Layover hotels in Dubai airport – costs, cheaper alternatives, and what to do at the airport

Gert Svaiko

Travelling through Dubai airport and have an overnight layover?

To get you some much-needed rest and relaxation before your onward flight, we’ve put together a handy guide to layover hotels in Dubai airport. We’ll also look at a few other options for accommodation in Dubai itself, in case you have time to see some of this glittering city in the UAE.

And if you’re looking for a way to spend in Emirati dirham (AED) at the airport or in the city, check out the Wise debit card. With Wise, you’ll get transparent fees and a fair mid-market currency exchange rate on your spending abroad.


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Hotels in Dubai airport

If you don’t want to go very far to reach your room, here’s a list of hotels based in or very close to Dubai airport itself. The closest one is the Dubai International Hotel, which is located in Terminal 3 of the airport.

Dubai International Hotel- £90 for 1-3 hr stay

- £257 for 24h¹

530 rooms²
  • Spa/health club
  • Choice of restaurants + bars
  • Meeting rooms
  • Premier concierge
  • 24/7 room service
Premier Inn Dubai International AirportFrom £35 a night³281 rooms⁴
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym
  • Restaurant, bar + coffee shop
  • Meeting rooms
  • Free airport shuttle
Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport, an IHG HotelFrom £42 a night⁵381 rooms⁶
  • 24hr fitness centre
  • Airport transfers
  • Meeting facilities
  • Free breakfast

Cheap hotels near Dubai airport

Have a little longer to spend in Dubai? If you have the right visa to enable you to leave the airport and enter the country, there are plenty of other hotels to choose from not far from the airport. Some could work out cheaper than staying in the airport itself.

Your options include Element Dubai Airport and Ibis Styles Dubai Airport Hotel. Both hotels offer a free airport shuttle bus included in the room rate, so getting to and from the airport should be easy and convenient.

Element Dubai Airport

A Marriott hotel, Element Dubai Airport, is close to Terminal 1 at Dubai Airport. It’s a 4-star eco-friendly hotel with 89 studios and suites to choose from⁷.

The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service to get you to and from the airport, at fixed times. It also has a pool, fitness centre, 24hr room service, free continental breakfast and high-speed Wi-Fi. A studio room with a king-size bed starts from 287 AED/£64.80* a night⁸.

*1 AED = 0.2258 GBP (16-08-2022)

Ibis Styles Dubai Airport Hotel

Part of the Accor hotel group, Ibis Styles Dubai Airport Hotel is around 0.8 miles from the airport, just off Airport Road. It also offers a free shuttle bus service to and from the airport, as well as to La Mer Beach.

The hotel has a spa, free high speed internet, a 24h café and an international à la carte restaurant. A standard room with a king-size bed starts from £57 a night⁹.

Cheap accommodation options in Dubai

If you’re including a short stay in Dubai as part of your trip (and again, have the right visa to enter the UAE), why not stay in the city itself?

Here’s a quick look at options for a cheap hotel in Dubai city centre, where you’ll be in the heart of it all.

Motels and hostels in Dubai

  • Global Hostel - located close to Union Metro station in the Old Dubai district of the city, the hostel offers accommodation in mixed dormitory rooms. It has Wi-Fi, air conditioning and private parking at an extra charge. Prices for a dorm room bed start from an extremely reasonable £13 a night¹⁰.

  • Short Tourist Place - located in the Dubai City Tower Building, this hostel offers comfortable dormitory rooms with a shared bathroom, kitchen and lounge. There’s free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and bed linen included. Prices for a bed in a 6-bed mixed dorm room start from a bargain £8 a night¹¹.

Airbnb options around Dubai

Here are a couple of options from Airbnb. The specific flats described might not be available during your stay in Dubai, because the options on the platform are constantly changing. However, you can still get a pretty good idea what to expect from the price and quality perspective.

  • Serviced apartment, Savoy Park - a studio apartment in the centrally located Savoy Park, with two metro stations within walking distance. The accommodation offers self check-in, use of the shared pool and hot tub. Get the whole place to yourself from £48 per night (including airbnb service fees)¹².

  • Luxurious Studio Apartment, Bur Dubai - located in Dubai’s downtown district, this studio apartment by Savoy Central Hotel Apartments has a gym, pool and air conditioning. You can get the whole flat to yourself for around £48 per night (including airbnb service fees)¹³.

Staying at Dubai airport

Decided to stay within the airport? Let’s take a look at the essential info you need to know. This includes the lowdown on airport facilities, transit restrictions and contact information.

