Dubai - Emirates terminal

The wonder that is Dubai. Well I have been planning this post for two years. Yeah two years since I last was there. But didn't think it would be a fair post. Now after having transited through Bahrain's Manama, Qatar's Doha and Dubai's rival, Abu Dhabi I think I have the research required to post. And I'm not the standard traveller that just looks for the gates and shuttles from one flight to the other. When I travel I eat at the restaurants, drink at the cafe's, shop for perfumes, chocolates and well keep shopping some more. I walk through the entire lengths of terminals no matter how tired I am. That's because airport transits are now like mini cities especially in the Middle east. And I probably won't transit through anywhere else unless its Singapore or Hong Kong.
I have been on long haul and short haul flights through here. Just for the record, if you're on a long haul flight do pick Qatar airways and Etihad for in- flight services. I have been on twelve and sixteen hour routes and these two give you the best service. Emirates is good on the short haul.

Dubai fountain with live fish

The terminal- has the wow factor
Dubai has a train that runs between A and B. B and C gates are clubbed together. The restaurants are largely the same all over, but the fast food joints are different across the terminals. Basically the shopping that is available at the C gates is the same for B gates. So if you have walked the length at one end don't bother at the other end.
Seating dubai
Also at Dubai if you are changing planes make sure you have a transit time of 3 hours minimum to ensure your baggage gets transferred and so do you, in time. There's staff at peak hours to direct you to your gate and routinely you will find people running to catch their connections. Its fun to watch especially if they're wearing a national costume.
The shopping I would say in Dubai is expensive and has no offers unlike other places. They usually charge MRP and you swipe your boarding pass before you pay. They accept card and they have currency exchangers, but USD works best especially if you want to make change.
Dubai's dedicated Emirates terminal is visually appealing and its like a piece of architecture, with its lovely elevators and giant wall waterfall, fountains and live fish. Plus you will be entertained, make new friends and the wifi is free + fast. They also have clean toilets if you're smart enough to find the less crowded ones like on the ground floor at A or just after transfers. Don't fall asleep here, gates change all the time. Keep your ears open while you stuff yourself. Somehow my other pics of the waterfall and musical lifts won't upload. Shame

Abu dhabi
Abu Dhabi has centralized shopping for all its terminals. That means that wherever you are you have to go down to the central portion under the beautiful green dome and shop there. Its got greater variety than Dubai according to me. However its long walking to get to the shopping from the terminals and they have very limited seating. Its like you better not sit while you catch your flight. Also Etihad transfers are crazy long. It took me like an hour long in a very shoddy queue to transfer, what would be better is that you insist on collecting all boarding cards for onward flights from your primary destination. The toilets are always crowded and we could do with more. The food is just meh with McDonald's but you don't have a choice of dining like you would at Dubai. Their wifi is super duper slow.

Doha busy
Doha is the best if you want to shop. They have offers on everything and I'm not talking about the car.On popular stuff they have deep discounts and its good stuff. Most of it is made in UK(also at the other duty free in Dubai ad Abu dhabi). If I was buying stuff anywhere else it would be made in China or somewhere else(I don't have anything against them but people think I was a fraud and could get that at my superstore in Mumbai.) They have a centralized shopping area which is packed. You now know why.  The toilets are crowded. Since I was too busy shopping, I didn't have time for wifi. But they don't have much eating choices. More cafes though. Seating is ample. Also you can get to your flights in time since nothing here is too far. So even shorter transits are great.

Its been over ten years since I got through Manama and will not comment because they are not long distance carriers but for short flights, service is great in flight for Gulf air.

So depending on what you like make your choice as you transit, it can be great fun if you allow yourself to enjoy the brief go through.

Song on my playlist: Nos Couleurs by Cheb mami
Movie I recommend: The company we keep


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