Ok, there has been alot of confusion about the Dubai Connect program, i recently went through it so here is how to do it for the travelers. I am just sharing my experience and i do not take any responsibility of any procedural change, this is strictly my experience and i do not work at Emirates or Dubai Airport.
First of all, you can not opt for it if you want it; the system will let you know whether you are illegible for it or now, either booking from the website or through your travel agent. Following are few requirements for this program:
- You need to be above 18 years old, if you are not you must be with someone that is 18 years old and has the same Dubai connect offer.
- You can avail this in Dubai only, and your connecting flight time is greater than 8 hours for Economy class and 6 hours for Business class and less than 24 hours.
You don’t need any special documents except for those you usually carry for international travel. Ok so how it works.
At your Origin Airport
At your departure airport you will be handed over three extra cards in addition to your boarding Passes, two will be hotel vouchers while one will be your Dubai Connect voucher for immigration. Make sure to collect your boarding pass for your next flight as well this is important.
At Dubai Airport
At Dubai airport you need to follow the Arrivals/Baggage Claim boards, as soon as you do gown the last escalators before the visa officers counters you will see a Dubai Connect Info on your left, you do not need to visit them if you already have the Dubai connect vouchers. Right next to the Dubai Connect Info you will see Emirates Exchange NBD you need to go there and they will stamp your voucher for a 120 AED valued transit visa. You do not need to pay any money here.
You then need to proceed to immigration officers and pass the immigration. Usually the lines are big and the immigration officers try to be as fast as it can but you can imagine the number of flights landing at Dubai Airports and the traffic it gets. You will clear immigration where your eyes will be scanned and sometime a few questions from the officer about your next journey. Note that you do not need to collect your checked-in baggage as it will be checked in through to your final destination airport. You then need to go to Exit one and find the hotel counter (its little far on the left side as soon as you exit the airport door, so keep calm and keep walking to far end) also need to clear customs before exit, if you are economy you will be staying in Copthorne Hotel Dubai which is just an okey hotel. The airport shuttle will take you to your hotel and you need to present your hotel voucher and they will check you in. The shuttle leaves every 15 minutes so its okey if you miss one you can always hop on the next one. Once you check-in, you will realize you are not alone and there are many people like you. Its good time to make new friends.
You will need to present your Boarding Pass for next flight to get any meals in the hotel, you dont get any special treatments, if there is a time for breakfast, lunch or dinner you can avail it. If you order anything aside from it you get charged.
The hotel doesn’t have free internet and prices of internet are ridiculous. this is how the hotel room looks like.
The hotel usually gives a wake up call 2.5 hours before your flight time and you can leave at 2.0 hours before your flight, how ever this is upto you can take any departure shuttle based on your experience of the time you need it at airport.
There are few malls near by, the hotel doesn’t serve any alcoholic drink you need to go to a hotel about 5 mins walk to avail any alcoholic beverages. You can take quick shower in the room or rest. Which i think is a great courtesy by Emirates to let you stay in hotel room. One thing always carry some clothes in your carry on luggage because you know you can have your checked-in baggage in Dubai Connect. Overall the experience is smooth.
Feel free to let me know anything in the comments below.