Emirates reveals 10 tips to help beat the summer travel rush at Dubai airport

The airline expects the peak season to begin on July 8, coinciding with Eid Al Adha and the UAE school holidays

Emirates is expecting a peak period of travel from July 8. The Dubai airline is urging travellers to be at the airport three hours ahead of flights and shared some time-saving travel tips. Photo: Karim Sahib / AFP
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With the start of the UAE school summer holidays and Eid Al Adha just around the corner, Emirates is predicting a very busy period at Dubai International Airport.

The airline said it expects more than 550,000 passengers to fly out of Dubai in June and July, on more than 2,400 scheduled weekly departures.

It has already urged travellers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before flights. Now, the airline has shared top tips for how travellers can help make their journey more seamless this summer.

Here's what you need to know.

1. Use the Emirates app

The Emirates app is an easy way for travellers to check their flight status, change flights, download boarding passes and more. It also allows passengers to request a change of seat, or pre-book a special meal but keep in mind there are cut-off times so be sure to do it promptly.

You can also use the app to see what in-flight entertainment will be on your flight, perfect for pre-planning movie marathons.

2. Stay up to date with Covid-19 requirements

Travellers should take note of ever-changing Covid-19 requirements at the destinations they are flying to and ensure they have the correct documents for travel. EPA

Face masks are still required on all Emirates flights and at Dubai International Airport so make sure you comply. Depending on your destination, there may be additional Covid-19 related rules in place so be sure to check these before you travel.

Some countries, such as Italy, only accept N-95 face masks so you'll want to stock up before you go while other destinations will need to see proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test result before passengers can board flights. Ensure you have all the required documents you need before travelling to the airport. You can see the latest information for your destination on Emirates Covid-19 hub.

3. Sign up for WhatsApp alerts

The ever-changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic means things can and do change frequently and rapidly. Sign up for Emirates’ WhatsApp Covid-19 travel support services to get the latest information on developments in the destination you’re flying to. This is updated daily by the airline’s customers service teams.

4. Coming from out of town? Check-in remotely

Travellers flying Emirates can check-in for flights at the remote facility in Ajman. Photo: Emirates

If you’re travelling from the Northern Emirates to Dubai for your flight, stop in Ajman where you can easily check-in for your flight away from the madness of the airport. Emirates' 24-hour City Check-in at Ajman Central Bus Terminal is available up to four hours before flight departure times. Once you’re checked in, you’ll be able to drop your baggage, collect your boarding pass and hop on the Dh20 bus to Terminal 3 where you can skip all of the airport queues and head directly to immigration.

5. Check-in online

All travellers can check-in online 48 hours before flight times using either the Emirates app or website. This should help to cut down on time at the airport where, depending on your destination, you can use the self-service machines to drop bags and download digital boarding passes and you're all set to go.

6. Drop your bags early

Do you like to plan ahead and arrive way before schedule? If so, take advantage of Emirates' early check-in facility at Terminal 3. You can check-in and drop off bags up to 24 hours before you fly, or 12 hours before flights if you're headed to the US or Tel Aviv. That leaves you hands-free on the day of your flight to breeze past check-in queues and head directly to immigration and security.

7. Drop bags from home

Check-in for flights from home. Photo: Emirates

From Dh177 for up to two bags, you can have someone come to you and pick up your luggage. The home service by DUBZ is available in Dubai and Sharjah and sees customer service agents come to your location to collect your bags.

If you book the service more than 24 hours before your flight, you can also then check-in at the airport up to six hours before flight departure times, giving you plenty of time to complete security checks and then do a little shopping or lounging. You can also add fast-track services to your booking allowing you to speed through immigration, with rates from Dh105.

8. Use the self check-in kiosks at the airport

If you’ve not checked in online, head to the Emirates self check-in kiosks in Terminal 3. The touchscreens, which can also be operated hands free using your mobile phone, let you view your itinerary, choose your seat and print your boarding pass for your upcoming flight. You can also drop bags here.

9. Take the Smart Tunnel

Dubai, 08, Oct, 2017 : Visitors take a look at the new Smart Tunnel at the  Dubai Naturalization and Residency stand during the  37th Gitex Technology Week at the World Trade Centre in Dubai. Satish Kumar / For the National

The Smart Tunnel at DXB is the world’s first airport biometric channel and lets passengers clear immigration using only their face. Travellers need to register for the service, but this can easily be done with a quick photo at the check-in desk. Once you’re in the system, you can check-in, clear immigration, access lounges (if applicable with your ticket) and board flights at selected gates purely via facial recognition.

10. Use the e-gates

If you’re a UAE citizen or resident, you can use your passport, boarding pass or valid UAE ID to use the Smart Gates at Terminal 3 to speed up immigration. These electronic gates can also be used by GCC nationals and anyone with a visa on arrival who has a biometric passport — check for the e-Passport symbol on the front cover of your passport to see if that’s you.

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