Dubai International Airport (www.dubaiairport.com) serves more than 110 airlines from 160 countries. The airport code is DXB, and Dubai International has three terminals, with most international flights scheduled out of Terminal 1 (a free shuttle connects the terminals, which are each about 15 minutes apart). Emirates Airlines is based here.
Dubai International Airport has duty-free shops in the Departure and Arrivals halls, as well as restaurants, car-rental agencies, hotel and visitor information desks, and exchange services. A dedicated lounge for unaccompanied minors and passengers with special needs is available in the Arrivals hall. The five-star Dubai International Hotel (www.dih-dca.com) is also located in the Arrivals hall.
A second airport, Al Maktoum International, is planned for the future.
Abu Dhabi International Airport (www.abudhabiairport.ae) has three terminals, with most international flights clustered around a circular satellite in Terminal 1. The national carrier Etihad Airways is based at the new Terminal 3. The airport code is AUH.
Abu Dhabi International Airport has a hotel, duty-free shops, restaurants, car-rental agencies, visitor information, and exchange services. It also offers banking services, healthcare, and VIP lounges. It can sometimes be less expensive to fly into Abu Dhabi than Dubai, and it's located less than 2 hours away from Dubai by car or bus.
The nearby emirate of Sharjah also has an international airport, serving mostly regional destinations. It's about 45 minutes from Dubai by car, and the airport code is SHJ.
Arriving at the Airport
Immigration & Customs Clearance - International visitors arriving by air must first pass through immigration. It's usually a long walk (10 min. or so) from the jet-way to the Immigration hall. There are over 30 passport control desks. After clearing immigration, visitors then pick up their luggage in the Arrivals hall before clearing Customs. All bags are X-rayed by Customs officials. The process of clearing immigration and Customs at Dubai International Airport is generally efficient, taking less than an hour in total. Most Dubai officials speak at least some English.
In Abu Dhabi, international visitors arriving by air must first pass through immigration. It's a short walk from the jet-way to the Immigration hall. After clearing immigration, visitors then pick up their luggage in the Arrivals hall before clearing Customs. The process of clearing immigration and Customs at Abu Dhabi International Airport is generally efficient.
Getting into Town from the Airport
Many international rental car agencies are located in the airport. You will find them just as you exit Customs and enter the Arrivals hall.
A taxi is the simplest way to get from the airport to Dubai destinations and is relatively inexpensive. The Dubai Transport taxi stand is clearly marked as you leave the Arrivals hall. Expect to pay between AED 50 and AED 100 to most destinations in Dubai, with areas near Dubai Creek costing the least, destinations in Jumeirah costing the most, and spots along Sheikh Zayed Road falling in the middle.
The RTA airport bus (tel. 04-800-9090; www.rta.ae) runs every 30 minutes between the airport and Deira or Bur Dubai. The fare is AED 5.
At Abu Dhabi airport, you'll find many international car-rental companies. Etihad Airways passengers are entitled to free bus transfer to Dubai. Airport taxis into downtown Abu Dhabi cost AED 70 and AED 300 to Dubai.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.