 hours. » book a luggage storage or locker at Dubai Airport (DXB) online (subject to availability).