Emirates is expecting a record-breaking number of travellers this weekend, with 34,000 people checking into Emirates’ Terminal 3 facilities on Friday December 18.

Over 535,000 people will be travelling with Emirates from Thursday December 17 to Saturday December 19, a 14 per cent increase on last year. The busiest day in Dubai airports is expected to be Friday December 18.

Emirates’ top destinations out of Dubai over the period will be Beirut, London, Bangkok, Istanbul, Karachi and Cairo.

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Dubai Airports has also commented on the rush: “Dubai International is gearing up for what will most likely be the busiest days in its 55-year history as the end-of-the-year seasonal rush hits its peak in the second half of December,” said a spokesperson for Dubai Airports. “As part of its preparations the airport is encouraging travellers to arrive early to the airport to make their journey smooth.”

The airports and airlines will have additional staff on hand to deal with the rush, and Emirates will open its check-in counters six hours before a flight’s departure, but ask passengers to get to the airport at least three hours before their flight time (and to account for extra traffic in Dubai en route to the airport).

Emirates customers who attempt to check-in less than 60 minutes before their scheduled flight departure will not be accepted. Emirates has designated an area for families – with 10 economy check in counters in Area 2 of Terminal 3 that will be open only to those with children. 

Remember, you can check in online if you’re travelling with Emirates, but if you do so you’ll still have to drop your luggage off 90 minutes before your flight leaves. If you have an e-boarding pass and are travelling with carry-on bags only, you can proceed directly to passport control and security clearance.

Here are some top travel tips to ensure a smooth Dubai departure…

– Be sure to check which airport/terminal you are departing from before leaving home. Check www.dubaiairports.ae for flight status.

– Aim to arrive early at the airport: leave three hours for check-in and immigration. Take into consideration daily rush hours in calculating your commute to the airport.

– Make sure all liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) in your check-in baggage are in a clear re-sealable plastic bag. Each item should not be more than 100ml, and the total content of all items should not be more than one litre.

– Take off all metal items – like watches, belts, etc, before you go through the security screening. Perhaps put it in your hand luggage before you even get to the security area to save time.

– Check in online (when possible) or use the self-service check-in kiosks in the departures hall.

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