UAE holiday rush: Emirates gears up for busy travel week, urges passengers to check Covid requirements

Airline asks travellers to arrive early at airport for smoother journeys

Photo: File
Photo: File

By Web Desk

Published: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 11:29 AM

Last updated: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 1:10 PM

With the end of school term and the start of the holiday season, Dubai-based Emirates airline is expecting over 1.1 million passengers to pass through Terminal 3 at Dubai International during this busy travel period which will run through until 21 December.

This weekend will see a peak surge of close to 250,000 travellers departing from Terminal 3.

Arrive early at the airport

Photo: File
Photo: File

The airline is encouraging passengers to arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to their flight departure and ensure they have all the required documents for their destination before proceeding to the check-in desk.

To expedite their airport experience and ensure a smoother departure, passengers can choose to avoid the rush by physically checking-in 24 hours before their flight departure, drop off their bags and collect their boarding passes, using the 32 self-service bag drop machines and 16 check-in kiosks available at Terminal 3.

Travellers using the self-service kiosk must still complete their immigration formalities no later than 60 minutes before their flight departure.

Passengers can also opt to check in online up to 48 hours and until 90 minutes before their flight departure and download digital boarding passes on their mobile phones for select destinations.

People checking in less than 60 minutes before departure will not be accepted for travel.

To speed up the process even further, customers can also utilise Emirates' biometric path in Terminal 3 for a contactless journey from specific check-in desks, Emirates lounges and boarding gates.

The biometric path allows customers to complete immigration formalities and board their flights with virtually no document checks and queuing.


Gates open 90 minutes before departure

Photo: File
Photo: File

Once checked in, passengers are advised to ensure they arrive to their boarding gate on time. Gates open 90 minutes before departure, boarding starts 45 minutes before the flight and gates close 20 minutes before departure.

Emirates will not accept passengers reporting late to the boarding gate for travel. Check-in and gate closure timings will be strictly followed to ensure flights depart on schedule and to avoid the impact on operations.

Fully prepared to manage the surge

Photo: File
Photo: File

All Emirates and DXB touchpoints are fully prepared to manage the surge in holiday passenger traffic, with measures and protocols in place designed to enhance safety as customers move through Terminal 3.

Along with industry-leading contactless technologies and biometric journeys, Emirates customers can be assured that the airline and its partners have spared no effort to make the airport journey as safe and smooth as possible.


This includes robust and consistent cleaning protocols for high traffic areas such as seats and handrails, modern cleaning technologies for surfaces in Emirates' dedicated lounges keeping them germ free for longer, social distancing measures through floor markings, signage and airport employees safely managing the flow of passengers; hand sanitising stations as well as Plexiglas partitions throughout all Emirates check-in desks, amongst numerous other measures.

Covid-19 advisories for residents

Photo: File
Photo: File

The outbreak of the new coronavirus variant Omicron has resulted in fresh travel advisories by local authorities and airlines, impacting the UAE residents’ travel plans.

— Check travel regulations before flying

The UAE airlines continuously advise travellers to check the travel requirements of their destinations. It’s important to carry copies of Covid-19 vaccination certificates so that passengers can immediately submit them upon request by authorities of other countries. Download Al Hosn app which contains all the updated data about vaccinations.

— 7 African countries

From November 29, entry of travellers from seven African countries including South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique was suspended due to Omicron. This includes suspending entry of passengers who were in these seven countries 14 days before coming to the UAE.

— Get booster shots before you travel

For those UAE residents who plan to travel abroad, it’s highly recommended to receive booster shots. The National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) has advised residents aged 18-plus to receive the booster shot six months after taking the first two doses of Pfizer and Sputnik V.

However, UAE citizens, diplomatic missions, golden visa residency holders and official delegations are exempted from the travel restrictions from the seven countries. But people from the UAE can fly to these seven countries.

Health and safety

Photo: File
Photo: File

Emirates has introduced a comprehensive set of safety measures at every step of the customer journey.

The airline has also recently introduced contactless technology and scaled up its digital verification capabilities to provide its customers even more opportunities to utilise the IATA Travel Pass, which can now be used across 50 airports served by Emirates.

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