The Dubai Airport Experience

The Dubai Airport Experience

In many airports, you just want to keep your head down and get to your gate. But in Dubai International Airport is filled with amazing shopping and dining that will help pass the time and keep you entertained while you wait for your flight.

What are the most famous things to buy in the Dubai airport? The Dubai airport has become known as a shopping hub as much as it has become known as an international airport. Some of their most popular stores include luxury brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Chanel, and Gucci, delicious local delicacies, a wide range of gift shops, and an impressive Duty-Free store.

The Dubai airport not only offers a wide range of shops to purchase goods, but they also have lots of great services available throughout the airport. Whether you are there for a layover or coming/going from there, you will want to plan for some extra time to hit some of the shops.

Duty-Free Shops

Duty-Free shops have become a favorite stop at any airport for international travelers looking to pick up their favorite perfume or a box of the most delicious chocolates they’ve ever had. But the Dubai Duty-Free shops kick it into high gear.

According to the Dubai Duty-Free website, it opened in December 1983, and the shops have grown into one of the largest travel retail operators in the world.

They offer a treasure trove of items that range from useful and practical to luxuriously frivolous. Here are some of the many different types of products you will find at the Dubai Duty-Free.

  • Perfume
  • Cologne
  • Chocolates
  • Dates and a wide variety of other dried fruits
  • Nuts
  • Cigars
  • Cigarettes
  • Makeup
  • Facial cleansers
  • Body scrubs and lotions
  • Wine
  • Liquor
  • Jewelry 

Correct – you can buy just about anything at the Dubai Duty-Free. One of the biggest perks of international travel is going to be the deals you can get at these shops as well. The prices and savings will vary based on the product and brand, but in many cases, you will find yourself getting a much better deal here than you would at many other retailers.

Check out some of the most popular items purchased throughout the Dubai Duty-Free:

  • Smart Phones
  • Apple TV
  • Watches
  • Laptops
  • DSLR Cameras
  • Chocolates
  • Tablets
  • Apple Watches
  • Perfumes from Carolina Herrera

As you can see, electronics reign supreme at the Dubai Duty-Free. You will find a variety of the best brands in the world at great prices. Their watch, jewelry, and accessory options are also a big hit because of their wide range of high-end brands and products.

If you’re traveling through the Dubai airport and want to splurge on some products for yourself or a loved one, make time to drop by the Duty-Free for a huge selection of top of the line products.

Luxury Brands

Traveling can be tiresome and tedious, especially if you have a long trek ahead of you. So finding some time to explore shops and treat yourself to a gorgeous necklace or a new designer bag that you’ve been eyeing can be a retail-therapy-reprieve that is very needed.

Even if you don’t want to spend on yourself, the Dubai airport is a great place to find gifts through luxury brands that will make for an exciting gift reveal when your loved one opens it. 

Keep an eye out for bargains, too, as they tend to have great deals going on that you won’t always find online or at standalone locations.

Here are some of the best luxury brands you’ll find throughout the Dubai airport:

  • Chanel

In Terminal 3, you will find a Chanel store with a beautiful aesthetic that almost forces you through its doors to look around. This designer brand will have all your fragrance, skincare, and makeup needs covered. 

  • Gucci

In the departures area, you will find this luxury retailer by Gates A and B. They have everything from handbags and shoes to luggage, jewelry, and beauty items here. Gucci is known around the world as a high-end brand that prides itself on its exquisite attention to detail.

  • Jo Malone

This high-end British perfume and candle brand can be found at Gate B in the departures area. The delicious and enticing scents waft through the area and make it hard to miss. This is a very popular place to stop by for a luxurious gift.

  • Salvatore Ferragamo

One typically wouldn’t assume they will be able to find Italian luxury goods on their layover, or once they reach Dubai and before they even exit the airport. In terminal 3 by Gate A, you will find this high-end Italian fashion brand for impeccably made shoes, leather goods, and men or women’s clothing.


Electronics tend to be a very popular item throughout many airports. Not only will you tend to find good deals through major brands, but it is also sometimes a necessity. If you forgot your charger or headphones, you would want to pick up a new one. 

