DUBAI // Emirates Airline is expecting a record number of passengers travelling to and from Dubai over the New Year weekend.
Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to ring in the New Year and partake in the Dubai Shopping Festival.
An estimated 174,000 people, not including transit passengers, are expected in Dubai between December 28 and January 1, according to Emirates.
Another 103,000 travellers will leave the emirate from Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport between Saturday and Monday.
“With another record-breaking week coming up, we want to ensure that passing through the airport is as stress-free as possible,” said Mohammed Mattar, senior vice president of airport services at Emirates.
“During the coming busy travel period, passengers should provide plenty of time for airport check-in and security screening, and factor in more time into their travel plans to ensure that they arrive at their gates on time.”
The busiest day will be on Saturday, and the airline is advising travellers to arrive at least three hours before their flight departs and leave extra time for traffic in the drive to the airport.
Premjit Bangara, general manager of Sharaf Travel in Dubai, said most people had planned to travel in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve.
“We tend to find that people who book their Christmas holidays usually also include the New Year period as well,” he said. “There are some people who wait for the last minute to book their flights but I would say over the New Year period there are very few seats available.”
Gaurav Sinha, founder of Insignia Worldwide, said the period between Christmas and the New Year was traditionally the busiest for the travel industry.
“Aviation and hospitality typically go hand-in-hand and although the last quarter has been a little slow with hotel bookings as many people wait for last-minute deals, I think we are now entering a very busy period,” he said.
According to Emirates, check-in counters open six hours before departure but passengers can check in between six and 24 hours before departure at the car park check-in area.
A quicker alternative is to check in online and use the baggage drop at the airport no later than 90 minutes before departure.
E-boarding pass holders or those with only carry-on bags can proceed directly to passport control and security clearance.
Passengers will not be allowed to board their flight if they check in less than 60 minutes before departure.
There are specially designated areas for families to check in, with 10 economy counters at area 2 in Terminal 3.
“Additionally, special stroller services on departure and arrival provide parents with access to prams when heading to their gate and immediately after leaving the aircraft,” said Emirates.
“Families travelling on Emirates can also enjoy priority boarding to ensure a seamless experience all the way to departure.
“In the Emirates Dubai lounges, special children’s play and entertainment areas with arcade-quality games ensure they are entertained even before boarding their flight.”
Passengers are also advised to check the list of permitted carry-on and check-in items.
“Spare lithium batteries used for electronic devices such as cameras, mobiles phones and laptops as well as hoverboards are restricted from checked-in baggage,” said Emirates.
“Passengers also need to make sure that liquids, gels, aerosols, pastes, lotions, creams, drinks and other items must be in containers with a capacity not exceeding 100 millilitres in carry-on baggage.”
Travellers to America, Canada and Briton should charge their electronic devices before arriving at the airport, as they will have to switch them on at the boarding gates where screenings will take place.
Failure to do so may result in denial of flight.
Source: UAE News