Run out of data and heading to the airport? Don’t worry.

Travelling soon? Many of you are likely to be, with the weekends leading up to Christmas being historically busy across Dubai Airports.

Well, the good news is there’s now unlimited free (and high speed) Wi-Fi at all Dubai airports. The no-time-limit free internet has been tested at Concourse D since July, and has now been rolled out at all terminals.

In fact, the airports have invested in 6,000 new Wi-Fi access points across its terminals – and say they now have the bandwidth capacity to power a small city.

And they need that power too: it is estimated that 83 million passengers will pass through Dubai Airports in 2016, and DXB is still the world’s number one airport in terms of international passenger traffic.

Wow. And to think this is what it looked like in the ’60s:


Here’s how people communicated with family in DXB’s transit lounge in the 1970s:



The other very good news is that your Emirates ID can now be used instead of an E-Gate card at all Dubai terminals. The system is available at all 127 Smart Gates, and more than 234,000 UAE residents have already used the service.

How does it work? Well you simply insert your Emirates ID, go through an automated gate and then put down your thumb or finger (the screen will tell you which one) to verify your identity.

When we tried it recently we were a bit confused at first, but found that putting our finger down for a few seconds and then lifting it up (unprompted) opened the gate. Also, there are assistants at the gates to help you if it’s your first time. It’s a bit of a game changer for anyone who hasn’t had an E-Gate before.

All UAE residents with a valid Emirates ID that are over 18 can use the Smart Gates. If you’re a family travelling with anyone under 18, you can still use the Smart Gate, just approach the manned counter near the gate and they’ll help you out.

This is all part of the plans to expand the airports’ capacity to 118 million by 2023.

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