Heading out of DXB? Then read this first…

The one downside of a long weekend? Everyone wants to make a holiday of it.

That means the UAE’s airports will be busier than usual, with Emirates estimating more than 113,000 passengers will travel through Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 over the National Day weekend between November 29 and December 3.

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The busiest day will likely be Thursday 20 November, the Dubai-based airline predicts, with almost 35,000 passengers set to make their way to Terminal 3 for their departures.

So, to counteract queues, Emirates is recommending that passengers arrive at least three hours before their departure time to make sure they don’t miss their flight.

(There are also roadworks around DXB at the moment that could cause some delays).

dubai international airport

Think the three-hour rule only applies to those flying long-haul? Not at all – you can check in on Emirates flights up to six hours before departure (and you shouldn’t check in later than 90 minutes before, whatever class you’re flying).

At the counter less than 60 minutes before you’re due to take off? Sorry, you won’t be allowed onboard.

If you’d rather check in online (hey, it’s worth it for the peace of mind), you can do so 48 hours before the plane’s due to leave – or you might be able to avoid queues at Emirates’ check-in counters in the car park.

If you’re travelling as a family, Emirates have designated 20 economy check-in counters at Terminal 3’s area 2, to help ease congestion.

If you are booked in for a flight around the busy periods, you can try to make your travel experience as seamless as possible by following a few top tips…

– Try to arrive to the airport as early as possible. Around three hours prior to departure should be alright (and that’s what Emirates are recommending too).

– Think three hours is still risky? Well, you can physically check in at Terminal 3 as early as six hours before departure (and then get a heck of a lot of duty-free shopping done).

– Double check which terminal you’re flying from to avoid any last-minute disasters.

passport boarding pass

– If you are flying Emirates, the airline has car park check-in facilities which operate around the clock at DXB. There’s 16 counters where fliers can check-in and drop their luggage between 24 hours and six hours prior to departure.

– Can you check in online? That should shave off some time.

– Either remove all your liquids, aerosols and gels from your check-in baggage, or place them in a clear re-sealable plastic bag. Each item should be no larger than 100ml, with the combined total of all your items being no more than one litre.

– Prepare for the security screenings by removing all metal from your person beforehand. Take off your belt, hat, jacket in preparation, and be prepared to remove your laptop from its bag.

– Check in online if possible, it’ll save precious minutes at the airport.

– Make sure you’re there well ahead of 60 minutes before takeoff – if not, you won’t be allowed to check in.

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– Use your Emirates ID to get through the E-gates at arrival and departure, it should save you a lot of time out of immigration counter queues.

– Weigh your bags before leaving the house (and check your allowance), to avoid getting held up at check-in because you’re over your limit.

Stay entertained at the airport

So you’ve gotten to the airport super early in order to avoid the mayhem – well done you. Now you need to find some cool things to do to keep you sane, entertained and occupied. We’ve got you covered here with 12 amazing things you didn’t know you can do in Dubai airport.

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Image: Getty