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There is apparently a Dubai Transit Hotel at DXB Airport which is designed for transiting passengers in that these are small rooms rentable by the hour.

This sounds like what I need, only I will not be transiting. My international flight arrives at 4:20 AM which means that I expect to be extremely tired and need a quiet place to sleep. I do have a hotel for the night with check-in at 2 PM, so it's too long for me to be able to keep myself awake.

Would it be possible then to pay for a few hours at the Dubai Transit Hotel on arrival? I would later leave the airport for the city and go to my hotel. If not, what other options exist to nap-on-arrival at Dubai Airport?

  • Even if they check for a transit boarding pass, you can always fake one, or use a service such as Flyonward. – JonathanReez Dec 24 '16 at 21:20
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    Fake boarding passes is a bad idea in any country. In the UAE, it's a really bad idea... – Doc Dec 25 '16 at 5:42
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It is possible, because there are no security checks for incoming passengers to get to the transit hall.

Once your flight lands, follow the signs for transit. Go through security (scan your bags), and then up some stairs and you will be in giant transit area.

I do not know how strict the requirements are to check into the transit hotel (I have never used their facilities); but there is nothing preventing you from walking in and asking.

If you want to exit, simply follow the stairs down, and then ask for the way to immigration. You might get asked a few questions as to what you are doing in transit, but you will normally get escorted to immigration.

I have had to assist many passengers that mistakenly ended up in the transit hall when trying to exit the airport; so it's a common occurrence, especially if you have a language barrier.

However, despite this - I would advise against it. If you are knowingly doing this - then you could land in some trouble with the authorities.

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    "then you could land in some trouble with the authorities." - why? Is it against the rules? Especially since you have a valid purpose (hotel). – JonathanReez Dec 25 '16 at 12:56
  • You might be questioned as to why you went to the transit area if you are not a transit passenger. – Burhan Khalid Dec 25 '16 at 12:57
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I am not sure how Dubai Airport is laid out, but normally you need a boarding pass to go from the arrivals area where your plane unloads to the departure area where the transit hotels are located. This transfer from arrival to departure for transit passengers is usually one way only.

While you maybe able to sneak through as JonathanReez suggested in the comments, how do you explain the need to return to arrivals to clear immigration and enter the country? Starting your visit in Dubai by lying to officials is never a good idea.

What about checked bags, they will be taken away as unclaimed if you sleep it off. Then you get to deal with tracking them down.

Plus transit hotels tend not to be every economical, charging dearly. How much would your hotel charge for another night or early check in?

  • My suggestion was to show a fake to the hotel, if asked. Lying to a private entity is a civil liability. Lying to the government is a big no-no. – JonathanReez Dec 25 '16 at 7:34
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As is common in many International airports around the world, Dubai has separate arrivals and departure areas.

The airport hotels are located in the departure area of the airport. As an incoming passenger, to get to the departure area you would need to pass through security, which requires you to show a boarding pass for an outgoing flight. Without a boarding pass, you will not be allowed through security, and will not be able to access the hotel.

So no, it is not possible to spend a few hours at the hotel on arrival unless you are in transit.

Dubai Airport is very much a 24x7 operation, and a result hotels in Dubai are used to guests arriving/departing early and/or late - I would suggest contacting your hotel and seeing if they can arrange an early check-in. Given the time you're arriving it's likely you'll need to pay, but it's also very likely that the price will be less than the airport hotel charges for a few hours.

As an aside, the rooms in the transit hotel (or at least, the room I had when I stayed there last year) was far from "small" - in fact I was impressed with the size of the room given that it was within the airport!

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    "As an incoming passenger, to get to the departure area you would need to pass through security, which requires you to show a boarding pass for an outgoing flight. Without a boarding pass, you will not be allowed through security, and will not be able to access the hotel." there are no such checks at Dubai - you simply get off the plane, and then go to the transit area, pass through security (which scans your bags) and then wala - you are in the transit zone. I know this because many confused travelers have ended up at the transit hall while trying to exit the airport. – Burhan Khalid Dec 25 '16 at 7:05
  • @BurhanKhalid care to add this as an answer? – JonathanReez Dec 25 '16 at 7:33

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