Emirates checkin reception at Le Meridien hotel

Emirates Dubai Connect For DXB Long Layover Passengers

by Dubai Travel Planner

Understanding what is Dubai Connect and who exactly is eligible for this Emirates-run service

What is Emirates Dubai Connect?

Dubai Connect is a complimentary hotel service offered by Emirates for passengers who have a long layover between flights through Dubai International Airport (DXB)

It comes with many terms and conditions, but with some careful planning, it can be a great and efficient service to get through a long layover in Dubai comfortably and smoothly – offering you a hotel room AND meals.

Who Can Avail Dubai Connect?

Dubai Connect Services are available to passengers with a connecting stopover time of 8 to 26 hours. This applies to passengers in Economy and Premium Economy (as well as Business/First Class Flights booked before 23 July 2023).

If you are flying Business or First Class with Emirates and booked your ticket AFTER 23 July 2023, you can now avail Dubai Connect with a stopover time of 6 to 26 hours.

These terms were last check with Emirates in October 2023

The itinerary must be a single booking ticketed on one ticket. The ticket must be issued on an Emirates (176) document or a Qantas (081) document.

If you are looking at a layover of fewer than 8 hours, then we suggest you look up these handy guides instead:

Emirates Layover Passengers DXB

Dubai Connect – Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book Dubai Connect?

This complimentary service can be booked when you book your flights through a travel agency. (Note: we are not a travel agency and cannot do this for you).

If you are self-booking through the Emirates website, after booking your flights, you can go into “manage my booking” with Emirates immediately and up to 24 hours before your flight. There is a quick form to fill in online that will tell you pretty much straight away if you’re eligible.

Do I need a transit visa to use Dubai Connect?

Emirates previously asked that passengers take care of their own visa requirements; however, with the re-introduced service from 1 December 2020, Emirates will now help passengers with their visa on arrival. You can read more about whether you are eligible for a visa on arrival or must obtain a transit visa here.

Note that many nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival for free, or you can apply for an Emirates-sponsored complimentary visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 24 hours. If the UAE authorities reject your application, however, Emirates cannot offer you the Dubai Connect service.

All passports, regardless of nationality, must have a validity of at least 90 days.

Do I have to clear customs to use Dubai Connect?

Yes, the reason you must have a valid visa is that you are actually leaving the hotel to avail this service. You may choose to check your bags through to your final destination and only take a carry-on bag for your layover.

After clearing customs, make your way to the Emirates transfer lounge.

Is there currently a requirement to complete a COVID test when I arrive in Dubai?

There is no longer any compulsory testing for COVID-19 in the UAE, nor a need to show vaccination status or wear a face mask.

Does Dubai Connect cost me extra?

No, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria above, this is a free service to transit passengers. You may be asked to leave credit card details when checking in to your hotel for any incidentals only. You will be given transfers and meal vouchers along with the hotel room.

Through which airport and airlines can I use Dubai Connect?

At present, Emirates only flies through DXB – Dubai International Airport. It is only available to Emirates customers and certain Qantas codeshares. 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 unavailable on flights with other airlines and/or where Emirates is the marketing carrier only.

Can I extend my stopover times to use the Dubai Connect service and freshen up between flights?

Emirates Dubai Connect is only available if no better connection times are available to get you between your origin and destination.  If an earlier flight connection is available, you must take this before trying to avail Dubai Connect. It is really only designed for passengers taking their less-frequent long-haul services to help smooth out their long journey.

Do I get to choose my hotel with Dubai Connect?

Your ticketing class determines your hotel and available rooms in each of the hotels.

The Dubai Connect Hotel will most likely be either the Copthorne Hotel Dubai, the Le Méridien Airport Hotel Dubai, the Arabian Park Hotel Dubai, or another alternative at the discretion of Emirates.

No guarantees are given on which hotel will be allocated, and Emirates reserves the right to modify or cancel this offer at any time without notice. Offer is subject to availability.