And if you need spending money, don’t head straight for the currency exchange desk at the airport. Airport exchange rates and fees aren’t always the best when exchanging your money in Dubai, but there could be a better solution.

Get yourself a Wise debit card and you’ll have no need to change cash. You can simply tap to spend at airport shops and restaurants, and your card automatically converts your GBP to AED at a fair exchange rate – the mid-market rate.

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What can I do in the airport during my layover?

  • Duty free. Dubai Airport duty free is open 24 hours a day¹⁴, and offers a huge choice of beauty, fashion, jewellery, fragrance, alcohol, tobacco and souvenirs. You can even shop onlineand collect when you land.

  • Shops. Alongside duty-free outlets, the Dubai Airport shops list also includes a wide range of well-known brands. These include Boots, Bath & Body Works, Adidas, H&M and Victoria’s Secret.¹⁵

  • Lounges/VIP areas. Dubai Airport lounges are not only super luxurious, but there’s lots of them. Choose from the Ahan First Class Lounge in T1, the Plaza Premium Lounge in T3 and a Marhaba Lounge in each terminal.¹⁶

  • Restaurants/cafes. The wide range of Dubai Airport restaurants and cafés includes Giraffe, Pret a Manger, McDonald's, Cho Gao, Comptoir Libanais, Bottega and Jack’s Bar & Grill.¹⁷

  • Bars/Pubs. Grab a drink while you wait for your onward flight in either The Hangar sports bar, the Heineken bar, the Draft House or the Sky Bar with its panoramic views.¹⁷

Can I leave Dubai airport during a layover?

As a UK citizen transiting through Dubai, you don’t need a visa to leave the airport and enter the UAE. You will need to have an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) along with your passport¹⁸.

Not a UK citizen or not exempt from normal visa rules? Unless you’ve built a stay in Dubai into your itinerary and already have a visa, you’ll need to stay in the airport until your onward flight.

In this case, your best option for an overnight stay is the Dubai International Hotel, as it’s in the airport itself.

Can I stay at Dubai airport overnight?

You can book a stay at the Dubai International Hotel in Terminal 3. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the airport’s ‘sleep ‘n fly’ Sleep Lounges located in Terminal 3 and Terminal 1.²⁰

Can I shower in Dubai airport?

There are free-to-use shower facilities at Dubai Airport. You’ll find them in Terminal 3 between gates B13 and B19, and spa customers can also make use of the shower facilities there¹⁹.

Does Dubai airport have sleeping pods, and how much do they cost?

Yes, you can get some rest at the airport by booking a ‘sleep ‘n fly’ pod for a few hours. There’s a choice of options, from cosy Igloo pods to double cabins. Prices start from around £23 for two hours²⁰, but you can book for a longer period if you wish.

You must have a boarding pass for a departing flight, and not exit the terminal or pass through Dubai Immigration and Customs.

Contact options and a phone number for Dubai airport

Need to get in touch with the airport? Here’s the Dubai Airport contact number and other key details:

  • Phone number: +971 4 224 5555²¹
  • Live chat support - available here.

After reading this guide, you should have all the information you need to plan your layover at Dubai Airport.

We’ve covered the nearest hotels if you’re purely looking for convenience, as well as some cheap hotels near Dubai Airport if price is a concern. You also have some nice options for staying in the airport during your layover.

And if you have some time to kill, why not visit or stay in Dubai’s city centre and do some sightseeing? Either way, enjoy your layover at Dubai.

Sources used:

  1. Dubai International Hotel booking page
  2. Dubai International Hotel - accommodation information
  3. Premier Inn Dubai International Airport booking page
  4. Expedia - Premier Inn Dubai International Airport
  5. Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport booking page
  6. Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport - hotel information
  7. Marriott Element Dubai Airport - hotel information
  8. Marriott Element Dubai Airport booking page
  9. Accor Ibis Styles Dubai Airport Hotel booking page
  10. - Global Hostel
  11. - Short Tourist Place
  12. Airbnb - Serviced Apartment, Savoy Park
  13. Airbnb - Luxurious Studio Apartment, Bur Dubai
  14. Emirates - Dubai Airport FAQs
  15. Dubai Airport - Shops
  16. Dubai Airport - Lounges
  17. Dubai Airport - Dining
  18. Emirates - visa information
  19. Dubai Airport services
  20. Sleep ‘N Fly booking page
  21. Dubai Airport Contact page

Sources last checked on date: 16-08-2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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