Emirates Dubai Connect Explained for DXB Layover Passengers


What is Emirates Dubai Connect?

Dubai Connect is a complimentary hotel service offered by Emirates for passengers who have a long layover between flights through Dubai International Airport (DXB)

It comes with many terms and conditions, but with some careful planning, it can be a great and efficient service to get through a long layover in Dubai comfortably and smoothly – offering you a hotel room AND meals.

Here’s what you need to know about Dubai Connect:

Who Can Avail Dubai Connect?

Dubai Connect Services are available to passengers with a connecting stopover time of 8 to 26 hours. This applies to passengers in Economy and Premium Economy (as well as Business/First Class Flights booked before 23 July 2023).

If you are flying Business or First Class with Emirates and booked your ticket AFTER 23 July 2023, you can now avail Dubai Connect with a stopover time of 6 to 26 hours.

These terms were last check with Emirates in October 2023

The itinerary must be a single booking ticketed on one ticket. The ticket must be issued on an Emirates (176) document or a Qantas (081) document.

If you are looking at a layover of fewer than 8 hours, then we suggest you look up these handy guides instead:

Emirates Layover Passengers DXB

Dubai Connect – Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book Dubai Connect?

This complimentary service can be booked when you book your flights through a travel agency. (Note: we are not a travel agency and cannot do this for you).

If you are self-booking through the Emirates website, after booking your flights, you can go into “manage my booking” with Emirates immediately and up to 24 hours before your flight. There is a quick form to fill in online that will tell you pretty much straight away if you’re eligible.

Do I need a transit visa to use Dubai Connect?

Emirates previously asked that passengers take care of their own visa requirements; however, with the re-introduced service from 1 December 2020, Emirates will now help passengers with their visa on arrival. You can read more about whether you are eligible for a visa on arrival or must obtain a transit visa here.

Note that many nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival for free, or you can apply for an Emirates-sponsored complimentary visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 24 hours. If the UAE authorities reject your application, however, Emirates cannot offer you the Dubai Connect service.

All passports, regardless of nationality, must have a validity of at least 90 days.

Do I have to clear customs to use Dubai Connect?

Yes, the reason you must have a valid visa is that you are actually leaving the hotel to avail this service. You may choose to check your bags through to your final destination and only take a carry-on bag for your layover.

After clearing customs, make your way to the Emirates transfer lounge.

Is there currently a requirement to complete a COVID test when I arrive in Dubai?

There is no longer any compulsory testing for COVID-19 in the UAE, nor a need to show vaccination status or wear a face mask.

Does Dubai Connect cost me extra?

No, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria above, this is a free service to transit passengers. You may be asked to leave credit card details when checking in to your hotel for any incidentals only. You will be given transfers and meal vouchers along with the hotel room.

Through which airport and airlines can I use Dubai Connect?

At present, Emirates only flies through DXB – Dubai International Airport. It is only available to Emirates customers and certain Qantas codeshares. Both your inbound and outbound flights to and from Dubai must be Emirates flights (marketed by Qantas or Emirates) or Qantas flights (marketed by Emirates or Qantas).

Codeshare flights other than EK5000 and QF8000 flights are not eligible. The offer is unavailable on flights with other airlines and/or where Emirates is the marketing carrier only.

Can I extend my stopover times to use the Dubai Connect service and freshen up between flights?

Emirates Dubai Connect is only available if no better connection times are available to get you between your origin and destination.  If an earlier flight connection is available, you must take this before trying to avail Dubai Connect. It is really only designed for passengers taking their less-frequent long-haul services to help smooth out their long journey.

Do I get to choose my hotel with Dubai Connect?

Your ticketing class determines your hotel and available rooms in each of the hotels.

The Dubai Connect Hotel will most likely be either the Copthorne Hotel Dubai, the Le Méridien Airport Hotel Dubai, the Arabian Park Hotel Dubai, or another alternative at the discretion of Emirates.

No guarantees are given on which hotel will be allocated, and Emirates reserves the right to modify or cancel this offer at any time without notice. Offer is subject to availability.

Pictured a deluxe room inside the 5* Le Meridien Airport Hotel Dubai. Business and First Class passengers are likely to be placed here with a great range of dining choices, pool, spa, gym & entertainment.

Inside the Le Meridien hotel adjacent to Dubai Airport

Can unaccompanied minors use the Dubai Connect Service?

No, passengers under 18 can only use Dubai Connect when accompanied by an adult.  Up to a maximum of 2 children with one adult can be accommodated. (We read this to mean if you are travelling with 2 adults, up to 4 children, over 2 rooms) You can read more about Emirates Unaccompanied Minor Services here

What happens when you arrive in Dubai?

You should have already been issued your hotel voucher along with your boarding passes when you boarded your flight at the origin airport.

After passing through passport control, take this voucher with you to the Emirates Chauffeur car services counter for transportation to your hotel.

You will be checked in at your hotel at a special Emirates reception desk and be issued meal vouchers that cover the length of your stay. At the completion of your stay, a complimentary van or car service will return you to the airport in plenty of time for your connecting flight at DXB.

Emirates checkin reception at Le Meridien hotel

Can I leave my hotel during the layover period?

Yes, you may travel into other parts of Dubai during your layover stay should you wish, but Emirates will not cover any costs beyond getting you to your hotel room and the meals onsite in the hotel.

If you take any taxies and tours beyond this, it’s at your own cost and your responsibility to be back at the hotel in time to connect for your next flight.

What if my flight connection at DXB is over 8 hours but I do not feel comfortable leaving the airport?

If you qualify for Dubai Connect but do not wish to avail the external hotel room, you can opt to relax and unwind in the Emirates Dubai Connect airport lounge inside DXB instead on a complimentary basis (no beds, but showers and meals provided).

Alternatively, there is the sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounge A Gates and another at C-Gates in DXB or the Dubai International Terminal Hotel (both at your own costs) airside that don’t involve clearing customs.

Can I choose my own hotel instead of one selected by Dubai Connect?

By all means, there are many reasonably priced hotels you could choose to stay at close to the airport at your own expense. If you opt to use Dubai Connect, you will not get to choose the hotel.

What if I booked my flight before 11 October 2022?

It looks like Emirates is not applying their change in policy for layover times between 8 to 10 hours if you booked prior to last October. It’s a grey area, so by all means, enquire with the airline, but the policy firmly states that layovers of 8 to 26 hours apply only for tickets booked AFTER 11 October 2022.

What if I booked my Business Class flight before 23 July 2023?

It looks like they are also standing firm on this policy change, too. If you booked your Business/First class flight with Emirates prior to the most recent rule change, you can still only avail Dubai Connect on a layover longer than 8 hours. The 6-hour rule is only for flights booked after 23 July 2023.

Good to know! If your connecting flight is delayed or cancelled for any reason with Emirates, the same hotels are made available to transit passengers delayed by longer than 10 hours, with meals provided as described above.

You can read more about Dubai Connect eligibility and conditions with Emirates here

Alternatives to Dubai Connect For Long Layovers

Looking for alternative accommodation near DXB? If you are not eligible for Dubai Connect but still fancy a lie down between flights without travelling far, we recommend you try:

Or check out all available nearby options here:

We hope this will help you decide if Dubai Connect is the right solution for you flying with Emirates. We’d still love you to stop by on at least one leg through DXB, though!

Even in the peak of summer, there can still be fun things to see and do on a short break in Dubai, or stick around even longer – check out our itinerary ideas.

Take me back to the Dubai Essential Planning information page

Please note we are not a travel agency, nor an agent for Emirates. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.

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