Pictured a deluxe room inside the 5* Le Meridien Airport Hotel Dubai. Business and First Class passengers are likely to be placed here with a great range of dining choices, pool, spa, gym & entertainment.

Inside the Le Meridien hotel adjacent to Dubai Airport

Can unaccompanied minors use the Dubai Connect Service?

No, passengers under 18 can only use Dubai Connect when accompanied by an adult.  Up to a maximum of 2 children with one adult can be accommodated. (We read this to mean if you are travelling with 2 adults, up to 4 children, over 2 rooms) You can read more about Emirates Unaccompanied Minor Services here

What happens when you arrive in Dubai?

You should have already been issued your hotel voucher along with your boarding passes when you boarded your flight at the origin airport.

After passing through passport control, take this voucher with you to the Emirates Chauffeur car services counter for transportation to your hotel.

You will be checked in at your hotel at a special Emirates reception desk and be issued meal vouchers that cover the length of your stay. At the completion of your stay, a complimentary van or car service will return you to the airport in plenty of time for your connecting flight at DXB.

This is the special Emirates entrance to Le Meridien next to DXB airport, where business and gold class passengers using Dubai Connect may be allocated a free overnight stay.
Emirates checkin reception at Le Meridien hotel

Can I leave my hotel during the layover period?

Yes, you may travel into other parts of Dubai during your layover stay should you wish, but Emirates will not cover any costs beyond getting you to your hotel room and the meals onsite in the hotel.

If you take any taxies and tours beyond this, it’s at your own cost and your responsibility to be back at the hotel in time to connect for your next flight.

What if my flight connection at DXB is over 8 hours but I do not feel comfortable leaving the airport?

If you qualify for Dubai Connect but do not wish to avail the external hotel room, you can opt to relax and unwind in the Emirates Dubai Connect airport lounge inside DXB instead on a complimentary basis (no beds, but showers and meals provided).

Alternatively, there is the sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounge A Gates and another at C-Gates in DXB or the Dubai International Terminal Hotel (both at your own costs) airside that don’t involve clearing customs.

Can I choose my own hotel instead of one selected by Dubai Connect?

By all means, there are many reasonably priced hotels you could choose to stay at close to the airport at your own expense. If you opt to use Dubai Connect, you will not get to choose the hotel.

What if I booked my flight before 11 October 2022?

It looks like Emirates is not applying their change in policy for layover times between 8 to 10 hours if you booked prior to last October. It’s a grey area, so by all means, enquire with the airline, but the policy firmly states that layovers of 8 to 26 hours apply only for tickets booked AFTER 11 October 2022.

What if I booked my Business Class flight before 23 July 2023?

It looks like they are also standing firm on this policy change, too. If you booked your Business/First class flight with Emirates prior to the most recent rule change, you can still only avail Dubai Connect on a layover longer than 8 hours. The 6-hour rule is only for flights booked after 23 July 2023.

Good to know! If your connecting flight is delayed or cancelled for any reason with Emirates, the same hotels are made available to transit passengers delayed by longer than 10 hours, with meals provided as described above.

You can read more about Dubai Connect eligibility and conditions with Emirates here

Alternatives to Dubai Connect For Long Layovers

Looking for alternative accommodation near DXB? If you are not eligible for Dubai Connect but still fancy a lie down between flights without travelling far, we recommend you try:

Or check out all available nearby options here:

We hope this will help you decide if Dubai Connect is the right solution for you flying with Emirates. We’d still love you to stop by on at least one leg through DXB, though!

Even in the peak of summer, there can still be fun things to see and do on a short break in Dubai, or stick around even longer – check out our itinerary ideas.

Take me back to the Dubai Essential Planning information page

Please note we are not a travel agency, nor an agent for Emirates. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.

Dubai Travel Planner

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D Morgan November 17, 2020 - 4:39 pm

Given all the Covid related issues with travel now i do not want to leave the terminal to use Dubai Connect during my transit in December. Can i request to stay in the transit hotel?

