The great Christmas exodus is on, and Emirates have revealed they expect this weekend, December 14-17 to be the busiest weekend of the year at Dubai International Airport, with 307,000 people alone using Terminal 3.
And you know what that means? Traffic. Lots of it. Both human traffic at check-in, passport control and security, and on the roads approaching the airport.
The information was released this afternoon, giving everyone planning on leaving Dubai in the last few days leading up to Christmas plenty of warning to make contingency plans for the inevitable delays.
Emirates will have additional staff in place to help ease congestion, but the airline has advised people to allow plenty of time for all aspects of their trip, including arriving, parking and getting through to the plane.
As well as increasing staff numbers, Emirates have announced:
- Check-in will open six hours before departure for all flights
- Car park check-in is available from 24 hours before departure
- Double check the details. Are you flying from Terminal 1, 2 or 3?
- Customers who check in less than 60 minutes before their scheduled flight departure will not be accepted
- Special family areas will be created to help larger groups
- Make sure your hand luggage adheres to the rules regarding liquid, gels, lotions and aerosols (in containers no larger than 100ml). Also check out the official Emirates guidelines on cabin baggage.
- Customers who have checked in online are required to check in their luggage 90 minutes before departure
- Boarding begins 45 minutes prior to departure, and closes 20 minutes prior to departure
In 2014, Emirates handled more than 80,000 people on over 240 flights in just one day – December 19 – part of the busiest week ever for Dubai International Airport. Those numbers were up 24 per cent on 2013.
For those left behind, don’t worry, there is plenty to keep you busy of Christmas and New Year. Check out our definitive guide to Christmas in Dubai. Or how about this funny guide to trouble-free flying.