Review: Dubai International Airport Terminal 3

Booking the Trip: Annual India Visit with Emirates and Air India
Review: Emirates Airline A380 Economy Los Angeles to Dubai
Review: Emirates Airline A380 Economy Dubai to Mumbai
Review: Pune Lohegaon Airport Terminal
Review: Air India A319-100 Economy Class Pune to Hyderabad
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Hyderabad Domestic Terminal
Review: Air India A319-100 Business Class Hyderabad to Pune
Review: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Terminal 2 International
Review: Emirates Airline 777-300 Economy Mumbai to Dubai
Review: Dubai International Airport Terminal 3
Review: Emirates Airline A380 Economy Dubai to Los Angeles

YOUTUBE: Emirates: Los Angeles to Dubai
YOUTUBE: Emirates: Dubai to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: Air India: Pune to Hyderabad
YOUTUBE: Air India: Hyderabad to Pune
YOUTUBE: Emirates: Mumbai to Dubai
YOUTUBE: Emirates: Dubai to Los Angeles


 

We had an 8-hour layover in Dubai after arriving from our flight from Mumbai. So we would be awake the entire night (mostly) walking around the massive terminal. Speaking of massive, Dubai’s terminal 3 is very very very massive. To do a review of everything present across all 3 concourses is a monumental task that would have taken over 8 hours to do. But as I walked through all, I noticed a trend of something that made this review very easy. All three structures had the same shops and the same structures. There were mostly duty-free shops in the main passenger section and of course the first and business class lounges in the upper levels which span the entire upper floors in each concourse. But I reviewed only concourse A, but as I said, know that you’ll find most of the same stuff in concourse B and C.

Starting at the East end of the terminal, I worked my way to the west end, noting all important structures and buildings to be aware of inside the terminal.

 

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cafe

The terminal starts with a bunch of restaurants starting with an Arabic restaurant on the left.

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Asian fusion food restaurant

Then right after the Arabic restaurant, there is an Asian fusion restaurant. I really wanted to eat at one of these places as it smelled very good. Sadly, I did not have time to.

 

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Pastry Shop
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Beer lounge

The Beer lounge was interesting as its not something you see around too much.

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Shake Shack

There was also a Shake Shack which is your typical American Food

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Currency Exchange store

As you walk more you will also see the Marhaba Lounge on the right side. This is a contract lounge which you can access by booking buying it on their website.

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Marhaba Lounge and Mezzanine Dining

And now the area that DXB is best known for: duty-free.

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duty free

 

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Duty Free
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Jaguar F type

Of course, let’s not forget that Dubai’s duty-free cannot be complete without a Jaguar F type. If anyone wants to buy me this car, please let me know I will gladly take it.

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Duty-free

 

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duty free

Finally, standard duty-free shops started to disappear.

 

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duty free

There were more specialized stores starting to appear.

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Cosmetics section

 

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Hermes store
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Chanel

 

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Bulgari store

Finally after a walk through the whole A side we went to a gate to watch this A380 for a while.

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A380 heading to Frankfurt

 

Seating for long layovers

I have to briefly talk about this because this is one area where DXB airport needs improvement. If you have a 5+ hour layover and you are not in first or business class, or an EK elite member, then the terminal is a miserable place to be. There are not enough seats as all the lounges and gates are overcrowded with passengers. Of course, the passengers cannot be blamed for this. I myself was not in business or first class this journey and I had a layover from 12am to 9am. Most of the time, I was working, but eventually, my laptop needed charge and barely any ports worked which was disappointing. So do keep in mind that if you have an overnight layover, space is definitely going to be tight. But if you are in first and business class, then there is no issue. A few years ago I had a 10 hour layover while traveling in business class on EK. I spent 8 out of those 10 hours in the lounge. It is big enough and comfortable enough that you can spend all your time there. There is also a lot to do there, so that takes care of that issue. But if not first or business class, brace yourself.

DXB’s new security for US-Bound Flights

Another big aspect of this review is the security process for US-bound flights.

Here is how it goes:

There is the general boarding pass check at every gate, regardless of where in the world you travel, and you go down the escalators. However at the bottoms of the escalators when you turn around to go to the seating area, that is what varies. There are about 5 lanes set up with makeshift tables and officers to go through your items.

 

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Security

They ask you to take out all electronic devices and power them on.

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Security

They also have that machine, which I believe takes a piece of paper that the officers use to swab all your items and that piece of paper is accepted by the machine and it informs of explosive presence. I’m 90% sure this is what this device does. However, the technology behind it I have no idea, but it is very impressive. My relative had the infamous “SSSS” on their boarding pass, so she had an extra 10 minute wait that I did not have.

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explosive detector

Within 5 minutes I was done.

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Security

So in all, I like this much better than the painful Abu Dhabi pre-clearance facility.

But overall, the DXB terminal is well equipped with a lot of duty-free shops, very large first and business class lounges, lots of restaurants, and other amenities. However, it has some areas of improvement I see. Firstly, the overcrowding issue for economy class passengers is a problem. DXB should have more seating available for passengers with a long layover and also they should have a quicker way of getting to ends of terminals. But otherwise, it was a fun (and long) 9 hours, and I cannot wait to be back to DXB (hopefully not in economy). I hope you found good utility out of this review. The last review of this trip is coming soon. Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

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