Midnight to morning at Dubai Airport
May 27, 2011 2:06 PM   Subscribe

Suggest me things to do when arriving in Dubai Airport at midnight for 9 hours please! I'll be taking a 7-hours flight from Glasgow to Dubai, arriving at almost 1 am. This is followed by another 7-hours flight from Dubai to Singapore at 9:30 am. What should I do to pass the time? Should I even try to leave the airport and go to the city?

To elaborate more, I had checked with Emirates and it turned out even though the transit time is more than 8 hours, I would not receive any complementary hotel stay because there is an earlier flight departing to the same destination before the one I'd selected.

I'd passed Dubai Airport previously but on earlier timing and shorter transit time, so at least I know what to expect. I'm slightly concerned about the safety of spending a whole night while sleeping on one of the reclining seats around the airport. I've read horror stories about people who felt asleep there and woke up realizing that their bags got snatched by thiefs. How safe is the airport at night ? I've also looked at business lounges like the Marhaba Lounge, is it worth spending the money to be inside? Suggestions of things to do at the airport would be appreciated as well, thank you!

For the option of going to the city, I'd be traveling alone and light so I would be pretty mobile. However, I do not get free visa-on-arrival so if I decided to leave the airport, then I need to apply for the visa now. But is there anything worth seeing in the city between 1 am to 930 am ? Is it even safe to be out in the city at that time ?
posted by joewandy to Travel & Transportation around Dubai, UAE (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Dubai International Hotel is in Terminal 3, and that's what I'd recommend.
posted by cyndigo at 2:16 PM on May 27, 2011

The airport is safe, I've never heard of anyone having something stolen there. I always see a lot of people sleeping there, it doesn't look to comfortable. The Marhaba lounge is nice.

The airport is pretty much in the city, unfortunately the Metro doesn't run at night or you could use that to travel. The city is safe at night. Depending on the day of the week, there may not be very much to do apart from night clubs during those hours though.

Neither the Burj Khalifa/Dubai observation deck nor the large malls (which are what most people go to see) are open that late. I can't think of anything really unique to see at that time of night to be honest.
posted by atrazine at 2:27 PM on May 27, 2011

I'd say stay at the Marhaba lounge, but bring an iPad/iPhone/mp3 player/some DVDs and a player/books with you to pass the time. You'll probably be a bit tired, so see if you can't use the time to rest.
posted by joyeuxamelie at 5:23 PM on May 27, 2011

It's a strange enough place that I would get a cab to take me around for 45 minutes or so, maybe stop for a few minutes near the Burj Khalifa. That plus a meal or beverage and time in the above-mentioned lounge makes some sense... unless you want to see one of Dubai's dark undersides, which would involve doing a little online research, checking out one of the clubs that has a surreal number of prostitutes.
posted by ambient2 at 12:38 AM on May 28, 2011

I don't think the Marhaba lounge is particularly comfortable. It's calmer, it has "free" food and booze (after you've paid to get in), and there's some security bonus that you can probably fall asleep without worrying about your bags there. But the chairs are not at all conducive to getting any sleep. Also, the wifi there is pretty weak, or was on the day when I was there in February.

All that said, in the middle of the night, it's not a bad spot to pass eight hours or so.
posted by Pseudonaut at 9:15 AM on May 28, 2011

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