Staying in a Snooze Cube at Dubai Airport

Single room Snooze Cube at Dubai Airport
Sleeping in the Snooze Cubes at Dubai airport is genius, both if you only plan to take a nap for a few hours, or overnight. As it is inside the terminal, it is convenient if you are short on time. Staying overnight, you do not have to get up extra early, calculating the time to go through security. You are already set!

The first time I heard about boxes to sleep in at an airport, was in Japan 10 years ago. I found it brilliant, but I thought it was a Japanese thing, as they tend to try to make the most of their time. It was added to my bucket list, and when I traveled through Dubai on my trip to Sri Lanka a few months ago, I learned about the Snooze Cubes there. So, when I again found myself in transit in Dubai on my way back from Thailand, I of course had to try!

The nice and helpful receptionist walked me to my room, and offered to wake me up in the morning. Unlike the capsule rooms at Narita Airport in Tokyo, the accommodation in Dubai is in actual rooms, with a bed (obviously), TV, music, internet, power outlet (fitting most contacts), and space to store your luggage inside. The image on the wall and the make-believe window with view, makes it look bigger. That is good news if you are a bit uncomfortable in small rooms.

To be honest, I was so excited to finally stay there, that I had trouble falling asleep at once! Evidently, I soon did anyway, and slept like a baby!

The Snooze Cubes at Dubai Airport are situated by gate C22 in Terminal 1. There are no toilets inside the area, but the closest public toilets are about 100 meter away. Here you will also find one shower (at least in the women’s bathroom). There are 10 Snooze Cubes available (some single and some double), and they can be booked directly on their web site.
Entrance to the Snooze Cubes at Dubai Airport Happy to finally stay overnight in the Snooze Cube at Dubai Airport
I actually had 13 hours transit, so I went downtown to watch the dancing fountains and having a drink with a view from AT.MOSPHERE Lounge in Burj Khalifa before returning to the airport to sleep. However, if you do decide to go out, please remember that you then must be checked in all the way through to your final destination, and hold a boarding pass for your onward journey to get back in again at any time you wish. If not, you will not be able to enter again until check in starts. Also, even though the Snooze Cubes are situated in Terminal 1, you have to enter at the terminal your flight will leave from, and then transfer from there.

Enjoy your sleep, I certainly did!

Experienced in April 2015. 

Flying Emirates via Dubai

The first time I flew Emirates, I was very happy with the service. My second experience has not changed my mind. To get the most of your flight, take a few seconds to read below.

Seat booking: When booking the ticket, you can select your favorite seat at the same time. At no additional cost.

Online check in: Check in online, and you can deliver your luggage at a dedicated counter at the airport, and avoid the longer queue.

Luggage: You are allowed to bring 30 kg checked luggage (if you really want to carry all that…), divided in as many pieces as you like.

Food and drinks: Both are included in the ticket in all classes.

Entertainment: Every seat has its own screen, with lots of movies, TV-shows, live news, radio, games and more.

Internet: If you are not entertained yet, most of the long haul flights have internet access. You get two hours for free, and can buy more time, starting from 6,99 $.

A brilliant detail: As I always (thankfully!) tend to sleep on planes I sometimes miss the meals. But, Emirates have different stickers you can place at your seat, letting the crew know if you want to sleep, or if they should wake you up. I love that!

Transit: Dubai airport is nice, clean and modern looking, with different shops and restaurant.

The great bonus: Most people does probably not know this, but if you fly Emirates and have 4 hours or more in transit, you will get a free meal voucher. If you ask for it, that is. Go to one of the Emirates information desks and get the voucher. They are valid at a selection of restaurants at terminal 1 and 3. Nice to know! UPDATE – Unfortunately, Emirates does no longer offer the free food vouchers.

Overnight transit: Not exclusively offered when flying Emirates, but still a great tip. If you have transit overnight (or just feel tired), get some sleep in one of the snooze cubes located at terminal that you can book by the hour. I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I have booked one on my way home. Stay tuned.
Read how it was staying overnight in a Snooze Cube!

Transit during the day: If you have an even longer transit, get the most of it, and go downtown to explore a bit of the city. See my blog post from Dubai for tips what to do. Taxis and buses are available around the clock, while the Dubai Metro has scheduled departures at Terminal 1 and 3.

Enjoy your flight!

A day in Dubai

Dubai. The one city in the world where you most frequently will hear the words “the world’s tallest/largest/most expensive” etc.

Dubai has never been a priority on my travel list, but given the choice either to hang out at the airport for 8 hours, or add an extra night to actually see a bit of Dubai, the choice was simple.

From Dubai International Airport we took the metro to Dubai Marina, and from there a taxi to our apartment at Marina Pinnacle (also known as Tiger building). Our room was quite large, with beds for four persons, so an easy pick for a larger group. The bathroom however, is shared with the two other rooms.

Waking up fairly early the next day, we had a quick stroll around the marina. The high-raised buildings were almost breathtaking, surrounding us all over. The thought of this being all dessert just a few years ago, felt unbelievable!

High-raised buildings at Dubai Marina

High-raised buildings at Dubai Marina.

