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Leaving Dubai airport during layover (under 8 hours).

London, United...
2 posts
Leaving Dubai airport during layover (under 8 hours).

I have a layover of 7hrs15mins in Dubai next week and I'd like to leave the airport to visit friends but have received conflicting advice from Emirates on whether this is possible.

I was first told I could not leave the airport if my layover is under 8hrs due to Dubai immigration laws. However, on another occasion I was told that there's no problem in leaving the airport, although it's at my own risk.

Does anyone have any knowledge or experience in this area?

Thank you!

127 replies to this topic
newcastle upon tyne
Level Contributor
13,474 posts
169 reviews
1. Re: Leaving Dubai airport during layover (under 8 hours).

If you have an English passport, then yes, you can leave the airport. I am very surprised Emirates told you that you couldn't.

Obviously you have to be back in time to catch your next flight

Staffordshire...
Destination Expert
for Staffordshire
Level Contributor
18,834 posts
24 reviews
2. Re: Leaving Dubai airport during layover (under 8 hours).

As said yes you can leave the airport although it doesn't give you lots of time. Many people leave it to sightsee.

Dubai, United Arab...
Level Contributor
338 posts
100 reviews
3. Re: Leaving Dubai airport during layover (under 8 hours).

What's the timing for your layover? Dubai airport has some peak hours for planes arriving at the airport and departing, so you really wouldn't want to be caught in this; as the immigration will take time as will be the departure from Dubai.

And if you have friends who will pick you up from the airport, then that's a bonus save since you won't have to wait in the queue for a cab and have them take you around.

Are you just meeting friends or are you intending to see some sights too? Perhaps if you share your schedule, people on the forum might be able to help you plan it.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Dubai, Chiang Mai
Level Contributor
11,967 posts
77 reviews
4. Re: Leaving Dubai airport during layover (under 8 hours).

I doubt if you have an 'English' passport since such things don't exist - yet.

You have lots of time to leave the airport and get back. No need to spend all those hours there.

DxB
Destination Expert
for Dubai
Level Contributor
4,600 posts
261 reviews
5. Re: Leaving Dubai airport during layover (under 8 hours).

You may 'queue' for a cab at the airport, but there's literally an endless stream of taxis. It's just a matter of people before you getting into their taxi. There are 2-3 lanes of taxis operating simultaneously, it's very organized and efficient.

Dubai, United Arab...
Level Contributor
10,952 posts
26 reviews
6. Re: Leaving Dubai airport during layover (under 8 hours).

With the runway refurbishment there are less aircraft landing at DXB, hence the queues are shorter. However, I would calculate around an hour to leave the airport. And you should be back around 2 hours before your flight leaves. That leaves you with roughly 4 hours (incl. transfers).

London, United...
2 posts
7. Re: Leaving Dubai airport during layover (under 8 hours).

Thanks everyone - it all went very smoothly and I had a lovely, but brief visit to Dubai!

Perth, Australia
3 posts
1 review
8. Re: Leaving Dubai airport during layover (under 8 hours).

sekings28 could you please explain the procedure for transit passengers leaving Dubai Airport. Do you simply complete the usual immigration and customs forms or are there forms specific to transit passengers? Do you need to apply for a transit visa, is a fee payable, is there any restriction on re-entry to the airport, etc?

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Dubai, Chiang Mai
Level Contributor
11,967 posts
77 reviews
9. Re: Leaving Dubai airport during layover (under 8 hours).

For people who get a free visa on arrival then you just leave the airport as normal and return as normal. No need for any forms, no fee, no restrictions on return or anything like that. All perfectly straightforward and stress-free.

See here for who is eligible for a free VOA: emirates.com/english/…uae_visas.aspx

(Holders of Australian passports get a free VOA.)

DxB
Destination Expert
for Dubai
Level Contributor
4,600 posts
261 reviews
10. Re: Leaving Dubai airport during layover (under 8 hours).

As above, the process is seamless and there are no forms or fees for holders of eligible passports.

Just have your passport and boarding pass for the next leg of your trip handy. Follow the signs to arrivals (not transit), clear immigration (may queue here) and customs (you won't even notice), then exit the airport. Taxis are right outside by Exits 1 and 2.

On the way back, you re-enter the airport (from departures level) and head straight to passport control, security and on to your respective gate.

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