Dubai International Airport is a delight in many ways, design like a Vegas Casino, and a crossroads at the center of the world. Transit is a breeze and the Metro link connects to all the key places. It would be nice if they would add an affordable transit hotel within the airport, the only option being the USD 200+ Dubai International Hotel, but this is nitpicking.
Really the only frustrating thing is finding the correct check-in hall. Emirates passengers have it easy – they have their own terminal, Terminal 3. Terminal 2 is budget airline FlyDubai, and “is used mostly by airlines coming in from Iran, CIS countries and those operating chartered flights.” Kandahar beckons.
Terminal 1 is for everything else, divided into halls A-G. The airport website and flight displays show gates but not check-in halls, and signage inside is not well done. Arriving from the Metro the best option is to go outside to see the signs for car drop-off, or to ask staff.
The Rapid Traveler had to hunt for his Swiss flight from Dubai to Muscat, Oman (MCT), the little-used extension of the Dubai – Zurich (ZRH) route. Thanks to heavy competition, it is typically a tidy USD 150 round trip.
Swiss has a dedicated check-in hall, more like a forgotten storage room. It is accessed by going outside from the main A-E halls, into F which houses Gulf Air and some other regional airlines, then through an unmarked side door to G. G is not even on the official maps!