ARRIVING AT DUBAI AIRPORT
Dubai International Airport is considered to be the busiest airport in the Middle East and is one of the major airports in the world today with over 50.44 million passengers passing through in 2011, representing a growth of 6.8% from 2010. Passenger traffic is expected to grow to 54 million passengers in 2012. Sheikh Rashid Terminal was opened in 2000 and Terminal 3, the world’s largest terminal costing over US$ 4 billion and catering exclusively for Emirates flights, opened on 14th October 2008.
Upon completion of the expansion and construction programme Dubai International Airport will be capable of handling a staggering 70 million passengers per year.
At the time of going to press, citizens of the following countries are able to receive an automatic visit visa upon arrival in Dubai.
Visit visas are normally valid for 30 days, however visa issues are always subject to change and it is recommended that you check the current policy;
All Arab GCC countries, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, USA and Vatican City.
Passengers arriving who intend working in Dubai are required to collect their original work visa permit from the designated desks at the end of the arrivals tunnel before taking the escalators or lifts to passport control and immigration desks.
Visitors to Dubai will need a valid passport or travel documentation and visa. A total of 32 countries have been exempted from requiring a visa allowing them to enter the country. Please remember that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry.
Depending on the time of your arrival the Immigration Hall can become very busy and it is not unusual to queue for in excess of an hour, especially if you arrive at about midnight when the Immigration Hall is particularly busy.
If you are visiting relatives or friends, or just arriving at a busy time you may wish to consider booking Marhaba (meaning Welcome) which is a meet and greet welcoming service. Marhaba services can either escort the passenger directly from the aircraft or at various other easily identifiable meeting areas within the Arrivals Terminal. The Marhaba staff are friendly, helpful and are easily identifiable in their bright yellow uniforms.
Without a doubt the best feature about the service is that they provide a dedicated passport control desk which whisks you through the Immigration Hall without the need to join a lengthy queue, all important after a long flight especially if you are elderly or have tired children.
The Marhaba escort will also assist in retrieving your luggage from the baggage carousel and escorting you from the airport.
The Marhaba service can be booked by accessing www.marhabaservices.com or by calling (009714) 216 2656/7. It is recommended that you book Marhaba at least 24 hours in advance to receive immediate confirmation.
Marhaba Services can also be pre-booked for departing Dubai International Airport. The escort will assist the passenger in checking in and the passenger will again have priority access to their designated passport control counter, buggy services and dedicated Marhaba lounge.
Duty free allowance on arrival in Dubai is:
- 4 litres of liquor or wine.
- 400 cigarettes or 2 kilos of tobacco.
- Cigars to the value of Dhs 3,000.
If you do not want to unnecessarily carry your duty free allowance on to and off the plane, you can purchase all duty free goods from the Dubai Duty Free outlets after you pass the Immigration desks in the Arrivals Hall and before the baggage reclaim area.
After reclaiming your baggage and exiting the customs area at Terminal 2, there is an arrivals hall where the following services are offered:
- Dubai Hotel Reservations have a one-stop travel desk situated after the customs x-ray machines. Arriving passengers can book hotels, tour packages and airline tickets here.
- A Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) tourist kiosk is available 24 hours a day where tourist information, maps and general advice may be obtained.
- Numerous car rental firms are represented.
- A dedicated lounge is available for unaccompanied minors and passengers with special needs. Those waiting to greet passengers can do so here and either airline or ground handling staff will bring the arriving passenger to this lounge.
If you have flown in to Dubai with Emirates Airlines you cannot fail to be impressed with the facilities at Terminal 3.