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16 and 14 hour DXB Layovers…PH Dubai or International Terminal Hotel?
Ben (or anyone else out there with thoughts on it),
We have a couple of long layovers in DXB on a May 2016 Maldives trip. Inbound for 16.5 hours (noon to 4:25AM), and outbound for about 14.5 hours (12:15pm-2:45AM). I’m kicking around the idea of burning some GP points and booking space at the PH Dubai (for at least the longer of the two) so we can really relax in a bit of luxury, but I’m concerned that the transit time isn’t really sufficient to justify it…it feels like an odd “tweener” layover to me. Neither of us has been to Dubai, so part of me really wants to get out of the airport and see a little bit of the town, but the other part of me doesn’t want to feel super “rushed” heading into a 9 day Maldives vacation
Do you think a booking at the PH Dubai makes sense, or should we just stick with the hotel in the international terminal? FWIW, we will be arriving into DXB in F (on a Monday) and departing to MLE in J, and arriving from MLE in J (on a Thursday) and departing in F on the return, so we also have access to the EK lounges.
Also, with regard to visas and transit time of less than 24 hours, is it just as simple as getting a passport stamp at immigration on arrival if we wish to leave the airport, or will we need to arrange transit visas in advance (we are both traveling on US passports).
Your thoughts are much appreciated.
[USER=756]@BKT[/USER] — Welcome! For the longer layover, I would definitely get a hotel [I]somewhere[/I]. The Park Hyatt is nice, but you’re right that you might not get to enjoy many of the benefits. Depends on how many points you have versus cash, really.
For the shorter layover, I personally probably wouldn’t get a hotel, or only a very basic one. That’s the perfect amount of time to do a bit of exploring, have a nice dinner, and then head back to the EK F lounge.
Your layover times are actually perfect for heading out of the airport. Plenty to do in Dubai in the afternoons and evenings. Don’t bother with the airport hotel for something like this – it is best used for 8-10 hour overnight layovers – not something like you have described.
Thanks for the input Tiffany and Sean; I appreciate it.
Any thoughts on “must do” items in Dubai for these layovers? I’m definitely considering spoiling the lady with Afternoon Tea at At.mosphere Burj Khalifa after reading Tiffany’s review. Question on that: Assuming a noon-ish arrival at DXB, what time would you recommend making reservations for? We’ve never been to Dubai, so not real sure what to expect RE immigration waits and travel times into the city.
My usual itinerary for day trip visitors to Dubai would involve Dubai Mall including Burj Khalifa (you can do At.mosphere during this) and the fountain show. Depending on the weather and interests, a visit to the creek and an abra ride perhaps. No point venturing as far as the Marina or Palm unless you have specific reason to.
T3 immigration will be fine at the time of day you are arriving but departures may need a little extra time. But no more than 20-30 mins for the full departure experience including security, even at peak periods.