5 December, 2017
Layover Survival Guide: What to Do in Dubai International Airport
Layover Survival Guide: What to Do in Dubai International Airport

Layover Survival Guide: What to Do in Dubai International Airport

5 December, 2017
Layover Survival Guide: What to Do in Dubai International Airport

Delayed in Dubai?


Heading home for the holidays often means enduring a stopover or two and, for those en route to Europe or the U.K., odds are that your layover will be spent in Dubai International Airport. Worried you’ll be bored? It’s more likely you’ll be spoilt for choice – luckily for you, we’ve scoped out the top things to do in order to ensure that you’re entertained and occupied from the second you touch down at DXB ‘til the moment you board your connecting flight. Scroll through to check out our top picks so that you can shop, dine and even snooze your way through your next layover.

Read more: Layover Survival Guide: What to do in Singapore Changi International Airport

Where to Eat and Drink:

As one of the world’s top international airports, it’s no surprise that the dining options include everything from super luxe restaurants to familiar favourites.



The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck

Much to the delight of hungry travellers everywhere, global fine dining favourite Wolfgang Puck set up shop in Terminal 1. Serving a more casual take on his usual haute cuisine, you’re guaranteed a superb meal regardless of when you dine, and the chic décor doesn’t hurt either. In a hurry? Head straight for the deli counter to grab a gourmet bite to go.

 The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck, Gate D, Terminal 1

Jones the Grocer

Much-loved Australian export Jones the Grocer prides itself on serving fresh, simple and delicious food. Whether you’re craving a gourmet sandwich, a freshly-baked muffin or a quality cappuccino, you’ll have no problem finding exactly what you need here.

Jones the Grocer, Gate B, Terminal 3


Caviar House & Prunier

Why wait until Christmas to treat yourself? At this rather unique airport dining establishment, treat yourself to a luxe dining experience and indulge in some of the finest caviar in the world. All dishes are freshly prepared before the guests, resulting in a one-of-a-kind and truly gourmet experience. Whether you fancy yourself to be a bit of a gourmand or simply just want to have a  luxurious meal, be sure to visit this caviar bar before you hop onto your next flight.

Caviar House & Prunier, Gate B, Terminal 3
Caviar House & Prunier, Gate D (Upper Floor), Terminal 1



Make a beeline for Shawarmanji if you’re keen for a quality, Middle Eastern feed! So much more than just a post-night out meal, the hearty shawarma is a filling and authentic taste of Beirut that is sure to satisfy any mid-transit tummy rumbles.

Shawarmanji, Gate C, Terminal 1
Shawarmanji, Gate D, Terminal 1


Never underestimate the power of a really, really good pizza. Regardless of how jetlagged or exhausted you are, with its promise of quality ingredients and authentic slices, we’re sure Rossovivo will hit the spot and make you feel good as new.

Rossovivo, Gate B, Terminal 3



Need a caffeine kick? No shortage of options here; at DXB, you’ll find everything from multinational giants like Starbucks and Costa to smaller coffee shops like Jones the Grocer, which specialises in artisan coffee. Whether you desperately need your daily cuppa or you’re just trying to stay awake, you have plenty of cafés to choose from.

Starbucks, Various locations across Terminals 1 & 2 and Gates A, B, C and D.

Costa, Various locations across Terminals 1, 2 and 3.

Caffè Nero, Gate B, Terminal 3

Jones the Grocer, Gate B, Terminal 3

Quick Bites:


Shake Shack

Fancy a burger? The popular U.S. burger chain Shake Shack has set up shop in DXB’s Terminal 3, and with their fresh, quality ingredients, you’ll find it hard to resist stopping by before your next flight. Take your pick from its extensive burger and hotdog menu, and don’t forget to grab a shake or a frozen custard before you board!

Shake Shack, Concourse A, Terminal 1


Even if you’re stopping in Dubai on your way back to the U.K., you can always rely on Prêt for a quality bite to eat! Whether you’re after a quick grab-and-go nibble and some tasty in-flight snacks (after all, who doesn’t love a good chia pot or brownie bar?) or looking to relax with a hot cup of organic coffee, pop by Prêt before you hop onto your connecting flight.

Prêt a Manger, Concourse D, Terminal 1


On the hunt for a super-quick bite before you fly? Picnic’s got you sorted. Proof that fast food needn’t compromise when it comes to quality, Picnic is perfect for a speedy meal to eat on-the-go or even after you board your next flight.

Picnic, Gate A, Terminal 3



Known around the world for its famously indulgent cinnamon rolls, be sure to stop by Cinnabon to satisfy any sugary cravings. From bite-sized mini rolls to the ‘center of the roll’ (literally just an entire serving of the best, most gooey part of the roll – the middle!), we guarantee that picking your poison at Cinnabon is going to be harder than picking gifts for everyone on your Christmas list. But still, go on – you deserve it.

