April is one of the busiest travel periods globally, with mid-term school holidays the time for lots of families to head up, up and away. And with Dubai being one of the world’s most attractive destinations for family holidays – it’s safe, easy to get around, full of incredible hotels and amazing attractions – it’s no wonder DXB is busy this time of the year. With this handy guide, get one step ahead of the crowds and make sure you and your gang find all the best things to do on your visit to Dubai International.
Place your order
First up, get organised. Plan in advance and you’ll be able to shop everywhere you want, and eat all the food, without having to move off those perfect seats right by your boarding gate. The DXB&more delivery service gives you access to the best of the airport, with Dubai Duty Free the one-stop-shop for all your gifts (and anything that doesn’t quite fit in that hold luggage) and restaurants such as Hard Rock Cafe, Jones The Grocer and Nutella Café featured. Currently available in Terminal 3, Concourse B and C, with collection points at various boarding gates and lounges, just visit dxbmore.com for inspiration and keep an eye out for the QR codes while you’re in the airport.
dxbmore.com Terminal 3, Concourse B and C.
Plan a stopover
Talking of being organised, if you’re on a multi-destination trip with the family, first of all, we feel you. Secondly, why not take the strain out of a long journey with a planned stopover at DXB to give everyone a chance to recharge before the next stage of your journey. Dubai International Hotel at DXB has the deal just for you this April with a discount of up to 25 percent off on the Family Room this month (the discount is already applied to rates listed online). This huge room has two interconnecting spacious bedrooms and two showers for all the comfort and convenience you need. If you order room service, try the special iftar set menu which includes a selection of traditional favourites such as fresh juices, laban, rose milk, dates, apricots, chicken and vegetable samosas, Arabic mixed grill, kunafeh and a fruit platter.
Terminal 3, Concourse B and C, dubaiintlhotels.com (04 505 2000).
Check in remotely
We like being organised, if you hadn’t noticed. We also like the smug feeling of walking straight through check-in to passport control at DXB. No special Time Out privileges if that’s what you’re thinking; you can do it, too. That’s right, you can now check in at home before you arrive at the airport. Use the DUBZ powered by dnata service if flying from Terminal 1 or 2, or check-in at home before you arrive with Emirates. Paperwork done and bags whisked away, it’s ideal for families and big groups. Enjoy the smugness (it won’t last long if you’re travelling with kids, let’s face it).
Watch the sports
Bond with family and friends – or even fellow travellers – as you watch your favourite teams play, with DXB’s various restaurants and bars making sure you don’t miss any of the sporting action while travelling. Throughout April and May, The Hangar (Terminal 3, Concourse B), Draft House (Terminal 1, Concourse D) and Jack’s Bar & Grill (Terminal 3, Concourse A), will be showing all the big games on multiple screens. Catch the final stages of the Europa League, Conference League and the Champions League, and also be in with the chance to win instant prizes. Just for being there.
Take some Time Out
Why not use your time at DXB for the chance to slope off for an express salon treatment or even a full-service massage? If you would like to get pampered, try out the jet lag relief therapy at Timeless Spa for a special price in April. Enjoy a 45-minute Swedish massage inclusive of shower and amenities throughout the month. If a good sweat and stretch is more likely to revive you, then take advantage of the airport gym at Dubai International Hotel. Your body (and mind) will thank you for it.
Dubai International Hotel, Terminal 3, Concourse B and C, timelessspa.co (04 505 9555).
Airport shopping has come a long way since Toblerone, a cheesy ‘I love this city’ t-shirt and a new perfume. You can do all your spring shopping at Dubai Duty Free, with your favourite items for less, and there are lots of unique buys available at DXB, from dedicated Dubai merchandise at DXB’s first Adidas store and limited edition items from Hard Rock Cafe, too. There’s also plenty at the luxury end of the spectrum, with two Dior boutiques, plus a Louis Vuitton store at Dubai Duty Free. It’s little wonder Dubai Duty Free was named Best Duty Free Shopping in the World by the Global Traveler Tested Reader Survey Awards for the 15th consecutive year.
Get your chocolate fix
April is the month everyone tends to go a bit bananas for chocolate. DXB has two top choices for chocoholics, Butler’s Chocolate Café (Concourse D, Terminal 1) and the Nutella Café (Concourse B, Terminal 3). At Butler’s, keep the gang quiet with a cup of liquid chocolate, a veritable hug in a mug, and at the Nutella Café, let them go mad for crepes oozing with hazelnutty chocolatey goodness. Oh, and don’t forget to grab some chocs to go at Candylicious (Terminal 3, Concourse B) to keep the energy levels up.
Taste local flavours
DXB is a global hub, but it’s also a great place to taste some local flavours. At The Daily DXB in Terminal 3, Concourse B, look out for some new dishes coming this month; a gluten free banana date loaf cake, dairy-free date smoothie, and a local favourite, milk cake. For those preferring something savoury, and seeking to pick up the ideal meal for iftar time, you can collect a Ramadan box including chicken kabsa, Arabic salad, dates, a fresh apple, laban and local water from outlets across the airport. You can get the same box with a vegetable biryani to replace the kabsa. Participating venues will offer these boxes 24 hours a day from April 2, with Comptoir Libanais, FIX, Tranzeet, Treehouse Juicery, S34 and Flour+Stone included.
Make the lounge your home
There are several airport lounges at DXB, all designed to make your journey seamless and stress-free. Take up residence in the Marhaba Lounges, available in every terminal, for an open buffet and drinks service, or in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, head to Dubai International Business Class Lounge and Dubai First Class Lounge. If you’re flying Emirates, make sure you have the Skywards membership and can access the airline’s luxurious lounges.
Sleep on the fly
Check into one of the sleep pods run by Sleep ’n Fly and book yourself a nap, by the minute or even for a few hours. There’s a choice of pods so you can tailor the perfect snooze. Whether you genuinely get a bit of shut eye, shut the kids inside for a bit of peace outside, or just do it for that Instagram story, this is well worth trying at least once.
Concourse C, Terminal 3; Concourse D, Terminal 1