Since we only had one full day to explore, we decided to take the easy way out, meaning buying a ticket for the hop-on and off sightseeing bus. Although I usually like exploring on my own, I must admit that I have gone for this option quite a few times in other cities, and often find it is a great way to get around, and at the same time get a bit insight.

Walking around Dubai Marina we were looking for the starting point for the bus, without luck. Eventually, a person representing The Big Bus Company approached us. Apparently, most of the stops are not marked by signs, so make sure to hang on to your map if you are not planning to get back on again at the exact same spot you got off.

The inclusions in the ticket are many, other than the obvious tour around the city, there are two boat trips, a desert sunset tour, and a few other things. Obviously, it is not possible to do all in one day, but if you have time to do 48 hours, I believe you will get value for money.

The ticket we bought was valid for three different routes. Jumping on the blue route, we were taken around the Dubai Marina, continuing to the tip of Palm Jumeirah where the Atlantis aquarium is located. The aquarium is included in the 72 hour ticket, but as we did not have that, nor wanted to spend valuable time there, we just had a quick look around the hotel complex. Going back to town, we wanted to try the monorail. Riding high above ground, we got a good view of the development at this artificial island shaped as a palm.

One of the beaches at Palm Jumeirah seen from the monorail

One of the beaches at Palm Jumeirah seen from the monorail.

However, I was still longing for a view of it seen from a higher point. Looking around, I figured that there was a chance that the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites would probably have a restaurant/bar with a view. I was right. The Observatory is situated at the 52nd level, giving stunning views of the Palm Jumeirah. Did I mention how much I love views?….

Enjoying the view, an ice cold beer and some salty nuts, we took a break from it all.

View of Palm Jumeirah from The Observatory at Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites

View of Palm Jumeirah from The Observatory at Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites

Looking down at the high-raised buildings at Dubai Marina from The Observatory at Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites
But as time was short, we had to take advantage and get moving. A thing about the hop on/off buses is that they are effective once you are on, but not necessarily getting from one route to another. Or, as I mentioned earlier, to find the bus stops. My advice; try to plan upfront, and ask the staff to point out the wanted stop if you are not getting off/on at the same spot.

Burj Al Arab in Dubai

Burj Al Arab.

Ending up taking a taxi to the Souk Madinat, we had a very quick look around before getting to the transfer point for the blue and red line. Our next stop was Dubai Mall, even though shopping was not on the agenda. Our goal was Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building (of course…), rising 828m above the city. One word; views. Our experience in another word; disappointment.

Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, rising 828m above the city
It seems tickets has to be booked upfront, so the only ones available was for the very top, simply called At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY at level 148. The price was 500(!) AED per person! That was a little bit over the top, even for a view-maniac like me. I would have settled for the view from level 125, but even that was expensive enough.

Rumor has it that instead of doing Burj Khalifa SKY, the Atmosphere Lounge has the same magnificent view. But, that too has to be booked in advance. In other words, the view from Dubai Marriott by the marina was what I had to settle for.

Admitting defeat, we jumped on the next bus heading for the old town. If I need to remind you (again), pushing salesmen an me; not a good match. Therefore, the visit at the souk was short.

One of the things I had been looking forward to the most after reading about it, was the old wooden abra’s crossing the Khor Dubai river. I instantly decided this was something I had to experience.

At the bank of Khor Dubai river

At the bank of Khor Dubai river.

Wooden abra’s crossing the Khor Dubai river

Wooden abra’s crossing the Khor Dubai river

Crossing the Khor Dubai river in a wooden abra.

Crossing the Khor Dubai river in a wooden abra.

Sunset by Khor Dubai river

Sunset by Khor Dubai river.

Another highlight was the dancing Dubai Fountain. Every day, every half hour from 18.00 to 23.00, the great fountains between Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa gets alive, dancing to different music coordinated by lights. A popular place for tourists and locals alike, and I certainly see why.

The anticipation builds up, what is in stall this time? Firstly, the lights start moving on the calm water. Then the music start. The water in the fountains rises. Accompanied with the lights, the jets of water move, as they are dancing with the rhythm of the music. Spectacular!

A friend of mine had tipped me that TGI Fridays at Dubai Mall was a great spot to watch the show. I usually stay clear of chain restaurants when travelling (or whenever), but the view got me tempted. Giving me no regret at all. Getting a table outside at the balcony surely does the trick!

The dancing Dubai Fountain

The dancing Dubai Fountain.

We actually experienced three versions of the light show:

1. down at the ground floor, where most people stand around the lake. Great vibe, but being as short as I am, it was sometimes hard to see above the taller heads.
2. From TGI Fridays (or the other restaurants above). The more expensive version, as you have to buy something. It is lacking the feel of the tension, but giving great view.
3. Looking down at the show from Neos bar at the 63rd floor of the hotel The Address Downtown Dubai. I felt the drink in my hand did not make up for the lack of music and ambiance.

Looking down at the show from Neos bar at the 63rd floor of the hotel The Address Downtown Dubai

Looking down at the show from Neos bar at the 63rd floor of the hotel The Address Downtown Dubai.

Bottom line; Choosing again, I would go for number two.

However, all the versions we saw, did not even come close to the one I saw on YouTube when uploading my video. See both yourself and compare…

The Michael Jackson song has been haunting me for days already…

Experienced in January 2015.