Flying with an airline other than Emirates to Dubai this Spring? Take important note!
The busiest airport in the world DXB – Dubai International Airport – will be closing one of its two runways for essential refurbishment works to take place over a period of 45 days.
From May 9, DXB northern runway will be closed.
Many flights originally scheduled to operate from DXB will be diverted to the city’s second airport, Dubai World Central – DWC (Al Maktoum Airport) to deal with the reduced capacity.
Sitting on the far side of the city, this will take a little extra planning by passengers coming to and from the airport. We’ll set out for you here what your need to know if you are one of the 1000 or so weekly flights that will be affected over May and June 2022.
How do I know if my flight will be moved to DWC?
Firstly, no flights operated by Emirates out of their usual home at Terminal 3 are impacted by the runway closure.
Some, but not all flights operated by other airlines, will be moved to DWC. This includes flights operated by FlyDubai, Gulf Air, Indigo, Spice Jet, Qatar Airways and several more.
You can check the flight schedules on the Dubai Airports website.
How do I get to and from DWC?
RTA express bus services will operate from Ibn Battuta Mall and Al Ghubaiba Bus Station to get passengers to DWC. The bus fare is 7.5 AED, payable by Nol.
If you have a connecting flight from DWC to DXB or vice versa, you’ll need to get yourself on one of the complimentary inter-airport coaches. These will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the move.
Taxies will also be available at both airports, with special fares in RTA operated taxis originating from DWC.
You can use Careem private driving service with a special discount code FLYDWC.
Note that there is no Metro station at present to connect DWC to the rest of the Metro network. The closest Metro station is Expo 2020 which is still around 15 minutes away by taxi from DWC.
There is no direct transportation from DWC to Abu Dhabi. You would need to get to Ibn Battuta Station by taxi/Metro or RTA bus to connect for the intercity bus to Abu Dhabi.
What facilities will be open at Dubai World Central?
DWC has been closed since the pandemic but will be re-opened at 100% capacity to deal with the passenger influx from 9 May 2022.
All bars, cafes, restaurants, and duty-free retail outlets at the airport will be operational for the runway move, including the likes of Mcdonald’s, Costa Coffee, Starbucks and the Marhaba Executive Lounge.
It is a smaller airport than DXB, so once through check-in and immigration, it will take you less time to get to your flight, but it’s still recommended you allow 3 hours before an international flight.
UAE visa-holders will continue to be able to travel through Smart gates installed at Dubai World Central if they have already registered for the Smart gate system.
Note that home luggage collection service Dubz will continue to operate for passengers who will be flying out of DWC (book before 30 May and get a discount using code DUBZ_DWC)
Why is the runway closing at DXB?
Usually running as a dual runway airport, the closure at DXB is part of Dubai Airport’s regular maintenance program. The southern runway was previously closed in 2019, now it’s time for the northern runway to receive an upgrade to ensure safe and efficient use for years to come.
The runway upgrade will include laying 160,000 tonnes of asphalt and 30,000m3 of concrete, alongside 264 kilometres of cable and 4,400 runway lights.
The closure is taking place at this time as peak travel from Eid ul-Fitr is expected to have reduced and before the summer rush and Eid ul-Adha in July.
Staying close to DWC Al Maktoum Airport
If you’re someone who loves to stay near the airport so you can be right on time for your flight, the closest option with a really reasonable ‘Stay Here, Fly There’ pricing for the duration of the runway works, we recommend you try Aloft Dubai South.
Only 5 minutes by taxi from DWC (plus they’re running a complimentary shuttle), you’ll find Aloft Dubai South is open 24 hours and has a 9-hour package starting from just 99 AED++ per room.
Regular rates also apply for longer stays, plus you can add a buffet breakfast for 35 AED.
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack, and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
- Pick up a Dubai Pass from iVenture or a Dubai Go City Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!
- Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers 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