A couple of months ago we travelled to Dubai (if you haven’t yet, check out what we did during our trip on our Instagram highlights!), where we had an amazing trip and got to discover this intriguing city set in the desert sands of the UAE. For our trip, we had the opportunity to fly with Emirates, and boy, were we excited!
Having flown from Singapore to Dubai and back, in this article we’ll be sharing a review of our experience and breaking down everything you need to know about flying Economy Class to Dubai with Emirates 😉
If you’re planning to book a flight to Dubai, you’ll be excited to know that Emirates is offering special promotional fares as part of the Great Singapore Sale! Book your tickets from now until 7 July 2019 to enjoy return trip fares to Dubai from just SGD649 for Economy Class and SGD2809 for Business Class (travel period: valid from now to 31 December 2019).
The promotion also covers other destinations including London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona and New York, so don’t forget to check those out too 😉 In addition, passengers who book travel dates in September will enjoy an additional SGD50 off on Economy Class and SGD100 off on Business Class 😁 So book your tickets now before the promotion ends!
Overview of Emirates’ Singapore – Dubai flights
Emirates currently operates 28 weekly flights between Singapore and Dubai (see the full schedule of inbound and outbound flights here). The flights depart from Terminal 1 at Changi Airport and land at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport.
Emirates uses Boeing 777 as well as Airbus A380 aircraft for this route. Which aircraft you’ll take depends on your flight timing, with a flight duration of around 7.5 to 8 hours. Both our flights to and from Dubai were on a Boeing 777. Our flight to Dubai departed at 9.40am on a Thursday morning and arrived at 1pm in Dubai, while our flight back from Dubai departed at 9.15pm on Tuesday night, arriving at 8.25am in Singapore the next morning (P.S. These flights times are great because that way you can maximize your time spent in Dubai! 😁).
Flight prices displayed are from Emirates website as of 3 June 2019
For Economy Class, Emirates offers three different tiers of tickets – Saver, Flex and Flex Plus (with Saver being the cheapest). The different tiers vary in terms of checked baggage allowance, seat selection, Skywards Miles (Emirates’ frequent flyer programme), as well as fees for changes or refunds. You’ll be able to see the different tier options when booking your flight online.
For the Singapore-Dubai route, Emirates has a generous checked baggage allowance for Economy Class passengers ranging between 25 – 35kg (depending on whether you opt for Saver, Flex or Flex Plus). We found this very helpful as we didn’t have to worry about overpacking, even on our way back home when our luggage was a lot heavier thanks to all the dates, nuts and other goodies we bought during our trip 😂
You can check-in for your flight online between 48 to 1.5 hours before your flight departs. We had a quick and fuss-free experience checking in at both Changi Airport and Dubai Airport. At Changi Airport there are automated kiosks and baggage drop machines available, while in Dubai, there are plenty of check-in counters in the airport including special counters dedicated for families!
#HHWTTip: If you’re planning to bring a drone during your trip (like we did to get some awesome shots in the desert!), please note that you’ll have to check-in the drone, as it’s not allowed as cabin baggage. Make sure to remove the batteries before checking it in.
Flying with Emirates
As mentioned earlier, both our flights to Dubai and back were aboard a Boeing 777, with a 3-4-3 seating configuration. We found the cabin and our seats comfortable with a good amount of leg space, and we felt super welcomed by the cheerful cabin crew who were quick to help and give us a hand with anything.
Our seats also came with a power outlet and USB ports that made it easy to charge our devices.
ice entertainment system
Ask anyone who’s flown Emirates and they’ll probably say Emirates’ inflight entertainment system is one of the best. Well, we’d have to agree, because the variety of entertainment onboard completely blew us away! The ice entertainment system (Fun Fact: ice stands for Information, Communication and Entertainment) gave us access to over 4,000 movies, tv shows, music albums, podcasts and much more to keep ourselves entertained during our flight.
Onboard, we were given headphones to use for the inflight entertainment (there are also kids-sized headphones that you can request from the cabin crew) – if you’d like to use your own headphones, you’ll need an airline adapter. The ice display screens are also touch screen. If you have a tricky time navigating via touch screen, you can always use the remote located below the screen to navigate through ice.
We were impressed not just by the sheer variety of movies and shows available, but also the selection. From new releases like Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and Captain Marvel to documentaries, kid-friendly movies, Arabic, Asian and European films and more, ice’s extensive selection of entertainment is pretty hard to beat. You can even live stream news channels such as BBC and CNN, and catch the latest sporting events via ice TV Live!
If that isn’t enough to keep you occupied, there’s plenty of other things to check out, such as the inflight airshow, which lets you view the exterior from external cameras mounted on the plane, as well as games and information about attractions in Dubai.
We also appreciated the features that catered specifically to Muslim travellers, such as the availability of Quran recordings, as well as a display screen that would periodically appear on the home screen showing the direction of the qiblah.
