The one downside of the end of the year? Everyone wants to make a holiday of it, meaning that the country’s airports are stretched to capacity.

There’s nothing more frustrating than hours of queuing and traffic jams en route, but that’s what is forecast for Dubai International Airport at the start of next week.

Not only will many be jetting out for a New Year’s break, but those who spent Christmas abroad will be returning to the office, meaning heavy traffic in both arrivals and departures.

The first three days of January are predicted to be the busiest, according to Emirates, which estimates 250,000 passengers will pass through the airline’s concourses and Terminal 3 in those 72 hours.

Monday January 2 is forecast to be the busiest day of all, with 87,000 travellers moving through the terminal.

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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.

– 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.

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– 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.

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