After almost 7 hours of flight, watched Lara Craft movie, taken a few hours of sleep and rearranged my trip for Ireland trip, at last I have arrived at the Dubai International Airport at around 11 pm. I have a layover of 8 hours before boarding my next flight to Dublin. I had intended to fly on Emirates Airline so they can get me here to explore here.
So to keep myself occupy for the next few hours, I decided to cover as many ground as possible to see how impressive the huge airport can it be. I had watched a couple episode of “Ultimate Airport Dubai” in National Geographic Channel, knowing some 2,000 ground staff working around the clock to manage such place covering 2,900 hectares of land. Yet, I still have to see it with my very own eyes for its possibilities.
Dubai is named the world’s busiest airport in term of international passenger traffic. An estimate 7,700 flights operated by 140 airlines depart and arrive here from 270 destinations around the globe. Meaning to said there is 1,100 flights per day and one flight flying in or out of Dubai every 1 or 2 minutes. That was a big ‘WOW’ and it comes no surprise why airplanes need to queue for awhile before the pilots can park at the aerobridge area or wait for take-off in the runways.
Here also lies the world’s highest number of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s operating on its two runways. It can handled 88 million passengers, 2.65 million tonnes of cargo and registered more than 400,000 air traffic movement.
Once enter into Concourse B of the terminal, there is English signages to direct visitors to re-enter the security checkpoint for screening. Afterward, we need to go up another three floors before getting to the waiting lounge and the retails shops.
You wouldn’t believe if I say I am now standing into the largest airport terminal and building in the world in term of floor space of 1,713,000 m2 . This massive multi-level structure has a total of 10 floors- 4 basements, 1 ground floor and 5 above ground floor. This terminal has 32 gates, labeling B1-B32.
There is an area of 120,000m2 of retail space with its Dubai Duty Free shops and department shops selling dozens of international branded handbags, watches, perfumes, travel bags, clothes, jewelries as well souvenirs and candies.
As it hits midnight, my stomach started to growl and wander where and what type of food to look for. 18 restaurants and cafes are available for visitors to choose, including Asian food, Japanese food, Western food, Starbucks and McDonald’s. So much choices that it took me 20 minutes to decide which place to eat and finally dine in for its Beef Burger at ‘Shake Shack’. Restaurants and shops here do accept international credit cards, so I do not need to change their local currency to purchase, makes travel so such easier.
After having dinner, I continued to make my way towards the lifts which lead me to the lower basement, 4 floors below to take the automated passenger mover to Concourse A. It comes very frequently and it only need to wait for 2-3 minutes.
Concourse A turn out to be more happening than Concourse B. The immigration counters are located here, which probably the reason why there are more people here. There is a 5-star Dubai International Hotel and another 4-star hotel with 300 rooms and health club as well as a budget hotel. The airport also provide other facilities to keep passengers in comfort such as spa clubs and rest areas and kid zones to keep children entertained.
As time passed after 3-hours of sleep, finally the boarding gate is open. It is around 6 a.m. and the sun is already shining. Well, I do not stay in their luxurious hotels or budget hotel (cost AED85 per hour at night!), instead I slept on the big comfy seat near the boarding point. Yup, manage to sleep through the night and hope I would not have any jet lag. Feel with excitement, I am so looking toward for my first solo Eurotrip.
- The terminals are so large, so make sure it allows at least more than 1 hour to transit and need a lot of walking.
- If you flying on Emirates Airline and need to transit, it is a good idea to check which gate of departure on your next flight in Emirates in-flight entertainment screen which show the next destination, departure time and gate within the next 4 hours. It help you save a lot of time and trouble.
- International credit cards are accepted in its Duty Free shops and restaurants. Do not necessary go and change or bring their currency when travel to other destination.