The largest airport in the Middle East is just five and a half miles from Dubai’s old city centre and 12 miles from its modern downtown area. The Dubai Metro runs a line between the airport and different areas of the city, while buses run from the airport to the Deira Terminus. Still, the quickest and most comfortable way to get into the city centre or the modern Dubai Marina area is with car rental in Dubai Airport.
Who to Book With
A vast number of internationally known car hire suppliers have kiosks at the airport, including Avis, Hertz, Budget and Thrifty. The majority have counters in Terminal 1, though some also have counters in terminals 2 and 3. Vehicles are picked up in the car park of the Arrivals terminal.
Need to Know Essentials
You will need to show the following documents at vehicle collection:
- Your driving licence, which you must have had for at least one year
- Your passport
- The credit card that was used to make the reservation
- An international drivers’ license
For more info read our FAQ's.
Driving in the morning and evening rush hours should be avoided as traffic tends to come to a complete standstill. Parking in the city is quite difficult to find, though many hotels will provide this for their guests. Most major routes in Dubai require motorists to pay a toll. Salik tags are usually provided by car hire suppliers and they will charge renters upon return of the vehicle. Credit cards are accepted at petrol stations but incur an additional commission fee of around £0.35 on top of the fees charged by the card company, and UK-issued cards may not always be accepted.
See our guide to the United Arab Emirates for more information on driving here.
Self-drive is the quickest way for passengers arriving at the airport to get into the city. The Metro runs fairly quickly but does not run from all terminals in the airport. As well, it stops running at 22:15 and does not operate at all on Friday mornings. Taxis are available 24 hours, but the rate rises after 22:00.
The Red Line of the Dubai Metro runs through the airport and takes around 20 minutes from Terminal 3 to the Burj Khalifa business centre. This also stops at Terminal 1. The Green Line runs from the Airport Free Zone, which is accessible via Terminal 2, taking around 11 minutes to reach Union Station. Tickets can be purchased directly in the Metro station at the airport and will cost around £0.70 for a single trip. A NOL card must be purchased to ride on the Dubai Metro, and information can be found at Roads and Transport Authority.
Airport taxis are provided by the Dubai Transport Corporation, which is government owned and are cream coloured. They depart from the Arrivals areas of all three terminals. Fares increase between 20:00 and 06:00.
Dubai Airport to anywhere in Dubai is around £4.
Buses to get into the city are found at stations located opposite both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The better buses are the newer air-conditioned airport shuttles that travel between the airport and most popular tourist areas of the city. The number 401 takes passengers to Al Sabkha, while the number 402 goes to Al Ghubaiba. These buses cost around £0.50, though travel time varies depending on how many stops are made along the way. There are also free shuttle buses that run between all terminals every 20 to 30 minutes.
There are three terminals at Dubai International Airport, and these are connected by free shuttle bus. Terminals 1 and 3 are also connected by the Dubai Metro. Terminal 1 is the largest of the three and serves around 60 million passengers each year, while Terminal 2 is the smallest and caters to around five million passengers annually. Terminal 3 is the hub for Emirates and sees 85,000 travellers pass through each day.
There are five car parks on site, with two dedicated to Terminal 1, two dedicated to Terminal 2 and one dedicated to Terminal 3. Rates are cheapest at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2’s car park B. Daily rates run from around £15 to £40. Valet parking is also available.
Wireless internet is available free of charge in MAXSPOT’s throughout all three terminals.
There is an information kiosk near gates C14 and C19 in Terminal 1, near the check-in counters, duty-free shop and in the Arrivals hall in Terminal 2, and opposite the escalator in Terminal 3.
Lufthansa: +971 4 216 6855
Virgin Atlantic: +971 4 224 4309
KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines: +971 4 224 4747
The airport caters to passengers with reduced mobility, as well as pregnant women. Dedicated desks are set up for passengers needing assistance; services include electric carts for getting around the terminal as well as dedicated lounges. All car parks have spaces devoted to passengers with reduced mobility, while terminal shuttle buses are wheelchair-friendly.
Restaurants and Bars
All terminals have a plethora of restaurants that offer a range of options, from sit-down meals to fast food. There are also numerous coffee shops and cafés. In additional, terminals 1 and 3 have an Irish style pub, while Terminal 3 also has a tea room.
Business Class lounge
First Class Lounge
Emirates Business Class Lounge
First Class and Skywards Gold members Lounge
Money and ATMs
A number of ATMs can be found in all areas of each of the terminals as well as in concourses B and C. There is one Emirates NBD Bank branch in each terminal as well as an additional Noor Islamic Bank in Terminal 3. Currency exchange kiosks are located in concourses B and C in addition to all three terminals.
Dubai Airport is famous for its duty-free shopping, and these shops can be found in all terminals. In addition, Terminals 1 and 3 have a wide selection of other shops that include bookshops, wine shops, sunglasses shops, clothing shops and gift stores. There are also jewellery shops, music shops and mobile phone shops in these terminals, while Terminal 2 has a magazine and snack shop in additional to its duty-free shop.