Dubai International Airport is a huge facility with 1.8 million square meters of floor space. That size alone makes it already a good airport to crash in (no pun intended). There are many nooks and corners to grab a good spot to sleep in. Probably the most difficult aspect of sleeping in Dubai International Airport is that there is so much to do there. Dubai International Airport was designed to be a major hub in the region and has 4 large terminals and has huge areas dedicated to duty-free shopping (over 1 million square meters).
Security is tight at the airport due to terrorism concerns and the Emirates stance on drugs. Be careful not to take any strong medications to doze off on the plane if you’re planning on a nap at the airport without checking well in advance if they are acceptable in Dubai. Certainly don’t take any illegal drugs as Dubai International Airport has scanners that can detect minute amounts of drugs in the bloodstream, including codeine.
The airport itself is ever expanding although with so much area dedicated to shopping it can be hard to find a quiet spot to sleep in. Generally if you’re trying to catch up on a few hours of sleep in an airport you want to be where there’s little foot traffic. This is not only because it’s more comfortable to do so but also to avoid any opportunistic thieves who may want to take advantage of a sleeping passenger.
There are several premium lounges for passengers but the selection for regular travelers is limited. (Premium lounges run about $40 but get you nice bathrooms and bigger couches to sleep in.) There is free wi-fi throughout the airport and several benches at each gate which are great to spread out on. You can find some good sofa-life seats too but you may have to walk around to find any that are free. Being the 11th busiest airport in the world Dubai International is busy almost around the clock. One of the treats of the airport though is passengers who have layovers of 4 hours or more can get a complimentary meal at the airport buffet restaurant. In that case don’t sleep too long and take advantage of plentiful food that’s not too bad actually.
Dubai International Airport is constantly being upgraded with the passenger in mind. Restrooms are plentiful, clean, and near the gates. If you have a chance to make a layover in Dubai plan it out to stay for a bit over 4 hours, enjoy a nice meal, and relax on one of the common or premium couches before moving on to your next destination.