Its no wonder Dubai Duty Free created such a large duty free shopping offering. The Airport is the second busiest airport according to Airports Council International, servicing more than 145 airlines flying to more than 260 destinations across six continents.
So with such a massive consumer base (US$1.6 billion turnover in 2012) and so many deals on offer, Duty Free Addict thought we would give you a run down of the Duty Free Shopping on offer at Dubai International Airport.
Once you’ve got a handle on the airport why not see what duty free is cheap at Dubai by using Duty Free Addict’s comparison service. We’ve even done some of the work for you, just click the link to go straight to Dubai in our data base (Dubai DutyFree).
Dubai Duty Free – Terminal 1
The first of three Terminals at Dubai Airport, its Concourse C was the main concourse used of all Terminals up until the opening of Terminal 3′s Concourse B. Depending on what gate you enter the long walk down the corridor to the baggage claim can be daunting but is great to get the blood pumping after a long flight sitting down. Immigration has 40+ passport desks and depending on the time of day can be quite fast, then your free to grab your bags at the relatively well sign posted baggage claim belts. The duty free shopping available when you arrive at Terminal 1is smaller than that available when you depart.
Departing Terminal 1 is another story, the check-in area is massive (understandably with the amount of traffic the airport sees) but quite easy to navigate and drop those heavy bags off so your arms are free to accumulate plenty of duty free bargains awaiting you through immigration. Once your passport is stamped its probably a good idea to check your gate location as there are 50 gates on the Concourse which services 83 different airlines.
So now to the duty free shopping, Dubai is on its own level, that’s right if your keen to get your hands on some duty free at Terminal 1 just head to the middle on the concourse (near gate 18) and head down stairs were you’ll be greeted to an abundance of duty free offers from fragrances, alcohol, cosmetics as well as plenty of the major fashion houses to grab that latest Bag or Shirt. Its hard to know where to start your duty free shopping at Dubai’s Terminal 1 designated duty free level but its well set out over the 5,400 square meter area so work your way around to find what you desire. You also need to pass through the duty free area to get your connection of your next flight is out of Terminal 2. This is a good thing as you’ll see below T1 hands down beats T2 for duty free shopping.
If your looking for a lounge Emirates runs the first and business lounges located on the main concourse but Gulf Air, British Airways and Star Alliance all have dedicates lounges in Terminal 1 also. Food is scattered through out the concourse but the food court on the main level has everything you’ll need from McDonalds to Indian and Thai. Terminal 1 also has a 5 star hotel for your long lay-over as well as 2 Business centers if that’s what you need and 2 health clubs if you don’t work up enough of a sweat with the extensive duty free shopping offers.
Dubai Duty Free – Terminal 2
Terminal 2 is the smallest of the Dubai’s Airport Terminals. It mainly services budget airlines flying to the sub-continent. The duty free on offer in Terminal 2 is small in comparison to Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 so unless its last minute on your connection to the sub-continent do your shopping at the Terminal you fly in to.
Food offering in departures again is small but varied and there is also a first and business class lounge here for business and front end passengers.
Dubai Duty Free – Terminal 3
Its very easy to describe Terminal 3… Huge! Its the largest building in the world by floor space and can handle up to 43 million passengers per year. Until recently it was exclusively for Emirates passengers, however with the recent agreement between Emirates and Qantas, Qantas now have use of the Terminal. The Terminal is very easy to navigate, sign posts in English guide you down to baggage claim and through customs. There is also duty free available in the arrivals hall if you need to pick something up.
If you’ve been in Dubai and heading home don’t stress about a chaotic check in process. The check in area is massive and spacious enough for all those passengers rolling suitcases through not to bump into each other and with 180 desks available its a fairly stress free process, just drop your bags, get your boarding pass, get your passport stamped and head into the what we think is the biggest and best duty free shopping experience at any airport globally. If you connecting to another destination its definitely worth spending some time wondering around the duty free shops. It doesn’t matter if your gate is on Concourse A or Concourse B you will have plenty to choose from, Dubai DutyFree run everything so well. Both Concourses have an extensive range but the shear size of Concourse B (120,000 square meters of duty free goodness) will have that credit card in your back pocket itching to get amongst the action. As I said, everything is run by Dubai Duty Free, their website is great for working out whats on offer (including this map) but don’t worry, what ever your duty free heart desires it will be here, be it electronics, fashion, beauty products or electronics.
Dubai has basically designed a duty free mall with all the major brands from sports designers, fashion designers and jewellery designers from all around the world at great duty free prices. You can even grab a gift for the kids at the huge duty free toy store if your travelling without your family. All in all Terminal 3′s duty free offering caters for everyone and cannot be beat, by either of the other terminals or by any other airport in the world. Even though Dubai doesn’t have the cheapest duty free prices relatively speaking, if you’re a Duty Free Addict like us, you better check it out on your next trip just to see how amazing the shopping experience is here.
Terminal 3 also has plenty of food offerings, hotels and business lounges on both Concourse’s so if your travelling with Emirates or Qantas and you’ve had enough duty free shopping (pfft like that’s likely!) you can chill out, grab a bite and a drink or if your flying business or better jump into the great lounge facilities they have on offer.
Those not travelling Emirates or Qantas, if you can spare the time try and get to Terminal 3 even if its just to check it out, no other airport compares to Dubai’s Duty Free shopping in my opinion and there is a rail system connecting Terminal 1 and 3, just bear in mind its a 20 minute ride there and 20 back so make sure you have the time between your flights.
For more information:
- On the Airport: http://www.dubaiairport.com/en
- On Dubai Duty Free: http://www.dubaidutyfree.com/shop/departure
- What to buy at the Airport: http://dutyfreeaddict.com/search#/uae
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