Moving to Dubai - #5 What to Expect When Landing in Dubai

Published: 8 Aug at 1 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Filed: Expat Guide to Dubai,United Arab Emirates
I arrived at Dubai International Airport at about 11pm. After a whole day of traveling I was pretty exhausted and was praying for a speedy exit out of the airport. I have to say first impressions were not so great; the shiny, glamorous look of Dubai does not extend to Dubai international airport although I have been told if you fly with Emirate you fly into a separate terminal, which will probably match your expectations somewhat more.

Anyway, my excitement at this stage was immense; I mean I was actually in Dubai and soon to be reunited with my family. The walk from the plane is a long old one, which at nearly midnight is not fun.

Because I had an entry residence visa, I had to pick up the physical copy from the visa collection point before going on to passport control. I was a little nervous about getting through the airport to collect my visa because I wasn't sure if the collection desk closed at any time. Obviously in my slightly jet-lagged state I wasn't think rationally because with flights still landing in Dubai, of course the desk wasn't going to close.

After what felt like an hour walking through the airport, which in reality was about 15 minutes, I clocked the sign for the visa collection desk which is located on your left and has different sections depending on your country of origin. I had a photocopy of the entry visa and handed it over, along with my passport, to the attendant who located my entry visa quickly, scanned it through the computer and off I went.

The next stop was passport control. The queues at midnight were pretty long, so as a precaution, I suggest going to the toilet along your way and having a bottle of water with you because the air conditioning is not great and arriving in June, the heat and humidity may get to you, even inside the airport.

I picked a good queue and was at the front in about 15 minutes, to be greeted by a lovely Emirati official who asked me a few basic questions about my name, country of origin and if I knew the queen. He had a sense of humor, which was welcomed after a long day of traveling. Because I was entering dubai on a prearranged entry visa, he took several photographs of me and updated my record in the central database.

After a few minutes he stamped my passport and sent me on my way. If your entering Dubai as a tourist the process will be different. You can find more information on the Dubai international airport website about visas and entry requirements depending on oh you're nationality.

All that was left was to collect my two extremely heavy suitcases and locate the boyfriend who was waiting somewhere for me on the other side of the arrivals gate. Of course my bags took forever to come out and then I was pulled over to send my suitcases through the X-ray machine. It is a totally random stop and search and they put all suitcases and hand luggage through a scanner.

I have to warn you, if you're arriving in Dubai anytime between June and September, the humidity that will hit you upon exiting the airport will take your breath away, even at midnight. It get's better and your body will soon acclimatize, so embrace the sweaty feeling and know that it is one part of life in Dubai that will never change and is probably the most annoying.

But the life you can build in Dubai is well worth the extra deodorant you will purchase.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingMimi is a British expat living in United Arab Emirates. Blog description: The life and loves of an expat now living in Dubai, have relocated from Cyprus. From food to fashion, photography, design, art, culture, lifestyle and the weather.
Please share:

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Articles by Category

Now featuring 633 expat interviews


Latest Headlines