Or even bigger purchases like cameras – maybe you forgot yours, and you’re just not going to be happy with smartphone photos of this trip. The Dubai airport has you covered for a huge range of electronics.

You can buy many of these products in their Duty-Free locations, but they have specific retailers available as well that will have anything you need.

  • Etisalat

Etisalat is a UAE based service provider and a leading name in telecommunications on a multinational level. They operate mainly in countries across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. You will find their products in terminals 1, 2, and 3 in the arrivals area. If you are staying in Dubai and need to get a proper phone to use in the region, make sure you give yourself time to drop by and select a phone and plan with them that will meet all of your travel needs. 

  • Bookmywifi

While you may not be able to buy a new laptop here, you will be able to rent highspeed 4G/LTE mobile Wi-Fi hotspots to stay connected on all your devices during your time at the Dubai airport.

  • Du

In terminals 1 and 3, you will find this telecom provider for a great selection of prepaid phones with 2G and 3G coverage. If you don’t want to go for a full phone plan or you are just going to be there for a short time, you should stop in here to look at some prepaid options that may be more beneficial to you.

Food and Dining

A visit to the airport wouldn’t be complete without a search for the best food options. Luckily, in the Dubai airport, you have much better options than that little cart you always walk up to and purchase a sandwich packed tightly inside saran wrap. 

There are plenty of places to purchase food as gifts or items that you will be taking home with you, along with sit-down restaurant options while you are amidst your travels.

Here are some popular options:

  • Hard Rock Café

Stop in for a full meal that you can take on-the-go, catch some live entertainment, or pick up some legendary rock memorabilia. The Hard Rock Café offers much more than just a bite to eat. Make sure to take advantage of all the experiences offered by this hip restaurant/store that will help keep you busy while keeping you full.  You’ll find them at Arrivals Gate B.

  • Butler’s Chocolate Café

If you feel a sweet tooth coming on while you’re in the Dubai airport, head to Gate D in departures to uncover this treasure trove of delectable sweets. You can also grab a cup of freshly made coffee when you are on the go. This has become a staple for coffee and chocolate lovers rushing through the Dubai airport.

There are endless options for food and dining throughout the entire airport. But here are some great options that have become very popular stops for travelers from all over.

Quick Bites to GrabRestaurants
Peroni ItalyBrioche Dorée
Baskin RobbinsCho Gao
Bombay ChowpatiDelizie
Caffe NeroDesi Lunch Box
CandyliciousFlour & Stone
Costa CoffeeGiraffe
Health HubJack’s Bar & Grill
Jones the GrocerLe Pain Quotidien
Pulp Juice BarSkybar

Travel Tip: The Dubai airport also has multiple pharmacies. Boots Pharmacy, Bin Sina, and a pharmacy section in their Duty-Free locations will help keep you healthy during your travels in Dubai. They have locations in departures and arrivals to make it convenient for any of your health, first aid, or medicinal needs.


We’ve all been there – you remember everything you need to pack for your trip except for the gift for the party you are traveling for. Or maybe you were wandering the airport to pass the time, and something caught your eye that would be perfect for a loved one. The airport is an oddly great place to find gifts for all occasions.

The Duty-Free will offer great options for gifts, along with many of the other retailers. But the Dubai airport also has shops that are specific to certain types of gifts and accessories for all of your needs. 

Here are some great options you will find for all your gift store needs:

  • Flowers – there is a wonderful flower shop with beautiful arrangements available in the arrivals area of Terminal 3. They have bouquets, single flowers, and different floral arrangements available.
  • Dubai Heritage Treasure – This is a uniquely meaningful and impressive shop that will allow you to shop for gifts that relate to the rich history of Dubai and learn about tours, museums, and heritage areas to visit on your trip. Find them in departures by Gate B.
  • Gifts from Dubai – You will find the best souvenirs, trinkets, and gifts that possess the spirit of Dubai at their gift shops sprinkled throughout the departures area at Gates C and D. These will be your best bet for gifts that range from useful gadgets to Dubai-themed novelties, to books and travel accessories
  • Gallery One – Gallery One is a hip and stylish gift shop that will provide artsy gifts and creative backdrops. You can purchase full canvases or larger pieces while also discovering miniature versions on smaller prints or items like wooden plaques, smaller mounted photos, and photo boxes. Swing by Gate B in departures to pick up some beautiful artwork for yourself or a loved one looking for a unique piece.