Dubai Travel Planner November 17, 2020 - 6:33 pm

This is understandable, you would need to enquire directly with Emirates or your agent issuing the ticket. I suspect they will say to use the Dubai Connect service you must leave the airport as Dubai International Hotel is not one of the hotels used by Dubai Connect. You could alternatively use a sleep pod within the airport and decline the use of Dubai Connect for your long connection.

John Joseph April 7, 2021 - 10:11 am

Are the Lounges in Dubai airports open during these times ?

Dubai Travel Planner April 11, 2021 - 7:59 am

Yes lounges are open in DXB but you will find COVID safety measures and distancing rules in place, some changes to food service

Arian Jabari June 3, 2021 - 11:13 pm

Hello… Is dubai connection service charges us an additional cost on the ticket, or this service is available for free along with the ticket (for layovers more than 10h) ?

Dubai Travel Planner June 4, 2021 - 2:51 pm

If you’re an eligible passenger it is currently a free service offered by Emirates.

Anish shaikh October 21, 2021 - 7:29 pm

I have transit more then 20 hours…can I get free hotel and food ……or I have to take visa for go out…..I want only stay less then 20 hours do I need visa or iget free visa…..please help me out thanks

Dubai Travel Planner October 23, 2021 - 9:38 am

You will need to contact either the agent who booked your ticket or, if you booked online, Emirates directly to ask them what entitlements you have. If you had no choice but to book with a long layover, they should be responsible for arranging your Dubai Connect accommodation and will help you with how to apply for a transit visa, if applicable.

Edward Ameyaw December 18, 2021 - 5:58 pm

Please I booked at an Emirates office in Ghana. The agent advised me to submit the following information when it is about 14 days to my departure:
1. Copy of your passport information page
2. Copy of a passport sized photograph
3. Name of passengersBooking reference
4. Ticket number
5. Email address so we can share your visa status

My departure is on 20th December so I did the submission on 7th December. After the confirmation receipt email, I not yet received any email on whether visa is granted or otherwise, can I travel on my booked date and will I be assigned a hotel on arrival at Dubai?

Dubai Travel Planner December 19, 2021 - 9:35 am

You will need to take this up with your travel agent or with Emirates directly. This is a Dubai travel blog, we cannot help with specific queries.

Tracey March 27, 2022 - 4:59 am

We have a 14 hour layover in Dubai, filled out all of the forms after being notified by Emirates that we were eligible for the Connect services but have never received confirmation that our hotel is taken care of. Is this typical or should we follow up? I an not find a number to do so however, do you have one, if we need it? Thanks!

Dubai Travel Planner March 29, 2022 - 7:13 pm

You would need to enquire with Emirates direct but it’s our understanding that you may not be told what hotel you’ve been allocated until you land.

Allen April 8, 2022 - 4:43 pm

Are we allowed to check out checked-in baggage at Dubai when availing of the Dubai connect service for an 18-hour layover?

Dubai Travel Planner April 9, 2022 - 10:14 am

Hi Allen, you would need to confirm with the airline directly but my understanding is as its a connecting flight, you do NOT get your check baggage back between flights. You’ll need everything you want to access for your layover in your carry on luggage.

Vanessa Tormey July 5, 2022 - 3:59 pm

If Emirates change your flight from a 2 hour stopover to a 17 hour, 3 days after you booked, can you book Dubai connect? I’m travelling in January 2023.

Dubai Travel Planner July 5, 2022 - 4:06 pm

Yes, we believe in this circumstance when Emirates has moved the flight timings and there’s no faster connection then they are responsible for your layover accommodation in Dubai. Please reach out to the airline if you booked direct or through your travel agent and they should be able to confirm your Dubai Connect booking.

HEMANG SHAH August 20, 2022 - 12:38 pm





Dubai Travel Planner August 23, 2022 - 2:34 pm

We are a travel blog, we have no connection to Emirates airline; you will need to raise your query directly with Emirates

Alisha September 26, 2022 - 11:34 am

Hello, Can one room accommodate 2 adults and 2 children or will 2 rooms need to be booked?

