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Get a free hotel stay, meal and transportation with Emirates Dubai Connect

Nov. 26, 2020
3 min read
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Here’s some good news if you’re traveling through Dubai anytime soon: Emirates has brought back its popular Dubai Connect package for customers transiting through Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Qualifying passengers receive a free night at a four- or five-star hotel, one free meal and ground transportation to and from the airport. This is undoubtedly a response to the drop in tourism caused by the global pandemic. With fewer tourists coming to Dubai for vacation, tapping into transiting passengers is one way to drum up tourism.

Travelers who choose to take advantage of this offer can get a UAE visa on arrival. Dubai also has testing requirements, which vary, depending on where you’re coming from. Most passengers need to present a negative PCR test taken up to 96 hours before arrival. Meanwhile, travelers from Germany and the UK can take a free COVID test at Dubai Airport.

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Who qualifies for Dubai Connect?

Emirates passengers in all cabin classes who have a stopover of 10-24 hours qualify for Dubai Connect. Bookings made through a travel agent are also eligible. Fares must be on Emirates-operated flights, including ones marketed by Qantas. Codeshare flights are not eligible, with the exception of EK5000 and QF8000.

Keep in mind that the Dubai Connect package is only available if you’re booking the shortest connection time possible. In other words, you can’t just book the flight with the longest layover if there is a shorter one available.

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As for hotels, you'll likely be put up at the Copthorne or the Le Méridien Airport Hotel Dubai. Both are very nice hotels close to Dubai Airport.

If you’re unable to leave the airport, you can still access the Dubai Connect airport lounge during your layover, free of charge.

Related: Where Americans can travel right now

How to book a Dubai Connect package

To book your free accommodations, you'll need to book a qualifying Emirates flight. Then head over o the Dubai Connect page and provide your travel information (booking number, name, etc.). You will then receive instructions for booking your free hotel and ground transportation.

Related: When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery

Bottom line

The Dubai Connect package is the latest effort on behalf of Emirates to drum up business in a global pandemic. In July, Emirates became the first airline to offer free COVID-19 travel insurance, providing peace of mind for travelers who are concerned about getting sick during their journey.

While Dubai has remained open for tourism, global travel demand is still way down and airlines like Emirates are in survival mode. By offering free hotel stays and ground transportation, Emirates may appeal to travelers looking for more value. The Dubai Connect package also encourages transiting passengers to spend money outside the airport and make up for lost tourism revenue.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees