British holidaymakers could bag themselves a free stay at a five-star Dubai hotel using one simple travel hack. We know, it sounds unbelievable, but it’s all part of Emirates "Dubai Connect" programme and it’s very real!
Travellers who choose to fly with Emirates will get a complimentary night in the UAE if they have a long layover time. You’ll be able to stay in the UAE city for free with all of your meals included.
The catch is that the free accommodation is only offered if you have a layover of 8-26 hours between your flights. So if you land at 8am you’ll need to make sure your connecting flight is after 4pm that day.
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Passengers in every class can use the Dubai connect programme – from economy to first class. So it’s not just those privileged enough to fly in business or higher who get the perk.
The airline claims that it wants passengers to be able to enjoy "downtime" before their connecting flight. If you do use the hack then you’ll get a complimentary coach from the airport to your hotel.
One hotel that Emirates uses for the service is the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai – a five-star spot in the city’s downtown. Alternatively, Le Meridien Airport Hotel Dubai is also an option which is set in hectares of gardens with blue outdoor pools to enjoy.
The Copthorne Hotel Dubai – which has a pool and great views – is also a part of the scheme. The offer depends on the availability of rooms at the time of booking, Your meals will be included in the free stay so you can save on breakfast, lunch and dinner.
However, you will have to pay yourself for any extras like spa treatments or snacks. Still, it’s not a bad deal to experience Dubai for a night!
Now, it does get a little more complicated when it comes to the restrictions set on the Dubai Connect scheme. Firstly, if you need a visa to enter the UAE, and this needs to be prearranged prior to booking your flights.
You must also have booked the best next available flight for your connection – that’s the one with the shortest transit time in Dubai. So you can’t simply choose to book a random flight the next day and get the free hotel when there was another flight to your destination a few hours after your arriving flight.
The offer is also only available to passengers aged 18 or over if travelling alone. Adults can use the service with up to two children.
Your eligibility also depends on if you’ve spent the minimum fare type for your flight – this will be made clear when you are booking. Both your inbound and outbound flight from Dubai must be with Emirates.
Additionally, bookings for groups in first or business class of over nine passengers do not automatically qualify for the offer either. Such groups in economy do qualify so long as they meet all of the other requirements.
You can find out more about the scheme on the Emirates website; emirates.com.
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