Dubai Travel Planner September 26, 2022 - 9:55 pm

It may depend on the hotel you are allocated by Emirates. As long as you are eligible and booked for 4 people, you should be given the correct room(s).

Peter October 30, 2022 - 12:15 am

Thanks for the informative article.
I have a specific question I cannot see answered online.

I’m flying first class London to Sydney my first time 🙂 and want to leave the airport with Emerates connect.
My question is if I take the great goody amenity bag containing luxury liquids (moisturisers and such) off the plane at Dubai is there any way to take keep it when I reboard the plane?
I’m thinking it will exceed the maximum permitted liquid allowed for security.

So does anyone know you can temporarily leave the small bag inside the security checked are and collect it when you re-board?

Dubai Travel Planner October 31, 2022 - 1:43 pm

Great question but you’ll need to direct this to Emirates. The team have discussed, and none of us know if the toiletries are over 100ml bottles -they should be under, the business calsss ones are but we cannot say for sure. You may not have an issue through main security at DXB, but boarding flights to Australia they do a secondary search for liquids and are very particular on applying the liquids rule which will be no more than a 100ml bottle.

R A B April 16, 2023 - 5:55 am

I have a “Dubai Connect” stay booked (Economy class) as my transit time in Dubai is over 8 hours. I have been told I will receive my vouchers for this when I check in at my Australian airport. Where do I present them for my short stay in Dubai when I arrive in Terminal 3, Dubai? One blog states to go to the Dubai Connect desk just before immigration. You say (see above) to pass through immigration and take the vouchers to the chauffer car service. Can you please confirm where I process in Terminal 3 the vouchers for my hotel stay which includes transport and meals?

Dubai Travel Planner April 17, 2023 - 5:05 pm

Our understanding is that you need to go to the desk in the arrivals hall, which is after immigration. If in doubt when you land, ask one of the Emirates ground staff to direct you, but the transfer desk before immigration is for those immediately connecting or staying in the airport for their layover.

Chris B April 19, 2023 - 5:57 pm

I have an Emirates flight from the UK to Dubai with a 10 hours stop over. My connecting flight is with Fly Dubai part of Emirates, will I still be entitled to use Dubai Connect ?

Dubai Travel Planner May 3, 2023 - 12:17 pm

You will need to contact Emirates direct to see eligibility with a code share flight; I believe if the tickets have been purchased together this is OK but the airline will have to confirm.

iris ooi May 12, 2023 - 5:54 am

Good morning team, I got my hotel accommodation through Dubai Connect, please advise how many guests are staying in a room?

Dubai Travel Planner May 29, 2023 - 4:20 pm

You will need to raise this either with the travel company you booked through or Emirates, you will be allocated the correct number of rooms/beds for your travelling party.

Paula June 18, 2023 - 2:25 pm

Hello, I’m watching the flights. My flight is from Sydney – Copenhagen 6:00 a.m. with a.m. stopover in Dubai. There is another one that leaves the same day but at 9:00 p.m…. would my flight be eligible for Dubai Connect?

Dubai Travel Planner June 19, 2023 - 4:28 pm

You would need to enquire with Emirates directly for your eligibility on any given route.

Rah February 19, 2024 - 7:28 pm

Great article. Two questions. How long does it take from terminal 3 to meridian. If I decide to access the business class lounge inside terminal 3 which one is the best? And do they have recliners to rest?

Dubai Travel Planner February 20, 2024 - 9:47 am

Emirates runs a service for business class passengers over to Le Meridien so it depends if you need to wait for a few other passengers in a van, or if they’ll take you in their own chauffer car. Its only 5-10 minute drive over the other side of the freeway from the airport.
If you stay in the airport, business class passengers and Gold Skywards can use the Emirates own-branded lounge would be best. From memory, there are only a few ‘nap pod’ recliner chairs, but its vast, so several quieter corners and working pods that are pretty cosy can be found too.


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