STOCK Dubai airport
Pictures used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Dubai Airport

Dubai: Spring break is here and many families in the UAE are making use of their holiday by going on a short vacation. However, travel can become stressful if you don't plan for the delays that come with peak travel times.

Dubai International Airport (DXB) has issued detailed guidelines for passengers, specifically for this expected spike in the number of travellers. In a statement on March 23, DXB said that they are expecting 1.4 million people travelling through the airport in the next two weekends. They added that the number of people is expected to increase between March 25 to 28 and then between April 7 to 9, when schools reopen after Spring break.

So, if you are planning to travel this weekend through DXB Airport, keep in mind that you may face long queues and traffic congestion. However, you can avoid the airport rush by following these travel tips provided by Dubai Airport.

1. Be up to date with COVID-19 travel regulations

Before you book your tickets and head to the airport, checking the COVID-19 travel rules of your destination and the airline’s regulations should be the first thing to consider. This may include mask requirements, PCR testing rules and proof of vaccination. Some countries make arriving passengers fill out a self-declaration form before departing or download the country’s official COVID-19 mobile application. So, speak to the airlines you are travelling with to ensure you have completed all the necessary procedures and have the required documents handy.


2. Book car parking online

Avoid the hassle for searching for an empty parking spot and book one online in advance for special rates. If you are departing from DXB airport, you can reserve a parking spot and park your car there while you are on holiday. You can only book the parking spot according to the duration of your trip. If you are coming in to pick up a friend or family member, it is important to note that the access to the Arrivals area has been restricted. According to Essa Al Shamsi, VP Terminal Operations, Dubai Airports, the only options available are the valet services or car parks.

If you are driving to the airport and plan to leave your car there for the duration of your trip, you can book a parking spot in the parking area by following these steps:

• First visit this link:
• Next, choose your terminal, the date and time for when you leave and arrive.
• After that, you will get a quote for the parking cost, which will show you the parking spot available for that day, the duration and price. The prices for the parking are not fixed and fluctuate depending on the day and time.


3. Smart gates

Cut the queue at immigration by using the Smart Gates, which use facial recognition to reduce the time to go through passport control.

To use it, you must face the direction of the green light in the Smart Gates area. Just remember, you should not have anything covering your face – such masks, glasses or hats.

While the Smart Gates are a self-service platform, there will be an airport employee there to help passengers, if there are any issues.

Also, it is important to note that the Smart Gates are only available to certain categories:

• UAE Nationals and GCC Nationals.
• UAE Residents.
• Visa-on-Arrival guests with biometric passports.

Who should not use the Smart Gates?

• People of Determination and guests with large strollers.
• Children under 15 years old or under 1.2 metres in height.

4. Early check-in options

DXB airport advises its guests to arrive early if they are departing from Terminal 1 or 2, to avoid congestion by arriving three hours before flight time. If you are travelling through Terminal 3, check in and drop your bags 24 hours prior to your flight.

How do I store my bags at Dubai Airport?

If you are planning to drop your bags 24 hours before your flight time, you can avail the baggage storage service at Terminal 1 and 3, which is open 24/7. Here is the cost for storing your baggage:

• Dh25 for 12 hours or less for standard size luggage (maximum dimensions of 21 x 24 x 11 inches)
• Dh30 for 12 hours or less for non-standard size luggage (larger than 21 x 24 x 11 inches)
• Valuables: Dh30 for 12 hours or less.

5. Use the Metro

To avoid traffic jams on the way to the airport, DXB also advised passengers to avail of the Metro routes. There are Metro stations at both Terminals 1 and 3. According to the Dubai Airport, the Metro operating hours have been extended to cater to the key arrival and departure times during the peak periods.

6. Check in from your home or hotel

If you want to avoid the lines at check-in, you can also complete the process directly from your home or hotel with, according to DXB.

Here is how to do it:

1. First visit:
2. Then choose ‘Flying out of Dubai’

Choose your airline:
• Emirates
• Flydubai
• Etihad Airways
• Kuwait Airways
• Others
• Then select 'Pickup' from category section and choose your residential location.
• Click on the green tab ‘Book Now’

3. Then you will be presented with three package options:

Home check-in

o Up to four bags
o Baggage to be checked in to your flight, with boarding pass and baggage tag handover at home.
o Cost: Dh249

Home Check-in & Sanitization

o Baggage will be checked in to your flight, with boarding pass and baggage tag handover at home.
o Baggage will also be disinfected with a long-lasting protective coating.
o Cost: Dh299

Plus Experience

o Fast-track through the airport.
o Baggage will be checked in to your flight, with boarding pass and baggage tag handover at home.
o Baggage will also be disinfected with a long-lasting protective coating
o At the airport you will cut your time with the Marhaba fast-track. The Marhaba service at Dubai Airport is a personalised experience that helps guests navigate airport security with porter assistance.

4. Once you have selected the package you prefer, enter your flight details including airline name and flight number.

5. Enter the pickup details, your location and address.

6. Type in your contact details, full name and phone number.

7. Then pay the amount electronically with your credit or debit card.

7. Family rooms

Families with infants and young children are recommended to use the family rooms at the Airport. The family rooms are dedicated baby rooms that will help you attend to your child’s needs in privacy. You can head to the Information desk or ask the ‘May I Help You’ staff to find one closest to you.