The Experience: On Emirates (Economy) to Dubai from Singapore

The Experience: On Emirates (Economy) to Dubai from Singapore

This time I get to travel to Abu Dhabi for an overseas workshop and the cheapest airline (to Dubai) was Emirates. Abu Dhabi is about a 2 hour drive from the Dubai Airport, and while Emirates does not fly directly into the Abu Dhabi Airport, it does provide a free shuttle service to the bus airport/interchange in Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately, the waiting time for the shuttle was too long: I arrive at about 1 in afternoon but the complimentary shuttle departs for Abu Dhabi (bus airport/interchange) at 7 in the evening. So I opted to just fly straight into Dubai and than catch a taxi to the hotel.

From the Emirates website it costs S$651.20 from Singapore to Dubai, while the company’s travel agent charged S$678.20 + S$7 for a booking fee. How is it more economically and cheaper using the travel agent still baffles me… But anyways… The average pricing from Singapore to Abu Dhabi costs an average of S$651-$1,000++ depending on the airline that you take, most of which have stopovers.

Although Emirates is a full serviced flight, when booking the tickets, the promotional/cheapest tickets do not enable you to select your desired seats until you check in. If you want to book your seats prior to checking in, you would have to pay extra. A normal seat costs about S$35 (extra) per seat per way, while the better seats cost more. However, choosing your seat is ‘free’ when you check-in online 48 hours before your flight commences. Other than that, entertainment and food are included in the ticket price, which is not too bad.

Checking-in online is straight forward, all you need to do is enter your reference and last name and viola, you are brought to the page where you can check-n and select your seat.
Checking-in online is straight forward, all you need to do is enter your reference and last name and viola, you are brought to the page where you can check-n and select your seat.

The plane configuration for economy was 3-4-3 and the plane was about 85% full. The plane in itself was relatively new.
The plane configuration for economy was 3-4-3.
and the plane was about 85% full
The plane looked to be about 85% full and it was relatively new.
As with most long haul flights, a pillow and blanket were provided. The pillow was pretty standard and blankets were pretty standard and kept me warm and comfy (enough) throughout the flight.
Seating capacity was adequate with sufficient leg room.
Seating capacity was adequate with sufficient leg room.
The Experience: On Emirates (Economy) to Dubai from Singapore
Before takeoff, wet towels were handed out.
Up into the air we go!
Further into the flight, another view of the sky.

The entertainment system, called ICE, is pretty updated and had plenty of movies and dramas to keep me entertained throughout the flight. The touchscreen was intuitive enough and not as laggy as Malaysia Airlines. It was a pleasure to use as I scrolled though the list of movies and dramas that were available.

The entertainment system, called ICE, is pretty updated and had plenty of movies and dramas to keep me entertained throughout the flight.
Given the long flight was not a red-eye one, I managed to catch at least 3 movies – “Finding Dory”, “Frozen” and “The Boss”.
Interesting Fact: ICE can be played from the moment you board the plane until you land so you don’t have to wait until reaching cruising altitude or get switched off half way through your favorite program 15min before landing. However, make sure to bring your own headset because the crew will start collecting the headsets about 30 minutes before landing

Lunch was served an hour or so into the flight. The appetizer was smoked chicken served with mushroom salad, while the main course was a choice between fish or chicken, and dessert was dutch apple pie. The food was alright, nothing to rave about but edible. Well, mainly the main and dessert were edible. As for the appetizer, other than the smoked chicken, the mushroom which were served along with it were a salty experience. It seemed like the chef was feeling very generous that day and added a whole bag of salt to the mushrooms. 😅

I had the fish, which I had to wait for (about 5 minutes) as all the stewardess had in her tray were chicken.

About an hour towards the destination, the captain announced that the plane was approaching our destination and preparations are made for the descent. It was also at this point that some snacks were handed out, each different (i.e. shortcake biscuits, pies etc...). Service was attentive (enough) and prompt (as could be).

Peering out the window, what greeted us was the sandy desert, a sign that we were nearing our destination.

Mountains and sand.
A more desert landscape.

Soon, the plane arrived safely at Dubai Airport, Terminal 3 (a terminal that is solely for Emirates flights!). After alighting the plane, I made my way to immigration and collect the luggage. It was a pretty quiet afternoon, the terminal was not crowded and quite empty.

Dubai Airport Terminal 3
Dubai Airport Terminal 3: a quiet walk on the way to immigration and luggage collection.

The walk to immigration was straight forward (just follow the signs) and a good 15-20 minute stroll, of course if you wanted to walk faster you might make it there under 10 minutes or so.

Dubai Airport Terminal 3
Walking through the almost empty terminal.
Dubai Airport Terminal 3
Almost there.

If the terminal was quiet, than immigration section was even more quiet! There were more counters open than there were passengers to use them. The Dubai immigration officers are the most stern bored nonchalant I have come across, or it must have been a very slow day, some were even yawning as they stamped passports.

Tip: If you don't want to have any "tsk tsk" and/or eyes-rolled 👀 at you with impatience, make sure that you remove any passport covers to let the immigration officer have a clear view of your passport/nationality.

Once immigration was cleared and luggage collected, I went on to get the local SIM card and caught a taxi to my hotel in Abu Dhabi - Park Inn by Radisson Abu Dhabi Yas Island.




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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.
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