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If you’re planning a trip that features a lengthy layover in Dubai, taking advantage of the Emirates Dubai Connect service may make the time between your flights feel like a vacation in and of itself.
What is Dubai Connect?
Emirates is offering travelers on long layovers in Dubai a complimentary hotel stay, free meals, transportation to and from the airport, as well as a free visa – should your nationality require one to enter the UAE.
Let’s go over which tickets qualify and how to add the service.
Which Stopovers Qualify for the Dubai Connect Program?
Emirates provides the qualifications that a traveler’s ticket must meet to qualify for the Dubai Connect program. They're relatively straightforward and include the following:
- Dubai Connect services are available to passengers with a connecting stopover time of 10 to 24 hours — or 8 to 26 hours if booked on or after October 11, 2022. This applies to all cabin classes: first, business, premium economy, and economy.
- The stopover time in Dubai between your two flights must be the shortest one available.
- Both your inbound and outbound flights to and from Dubai must be Emirates flights (marketed by Qantas or Emirates) or Qantas flights (marketed by Emirates or Qantas).
- Codeshare flights other than EK5000 and QF8000 flights are not eligible. The offer is not available on flights with other airlines and/or where Emirates is the marketing carrier only.
- Emirates-marketed flights, operated by flyDubai, may qualify for Dubai Connect if arriving and departing from Terminal 3.
- The itinerary must be a single booking that's ticketed on one ticket.
- The ticket must be issued on an Emirates document with a ticket number starting with 176.
Award tickets would also qualify for Dubai Connect, should the ticket meet the requirements above. Make sure the award is booked through Emirates Skywards.
Other Important Terms
Emirates has a few more terms that travelers need to be aware of, such as:
- The service must be added at least 24 hours in advance of your flight to Dubai.
- The lead booker must be over the age of 18.
- All travelers are subject to travel and testing requirements to enter Dubai.
- All travelers are subject to UAE immigration approval.
How To Book
Emirates will let you know if you’re eligible for Dubai Connect as you make a flight reservation. Here’s an example on an itinerary between Dallas and Malé, Maldives, including a 14.5-hour layover in Dubai:
If your itinerary is eligible, you’ll see the option for Dubai Connect under “Your Benefits.” It will look like this:
After booking the flight, use your surname and reference number to manage your booking on the Emirates website. Here, you’ll see an option to add the Dubai Connect service. Upon landing in Dubai, the next step is clearing immigration and paying a visit to the Dubai Connect desk, where you’ll receive all of the vouchers needed for the transit hotel.
What Transit Hotels are Available?
Emirates decides where travelers utilizing the Dubai Connect Program will be staying. Presently, the terms and conditions say accommodations will be provided at the Copthorne Hotel Dubai, the Le Méridien Airport Hotel Dubai, the JW Marriott Marquis — or another hotel chosen at Emirates' discretion.
The Emirates Dubai Connect Program is a straightforward and cost-effective way to take advantage of a long layover in Dubai. As long as your ticket meets the qualifications, it makes a lot of sense to add the service to your itinerary. This way, you can get out and enjoy Dubai before getting back on an airplane.
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