It’s that time of year again…

Travellers heading abroad for the festive season are being warned to brace themselves for the holiday rush at Dubai International Airport.

Emirates says it expects one of its highest passenger traffic periods for 2017 this upcoming weekend, starting Thursday December 14.

More than 420,000 travellers will be passing through Emirates Terminal 3 alone this weekend, according to the airline’s latest booking figures. The busiest day for the airline is expected to be Friday December 15.

Remember, there are also road works and major infrastructure enhancements happening around the main airport roads and highways right now, which means you may need to build in extra travel time to avoid potential delays.

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Emirates has reminded customers that they should arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight departs – you can check in at the airport as early as six hours in advance. All passengers are requested to check in no later than two hours prior to departure (those who try to check in less than 60 minutes before their flight will not be accepted for travel).

You can also check in online from 48 hours to 90 minutes before your flight time. Then, once you’re all checked in, make sure you get to your gate on time – gates open 90 minutes before departure, and boarding starts 45 minutes before each flight. Gates close 20 minutes before departure (so don’t get too carried away with that duty free shopping).

Here are some more tips for a smooth Dubai departure…

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

– Arrive early at the airport. It is best to leave a minimum of three hours for check-in and passport control. Take into consideration daily rush hours and available routes in calculating your commuting time to the airport.

Download the UAEWallet app, and register your details so you don’t have to use your passport to get through the gates (and saving time in the process).

– Make sure your suitcase complies with Dubai Airports’ strict baggage regulations. Remember, only bags that have a flat surface will be checked in.

– 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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