Have you got one of those long connections most of us experience in at least one direction when flying through Dubai? Do you dread wondering what you will do to fill in the time? Well fear not my fellow travellers, Dubai International Airport, which has 75 million travellers passing through it each year, is one of the few airports in the world that actually has a handful of fun things to do to help pass your time. Keep in mind it is no Changi Airport, but there is still plenty to keep you occupied.
1. Why not take a swim?
Right inside the airport terminal is not only a swimming pool, but a gym, sauna, jacuzzi and shower facilities. The ‘G-Force’ is located in Terminal 1 and on the hotel level (level 5) in Terminal 3. A small fee is payable for entry.
2. Catch up on some Zzzz’s in a Snooze Cube
Although there is a hotel within the the airport that can booked by the hour, if you don’t feel the need for a whole hotel room, or 4 star prices, then it may be worth checking out a Snooze Cube. If you are like me, trying to sleep sitting upright on a plane with neighbours constantly bumping you does not not really provide you the most restful sleep. Inside a Snooze Cube however, you can actually lay down in a comfortable bed, and rest easy knowing you will not miss your connecting flight as the units are connected to the airports flight information system. Each cube has a full sized bed, touch screen television and high speed internet access. Located next to gate C22 in Terminal 1, there are 10 Snooze Cubes available for rent by the hour.
3. Grab a bite to eat at Giraffe
Giraffe Restaurant, found in terminal 3, is a great place to refuel in between flights. With an extensive range of mouth-watering cuisine, as well as coffee, cocktails and smoothies, your biggest problem will be trying to make a decision on what to have! The other great thing about Giraffe Restaurant is that they also offer their customers free unlimited WiFi. (The airport only offers half an hour free WiFi).
4. Relax in the Zen Gardens
There are two Zen gardens to be found within the airport. Located near gates B7 & B27, they were created to provide a cool and calming area inside the bustling airport terminal, creating a small oasis with leafy ferns, lush palms and waterways. Why not take a break and find your Zen?
5. Win a car
Inside the airport terminals, there are two luxury cars that are always up for grabs. You have plenty of time of kill, so you may as well spend 3 minutes of it completing an entry form. Someone has to win and it might as well be you!
Other facilities within the airport are: Women’s Lounge & Children’s Play Area located between gates 12 and 14, internet kiosks near Gate 9 and Gate 23, a medical centre on the ground level of the Concourse, post office near Gate 18 (open 24 hours), four prayer rooms in Arrivals and the main Concourse, and banking and currency exchange located near Gates 8, 18 and 22.
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This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.