Half-term travel: Emirates expects more than half a million travellers at Dubai Airport

The airline says the busiest day for travel will be Friday and advises passengers to get to the airport four hours before flights

This weekend will be a busy one at Dubai International Airport as holidaymakers head off on their travels at the start of the UAE's half-term holidays.

Passengers leaving from Terminal 3 should aim to get to the airport at least four hours before their flight's departure time, says Emirates.

The Dubai airline is gearing up for a hectic few days with more than 190,000 travellers set to fly this weekend.

Passengers travelling on Friday can expect to be among the largest crowds at the airport, with traveller numbers reaching a peak on Friday morning.

Passenger traffic is expected to remain high until Thursday, October 28, said the airline.

Emirates is also getting set to fly more than 430,000 travellers into Dubai over the same period. With travel demand returning, tourists will be flying to Dubai in search of some winter sunshine and Expo 2020 Dubai is also attracting visitors from overseas.

The announcement follows a statement from Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE. On Tuesday, Etihad issued tips for half-term travellers flying in and out of the capital, citing a busy period at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Etihad also said that “given the significant increase in passenger numbers” travellers flying to Cairo on flight EY653, or to Riyadh on flight EY2317 on Friday, customers should check-in at Terminal 1, instead of Etihad’s Terminal 3.

John Wright, vice president global airports and network operations at Etihad, told The National: “Many of Abu Dhabi’s schools will be on their mid-term holiday next week and now that travel restrictions have eased, Etihad is experiencing an increase in demand. We’ve also added more flights to the Seychelles over the half-term week for holidaymakers planning to visit the Indian Ocean islands, which is further adding to the volume of our operation next week.

"We’re adding extra staff at the airport and will do everything we can to help make sure it’s a smooth travel experience for our guests. Travellers can help speed up the process at the airport by using Etihad’s Verified to Fly service to have their travel documents checked in advance, and we also recommend checking in online in advance and arriving early at the airport.”

What time do I need to be at Dubai airport?

Ahead of the coming busy period, Emirates is reminding travellers to check the latest travel requirements and entry rules for their destinations.

Check-in should be completed no later than three hours before departure time for both Economy and Business class travellers, however Emirates is advising passengers to get there four hours before their flight time.

Travellers arriving at Emirates' check-in desks less than 60 minutes before their scheduled flight time will not be allowed to travel.

Passengers can also use online check-in facilities. Emirates opens this for travellers from 48 hours to 90 minutes before flights. The airline reminds passengers using this service they will still need to visit check-in counters at the airport to verify their travel documents.

Self check-in desks and bag drop kiosks are also in operation at Terminal 3 to reduce waiting times. However, travellers flying to China, the US, Canada, India and Hong Kong cannot use these facilities.

After check-in, Emirates says that travellers should be at their gate at least 45 minutes before their flights, when boarding will commence. Gates open 90 minutes before departure time and close 20 minutes before flights are due to leave. Late travellers will not be accepted on to Emirates flights if they arrive after this time, even if they have successfully checked-in.

Updated: October 14th 2021, 3:29 PM