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I have tickets that have me go via Dubai, giving me with around 2 hours transit time. I will be coming from Frankfurt to Dubai on Emirates EK046 and leaving on Emirates EK570. I don't know either the arrival gate or the next flight's departure gate. I only know that both will be in the same terminal, T3.

How large is this terminal and what is the maximum amount of time that it might take to get from one gate to another? Also, during the transit, is there a possibility that a bus/train needs to be taken?

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    Very manageable, and you should be fine as long as you're staying in T3. There's plenty of time. – George Y. Jan 1 '18 at 1:13
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EK046 is the daily A380 service between Frankfurt and Dubai. You will be arriving at Concourse A of Terminal 3. This is the dedicated area for A380 flights.

Your connecting flight EK570 is on a 777. This means you'll have to take the APM (the automatic people mover, ie. train) between Concourse A and Concourse B both of which are still in Terminal 3.

If you are quick, you can make this transfer in 45 minutes - but don't panic as the transit time shown on your ticket will be sufficient to meet your connection (assuming your incoming flight is not delayed unnecessarily).

The fastest transit I have ever booked was for an hour.

If you have less than 1 hour 15 minutes, I would personally caution against doing any shopping as it will easily eat up your time. Also note that the gate will close 20 minutes before the departure time of your flight.

Having personally done this A380 - 777 shift, here are some tips:

  1. It is quite a walk (be prepared by wearing comfortable shoes).

  2. You don't have to deal with much of a crowd, except at the initial security checkpoint. Remove belts (shoes you can leave on) and remove your laptop. Liquids are not allowed beyond this point, unless sealed in a clear bag. You don't have to remove your liquids from your luggage for separate screening (unless advised to do so, which will be after you have passed the metal detector).

  3. The elevators are automatic; and run in pairs of three (three to descend, then the next three will ascend). Take the elevators if there is not a crowd; the escalators and stairs will also get you down, but its quite a trek and takes longer.

  4. There is limited seating on the APM and during summer it will get hot as it passes outside.

  5. Once in the other terminal, you'll have to climb back up to the transit lounge. Again, take the elevator whenever possible.

  6. As soon as you arrive at the transit lounge of Concourse B (you'll know you've arrived as you'll see the latest sports car that they are giving away, and the giant waterfall) check and confirm your gate with the information kiosk or at the automated desk - simply scan your boarding pass. This will tell you how long it takes to walk to your gate and which direction it is.

Now you can relax - there are plenty of quiet rest areas (mainly near the gates which are behind the main corridor where all the duty free shops are).

Free public showers are also available here (just look for the signs) and if you want to eat at a nice restaurant (and not fast food) you'll have to walk to the end of the concourse (past the main shopping areas).

  • thanks a lot for your detailed answer. One thing that I didn't mention in my OP is that I ask this question for my mother who is 58 and will be flying on her own for the first time (she has flown in the past with me). She understands and speaks English quite well but I am worried. Anyway .... I will be mentally prepared now that I know she HAS to take a train. – user2910550 Jan 4 '18 at 11:57
  • Just call Emirates and inform them of your concerns. They can arrange for a special escort for her to help her throughout the process; including arranging for transport (a golf cart is available for assistance or to ferry passengers that are late) for her so she doesn't have to walk the considerable distance and making sure someone is there with her to guide her to the right gate. As long as you inform them in advance, they will be able to make the appropriate arrangements. – Burhan Khalid Jan 4 '18 at 15:31
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The vast majority of passengers going through Dubai airport (especially those on Emirates airlines) are transit passengers, and as a result the airport is well designed to handle such connections.

2 hours is more than enough time (presuming your inbound flight is not significantly delayed).

There are screens throughout the airport that will show you your next departure gate, and extensive signage to direct you to that gate.

Depending on the exact gates, you may need to catch a "train" between concourses. However these are quick and run very frequently (every few minutes). The signage mentioned above will direct you to the train if you need to catch it.

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Adding to Doc's answer, you can download maps of Dubai's Terminal 3 from here

From these maps I see that Terminal 3 (Concourse B) has less than 30 arrivals or departure gates. So you shouldn't have much problem getting from gate to gate in the same concourse.

The link also describes getting to concourse A (which is also marked as Terminal 1 for reasons I don't understand) and concourse C (which is only connected to concourse B).


The link also mentions that you need to take a bus to get to terminal 2 for FlyEmirates flights can take up to 40 minutes and that you also need a bus to concourse D for non-Emirates airlines. But neither of these seem applicable in your case.

  • T3 has three areas, Concourse A (A380 gates); Concourse B (Emirates & Qantas) and Concourse C (which is connected directly to Concourse B, but it is currently undergoing renovations and will not open until end of 2018. T1 is the "old" airport, which now services all non-Emirates flights. It connects to Concourse D (of T1) via a train. Concourse D of T1 is an expansion for other airlines; as the old T1 is really at its max capacity. T2 is for LCC and charter and special flights. It is accessible from other terminals via an (airside) bus (no visa, but boarding pass required). – Burhan Khalid Jan 2 '18 at 12:50

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