Currently, about 107 airlines take advantage of Dubai’s open skies policy, operating to and from over 220 destinations. Dubai International Airport’s three terminals are a 15 to 30 minute taxi ride apart, depending on the traffic, and there’s also a shuttle bus. All terminals offer car rental, hotel reservations and exchange services.

Most of the better-known airlines use Terminal 1, while Terminal 2 is used primarily by flydubai and airlines serving former Soviet countries and central Asia. Terminal 3, which opened in 2008, is the newest and most luxurious of the three and exclusively dedicated to Emirates Airlines. By comparison, Terminal 2 has limited facilities and, invariably, extensive queues, while both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 have a vast selection of drinking and dining venues, plus a large duty free shopping section.

For up-to-date flight information from Dubai International Airport, call 04 216 6666. In addition, Dubai International Airport’s Concourse D project is due to open in early 2015. 

All three terminals have both short and long-term parking facilities, as well as busy taxi ranks. There are metro stations at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 that any traveller can access. The stations are part of the Red Line, which runs throughout Deira, under the creek and along Sheikh Zayed Road all the way to Jabal Ali. Keep in mind that luggage larger than a large holdall or standard case is not permitted on the metro. Airport buses operate to and from the airport. Call 800 9090 or visit 

Dubai World Central
A second airport, Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International opened in 2011 for cargo flights. The airport, which is located at the Jabal Ali end of town, will eventually be the world’s largest, with five runways handling passenger flights too. Phase 2 of the airport opened for passenger traffic in October 2013, prior to hosting the Dubai Air Show in December 2013. Budget airline Wizz Air was the first to take off from the airport, flying to various European destinations, with new carriers due to be added throughout 2014. 

There’s an ever-increasing choice of budget airlines based in the UAE including Rotana Jet, flydubai and Air Arabia, each offering no-frills, cheap flights to a wide variety of international destinations. flydubai now offers business class seats that won’t break the bank. 

Other airlines include Etihad operating out of Abu Dhabi, low-cost carriers Air Arabia in Sharjah and flydubai in Dubai, and RAK Airways. Air Arabia offers a city terminal check-in at Lamcy Plaza. Rotana Jet, the UAE’s first domestic airline, connects Abu Dhabi with Al Ain, Fujairah and Sir Bani Yas Island for a reasonable fee. 
Abu Dhabi airport is a 90 minute drive from Dubai, and Sharjah airport is 45 minutes away. Etihad also runs its own private bus service, which is free for those with a boarding pass and makes the journey between Abu Dhabi International Airport and Dubai.


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