If Gucci isn’t quite in your price range, but you would still like to do some clothing shopping while you are in the Dubai airport, they have plenty of options for your retail needs. The Duty-Free locations will also have clothing within their shops, but if you’re looking for a specific brand or a more traditional retail experience, you can visit a multitude of different shops.

Here is a list of some of the most popular clothing retailers throughout the airport:

  • H&M

Gate B, Departures

  • Estee Lauder

Gate A, Departures

  • Hard Rock Café

Gate B, Arrivals

  • Kiehl’s

Gate B, Departures

Travel Tip: The Dubai airport also has a MAC cosmetics store where you can purchase all their most popular makeups products and beauty care lines. It is not only a retail shop but also a location where you can have your makeup done by one of their certified makeup artists. If you’re headed to a big event and need to look fierce or you simply want to be pampered, drop by to purchase a session with one of their artists.


While many people will purchase strictly material things while they are on their travels, there are also a lot of service-based things available throughout the Dubai airport. Travel is not just about that item that you can bring home with you or give to your loved one–it is also about the experiences you can enjoy for a variety of reasons.


There is a full-service Health Club in the Dubai airport’s hotel. While it is outside of the airport walls, it is still an extension of it, through their hotel. The G-Force Health Club is there to help you stay in shape and feeling active while you may have a day or two in Dubai before you head back, and throughout your stay at their airport. Even if you have an extended layover and get a room at their hotel, you will be able to use their full gym, steam room, and jacuzzi. 


Travel can be stressful. So, an airport that offers different services to help you relax, get some shut-eye, and feel at home can make all the difference on a long trip.

Spa Facilities

Throughout the airport, you will find massage tables, chairs, and spa facilities to help unwind and relax with a professional masseuse. Or if you’re not feeling tense and you’d rather relax with a mani/pedi or facial, you can opt for these relaxing spa services as well. Feeling pampered while you travel makes a huge difference, so this has become a very popular trend among those traveling through Dubai.

Sleep ‘n Fly

When you find out your plane is delayed or you have a 5-hour layover, it’s standard to bunch up a sweatshirt or your backpack, find a good corner of the floor and try to knock out for a couple of hours of restless and uncomfortable sleep. But the Dubai airport has an innovative way to catch some restful and comforting Z’s instead.

The airport’s flagship Sleep ‘n Fly Lounge offers 20 sleeping pods that will remind you of small igloos on the outside, and a personal haven on the inside with a bed and sleeping arrangement. They are inspired by natural elements and a comfortable Scandinavian design. They also offer a larger option, with 7 ‘double cabins’ that are considered premium while still being minimalistic. 

You will have privacy, comfort, and the ability to stretch out and truly get a good nap or even a full night’s sleep if needed. These can also serve as a mini office if you need privacy for a big call or video conference. They are rented out depending on how long you need and which style you prefer.

For more information on these state-of-the-art sleeping pods, you can visit the Sleep ‘n Fly website.

What Other Service Does the Airport Offer?

Here is a helpful list with all of the other great services offered through the Dubai airport.

  • WiFi stations
  • Currency Exchange
  • Car Rental
  • Business Center
  • Baggage Storage
  • Prayer Rooms
  • Baby Care Rooms
  • Showers
  • Medical Centers and Emergency Services

Shopping at the Dubai Airport

It’s a rare instance to be able to say while at an airport you bought presents for your family, a spa session, had your makeup done, ate at one of the finest dining establishments, saw some live music, and bought yourself some tasty chocolates along with a designer bag all while waiting for your flight. But at the Dubai airport, you can do all of that and purchase a wide variety of goods, services, and gifts.

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