Cinnabon, Gate C, Terminal 1 


If you lose track of time when you’re wandering (see: shopping) around Dubai Airport’s seriously expansive Duty Free complex or you’re simply starving and in a hurry, fear not: Deliveroo is here to save the day! Recently implemented this year, DeliverooDXB will deliver your meal of choice directly to your boarding gate. All you need is the app – too easy!



Shop ’til you Drop

Shopaholics everywhere, rejoice! Dubai Airport’s seriously expansive Duty Free is a shopper’s paradise with something for absolutely everyone. Whether you’re stocking up on last-minute gifts for loved ones or treating yourself to a healthy dose of well-deserved retail therapy. From high fashion favourites to all of your tech and beauty needs, you could easily spend several hours wandering around DXB’s Duty Free and shop to your heart’s content.

After a really authentic, local purchase? For a truly luxurious souvenir or gift, head to the jewellery sections of DXB’s Duty Free shops to buy gold jewellery at competitive market prices.


Zen Garden

Can’t stand the hustle and bustle of airports? We feel you – the Zen Garden provides a welcomed escape from hectic crowds and a perfect way to reorganise your thoughts after you check-in. A particularly useful sanctuary for anxious travellers, the natural surroundings are absolutely ideal for seeking a bit of peace and quiet before you board your next flight. Sound like something you need? Make sure you head to Terminal 3 and get your zen on.

Zen Garden, Gates B7-27, Terminal 3


Unusual? Yes. Worthwhile? Totally! Dubai Airport’s concert series has featured international heavy-hitters and also championed local up-and-comers alike, and the best part? It’s free! Rocking out at a concert isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think ‘layover’, but if you’re keen for a truly unique airport experience, be sure to check the Facebook page before you touch down in DXB – you never know who you might catch!

#musicDXB Stage, Gate B, Terminal 3, www.dubaiairports.ae/music-dxb


Health Club

Squeeze in a quick workout and get your blood pumping again after a long flight! Conveniently located within the Dubai International Hotel in Terminal Three and with everything from a fully-equipped gym to a swimming pool, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Even just one hour of exercise can do wonders for your mind and muscles after a long-haul flight, so head to the Health Club and work up a sweat!

Health Club, Concourses A, B & C, Terminal 3, www.dubaiintlhotels.com/hotel/facilities


Treat yourself

There’s nothing like a manicure and a massage to help you feel brand new after a draining 12-hour flight- we want to make sure we look and feel fabulous for the hectic holiday season. Take your pick from Xpress Spa, Be Relax and the Timeless Spa (in the Dubai International Hotel) and splash out on some pampering treatments to make sure you look flawless when you arrive at your next destination.

Xpress Spa, Terminal 3, Concourse B,  www.xpresspa.com

Be Relax, Gate D at Terminal 1 and Gates A, B and C at Terminal 3, www.berelax.com

Timeless Spa, Dubai International Hotel, Terminal 3, www.dubaiintlhotels.com/spa


Catch Some Z’s

Everyone needs beauty sleep, especially after a long-haul flight! Book an igloo at the Sleep ‘n Fly Lounge in Terminal Three or a Snooze Cube in Terminal One to ensure that you’re well-rested (and hopefully even jetlag-free) for both your connecting flight and upcoming trip. To make things even more seamless and stress-free, you can book pods/cabins at both facilities in advance.

Sleep ‘n Fly Lounge, Opposite Gate A1, Concourse A, Terminal 3. Book here.

Snooze Cubes, Opposite Gate D7, Concourse D, Terminal 1. Book here.

If you have more than 5 hours to spare…


Time to kill? You can take your pick from the aforementioned choices, stay overnight in the luxury hotel in Terminal Three and even take a mini-tour of Dubai! The Dubai Metro has lines conveniently connecting Terminals One and Three to the city centre, as well as bus stops at all three terminals, making it more than possible to visit the city and take a whirlwind tour of Dubai’s most famous attractions.

The baggage storage option in Terminals One and Three make it easy for you to go out and explore the buzzing metropolis of Dubai if you have several hours to spare before your next flight; just purchase a Nol card and you’re good to go! For more information on transport to and from the airport, see here.

Dubai International Hotel, Terminal Three, www.dubaiintlhotels.com

Read more: Sassy’s Dubai Travel Guide for First-Time Visitors


Feature image credited to Camilacoelho sourced via Pinterest, image #1 courtesy of Dubai Airports via Dubai Airports Connect, image #2 courtesy of Dubai Airports via Dubai Airports Connect, image #3 courtesy of Dubai Airports via Dubai Airports Connect, image #4 courtesy of Pexels, image #5 courtesy of Shake Shack, image #6 courtesy of Cinnabon via Facebook, image #7 courtesy of Dubai Airports via Dubai Airports Connect, image #8 courtesy of Dubai Airports via Dubai Airports Connect, image #9 courtesy of Dubai Airports via Dubai Airports Connect, image #10 courtesy of Dubai Airports via Dubai Airports Connect, image #11 courtesy of Dubai Airports via Dubai Airports Connect, image #12 via Pexels

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