One of the things we were most looking forward to is the fact that all meals served on Emirates flights are halal, meaning that not only could we skip the need to book a Muslim meal in advance (which is usually the case with other airlines), we also would have options to choose from 😁
For our flight from Singapore to Dubai, we were served a light meal of a cheese panini sandwich along with a muffin, shortly after takeoff (at 9.40am).
Our main meal was lunch, which was served just a couple of hours before landing. We had a choice of either Ayam Masak Merah with stewed veggies and rice or Daging Masak Kicap with vegetable curry and tomato rice.
We found the food flavourful, with the chicken and beef well-paired with their veggies and rice respectively. The meal also came with a chicken salad appetiser and a bread roll, along with a mango mousse dessert that was pretty yummy!
For our flight from Dubai back to Singapore, which departed at 9.15pm, we were served dinner a couple of hours after takeoff. For dinner, we had the option of choosing grilled chicken with peppercorn sauce served with mashed potatoes and veggies or prawn yakisoba noodles. The chicken was tender, which made a nice combo with the super creamy mash.
The prawn yakisoba came with a decent amount of prawns (for airline meals!) and made for a tasty meal. While the quinoa appetiser wasn’t very memorable, we did enjoy the dark chocolate mousse for dessert! In addition to the main meal, we were also served a pastry alongside coffee or tea as a light breakfast before landing in Singapore the next morning.
We were pretty well fed during our flights, but if you happen to get peckish in between meals, you can order instant cup noodles from the cabin crew to tide you over 😉
We were intrigued to find out that all passengers are entitled to 20MB of free Wi-Fi during the flight, which you can simply access by connecting to the Emirates Wi-Fi network and logging onto the sign-in page. While we initially had some trouble connecting to the internet during our flight to Dubai, we were eventually able to connect to the network to check our emails and bug our colleagues back in Singapore with Whatsapp messages 😂
The 20MB is valid for 2 hours once you connect to the Wi-Fi network, and is great for Whatsapp and sending some light emails (no attachments!). You also have the option of purchasing more data if you need to do more heavy duty stuff (USD9.99 for 50MB or USD15.99 for unlimited data until landing).
Other cool stuff
While we were occupied with the myriad of movies and tv shows available to watch during our flight, we also noticed some other cool features while exploring ice. For one thing, you can set a timer alarm (the alarm will go off in your headphones, which you’ll need to be wearing). This would be handy if you want to take a short nap or wake up for prayer times, for example.
Another interesting feature was the next seat share function, which lets you sync your screen to watch what the person in the seat next to you is watching – great for watching a movie with your travel buddy 😉
We were also pleasantly surprised during our flight to Dubai when one of the cabin crew came to us and asked if she could snap photos of us using a polaroid camera. After disappearing for a moment, she came back with the pictures enclosed in a card for us signed off on behalf of the whole cabin crew!
There was also one more surprising feature that caught our attention – the twinkly lights in the ceiling of the cabin that came on when the main lights were dimmed during the flight. It’s a small but pretty touch 😍
Before our flights, we were also given the opportunity to visit the Emirates lounges in both Changi Airport and Dubai International Airport. While lounge access is complimentary for First and Business Class passengers, as well as Skywards Platinum and Gold members (P.S. Skywards Silver members are also entitled to lounge access at the Dubai aiport), Economy Class passengers can also purchase access to the lounge! If you’re a Skywards member, you can also get a discount on the fee 😉 You can read more about Emirates’ lounge eligibility and paid access options here.
Emirates Lounge at Changi Airport
The Emirates Lounge at Changi Airport is located above Gate C1 of Terminal 1, next to the Plaza Premium lounge. For Economy Class passengers, you can access the lounge for USD130 per person (for Skywards members, it will be USD100).
The lounge is spacious, with many sofas and armchairs neatly arranged for ultimate relaxation. There are plenty of power outlets as well as free Wi-Fi available, so it’s a great spot to get some work done or relax and surf the net while waiting for your flight. There’s also a work station equipped with computers and a printer for any other work needs you may have.
There are bathrooms and shower facilities inside the lounge, along with a prayer room (please note that it’s a shared prayer room for both female and male guests). For female guests, do bring your own prayer clothing as it’s not provided in the room.
Our favourite part of the lounge was easily the food buffet, located in a dedicated dining area at the far end of the lounge. We were happy to note that all food served in the lounge is halal (though please note alcoholic beverages are also served in a separate corner). Given our flight to Dubai was in the morning, when we visited the lounge the breakfast buffet was being served. There were Western favourites such as eggs, sausages and French toast, as well as Asian offerings such as dim sum.
We particularly enjoyed the eggs benedict – the poached eggs were cooked to gooey perfection, served on spinach and smoked salmon on an English muffin, topped with creamy hollandaise sauce.
There was also a good selection of fresh fruit, cold cuts, yoghurt and cereal, as well as juices, tea, coffee, and other chilled beverages. We definitely had a great breakfast while we were there, making it a superb start to our trip!
We were swiftly alerted (via an announcement over the PA system in the lounge) when it was time to board our flight, and were able to stroll over to our gate and board without having to wait a long time!
