A wee word of caution for anyone who may have a few hours layover at DXB and fancy leaving the airport for a while.
I arrived here last night on KLM at Terminal 1..the distance to get to immigration is long, then arrived at the immigration area, quite a lot of desks were open (maybe 60%), joined one of the queues with maybe 30 people in front of me... NINETY MINUTES later I was still in this queue, everyone getting very ratty by this time and what did not help was the queue beside ours was for 1 desk, then 2, then THREE!!... this queue went down very fast... Quite a few people in our very very slow queue suggested maybe one of the 3 desks cater to our queue to some of the MANY staff wandering about aimlessly which was met with a shoulder shrug grunt and walk off attitude. The guy manning our desk seemed clueless to what he was doing with him taking an average of 6 mins to process ONE passenger whilst a guy in a booth next was about 3-4 mins per passenger... They firstly check your passport, then take a photo of you, then faff about getting you to stare into some eye scanner machine for ages until it works before stamping your passport and sending you on your way. my flight was luckily fairly early in the arrivals hence getting to join the queue, by the time I got through immigration the entire hall was rammed with thousands of passengers stretching way back outside the immigration hall... then in what seems completely utterly pointless you join a queue to put your HAND LUGGAGE through a scanner, this queue wasn't too bad as passengers getting past immigration was at a trickle(still took another 5 minutes)I have NEVER experienced such a shambles as this anywhere I have been (Even the US is easier to get into) I dread to think how long it will take to get to departures when leaving....so from getting on stand at 2255 I finally got into my hotel (literally 5 mins from the airport) at 0130. I spoke to someone today in the hotel who came by Emirates and she said they never experienced this level of trouble, so,clearly the immigration in the EK terminal have got it right, but, the powers that be at DXB need to sort this insanity out properly trained immigration officers, realising a backlog is happening and opening more desks up.... as many immigration officers wandering around checking their texts as were manning a station..(By contrast I arrived yesterday in the morning rush at Amsterdam and was landside in under 10 mins of exiting the aircraft)So anyone thinking of taking a quick visit to the city be sure you have a very long transit time.