Dubai Travel Guide

First- and business-class passengers on Emirates have access to separate, lavish lounges in T3, with mini-spa treatments from Timeless Spas, the signature spa of Emirates Hotel and Resort. Treatments are free for first-class passengers.

An ever-changing selection of cars and motorbikes gets raffled off to passengers willing to shell out $139 for a ticket in the Finest Surprise raffle, which has been going on here since 1988.

Located inside the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai is the world’s largest indoor ski slope. This unique attraction allows tourists and snow-deprived Dubai natives to ski on five runs of varying levels of difficulty, ensuring that even novice skiers can get in on the fun.

The Burj Khalifa, also referred to as the Burj Dubai, is one of the city’s most recognizable structures and the tallest building in the world. The 160-story skyscraper rises 2,716.5 feet and has the world’s highest outdoor observation deck, located on level 124.

Because Terminal 1 is so crowded, finding a place to sit can be difficult unless you gain access to a lounge (or stake out a seat in McDonald’s, Starbucks, or one of the other dime-a-dozen food-court outposts). The new Zen Gardens is a good, free place to sit unmolested and read.

Right across from the hotel’s reception area, Wing’s bar is one of the lesser-known oases in the airport (i.e., it is often quiet and seating is easier to find).


XVA, an art gallery owned by Mona Hauser, is located in the Bastakiya district and focuses on Middle Eastern and Islamic art. The gallery hosts rotating exhibits from artists based throughout the region, including Arezu, Mohsen Ahmadvand, and Simeen Farhat.

Make your way to one of the two “quiet lounges,” which are essentially rows of recliners placed close together on either side of the Sheikh Rashid Terminal. They’re free and hard to get, so if you can snag one, get over your need for privacy. “Quiet,” however, is a bit of a misnomer.

It’s rare that we recommend visiting an airport’s tourism kiosk, but the DTCM is actually worth seeking out. Staffed by the nicest people in the airport (all fluent in English), it functions less as a hotel and day-trip listing facility than it does as a full-fledged concierge desk.

Five Green is the first United Arab Emirates concept store devoted to urban street-wear and art sourced from all over the world. This concept store-gallery holds cutting-edge art shows and performances as well.

The "sheikh of chic" of Kuwait, Majed al-Sabah, enters the Dubai scene with his trademark luxury shopping destination in the Jumeirah Emirates Towers.

One of the best places to escape the maddening airport crowds is this expensive and lavish reception and service center for VIPs—or those willing to pay (about $500 per person) to be a VIP for the day. Reserve at least 24 hours in advance to stake your place among only 150 people.

With the opening of Terminal 3 in October 2008, the airport’s retail operations—all controlled by Dubai Duty Free—doubled to 160,000 square feet of shops. You can easily while away the hours of your stopover here.

Located off Sheikh Zayed Road in the Al Quoz district, The Third Line gallery displays and promotes regional and Islamic art from artists throughout the Middle East. Featured artists have included Abbas Akhavan, Rana Begum, and Shirin Aliabadi.