Emirates Business Class Lounge (Concourse B) at Dubai Airport
The Emirates lounge at Changi Airport was great, but we were even more excited to visit the lounge at Dubai Airport. Did you know? Emirates’ lounges in Dubai Airport are known for being some of the best in the world! Fun Fact: Emirates has seven lounges at the airport! In addition to three lounges dedicated to First Class Passengers, there are three lounges for Business Class Passengers and a final lounge that accommodates both passenger types. Economy Class passengers can pay to enter the Business Class lounge for a fee of USD130 per person, or pay USD250 to access the First Class lounge (for Skywards members, this will cost USD100 and USD200 respectively). The lounges are spread across the three concourses (Concourse A, B and C) located in the airport.
We were able to visit the Business Class lounge in Concourse B (i.e. where the B departure gates are located – follow the signage after immigration and security), where our flight was scheduled to depart from. It’s worth noting that you can access the relevant lounges in any of the concourses. Upon entering the lounge we were immediately blown away by how large it was.
Aside from the sheer size and space, the amenities in the lounge seemed endless. Our first stop was to check out the bathroom and shower facilities, which came equipped with fresh towels, soap, shampoo, and communal hair dryers.
#HHWT Tip: There are several bathroom and shower facilities located throughout the lounge, so in the event the first bathroom you visit is full, you can always locate another one!
The lounge also has spacious prayer rooms, though similar to the lounge at Changi, prayer clothing is not provided in the female prayer room so do remember to bring your own!
Other amenities that we found super welcoming included the Quiet Zones – special sections scattered throughout the lounge that have loungers for you to lie down and take a nap. While the particular Quiet Zone pictured above faced the large airport terminal windows (lots of natural sunlight during the day 😍), there are also other Quiet Zones which offer more privacy. Fresh blankets are provided too! If you’re in the mood for some pampering instead, there is also a spa located in the lounge, where you can pay to get spa treatments such as massages, facials or manicures.
There are a few features specific to the Business Class lounge in Concourse B that you won’t find in the lounges in the other concourses. One of them is the health hub (called Zest), which serves a selection of healthy foods including fresh fruits and salads, wraps and sandwiches, and fresh juice.
Another unique feature is that the lounge even has a Costa coffee counter, where an in-house barista will serve you freshly-made coffee beverages.
If you’re travelling with babies or children, you’ll be pleased to know that aside from a nursing room, there is also a Children’s Play Room which really appealed to us too 😂 (even though we are definitely no longer children). The room contains some arcade-style games and even a PlayStation 4!
As awed as we were by the lounge facilities, the icing on the cake was the variety of food available, all of which are halal (though please note that alcoholic beverages are available in the lounge). While the Changi lounge had only one buffet spread, the lounge in Dubai had several buffet spreads – one dedicated to Asian cuisine, another to Middle-Eastern and Western cuisine, and another one just for desserts.
Given the timing of our flight, we were able to enjoy the dinner spread at the lounge (to note, the buffet is available all day, though dishes may change according to breakfast, lunch and dinner schedules). We loved the local dishes that were included – we helped ourselves to lots of hummus and Arabic lentil salad!
The Asian buffet had a selection of Chinese and Indian-style dishes, while the Western section had items like pasta, roast meats and chilled options such as smoked salmon and sandwiches.
We filled up our tummies well while at the lounge. If you get a chance to visit, don’t forget to check out the dessert section, which includes local treats such as baklava and stuffed dates from famous Dubai brand Bateel, as well as an ice cream cart which serves gourmet ice cream!
Overall we had a pretty great experience flying with Emirates – the flights to and fro were on time, the cabin crew were friendly and helpful, and we thoroughly enjoyed the facilities onboard. The inflight entertainment was amazing, and the legroom and space made for a comfortable trip. But most of all, we loved the convenience of travelling with an airline that catered to Muslim passengers, with a halal inflight menu. All in all, it’s easily our favourite way to fly to Dubai!
Need more reasons to fly to Dubai?
From 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, the World Expo will be hosted for the first time in Dubai. This one-of-a-kind event dates back to the 19th century and serves as a stage for nations to showcase groundbreaking technologies and innovations (momentous unveilings include the telephone at the 1876 Expo in Philadelphia, IMAX at the 1970 Expo in Osaka, and the humanoid robot at the 2005 Expo in Nagoya). The expo is held every five years and promises an astounding display of design, technology, food, travel and much more.
As the Premier Partner and Official Airline of Expo 2020 Dubai, Emirates will also have a dedicated pavilion at the event, offering a glimpse into the changing world of commercial aviation through interactive exhibits and experiences.
So whether you’re visiting Dubai in the near future, transiting through the city, or planning to see the wonders of the World Expo next year, you can be rest assured that Emirates will provide a comfortable and hassle-free way to travel there. It’s time to call your travel buddies and book your flight! Remember to book your flights with Emirates between now and 7 July 2019 to enjoy the awesome promotional fares during the Great Singapore Sale 😉