By John Walton, CNN
Updated 7:31 AM EDT, Mon May 15, 2023
Thinking of traveling to Dubai on vacation? Here are just few of the attractions on offer. You could go on a round trip on Ain Dubai -- the world's tallest Ferris wheel at 250 meters (820 feet) high. Opened in October 2021, Ain Dubai is offering a range of tickets, including shared or private cabins, along with "social cabins" where drinks are served on the roughly 40-minute journey. Prices start at 130 AED ($36).
Marvel at the Museum of the Future -- The intricately decorated Museum of the Future opened in 2022. Its squashed donut shape is constructed of nearly 2,400 fiberglass and stainless steel panels, adorned with Arabic calligraphy.
Plunge into the world's deepest pool -- Deep Dive Dubai proves that the city of skyscrapers can build down as well as up. Home to the world's deepest dive pool, a staggering 60 meters (196 feet) in depth and holding 14 million liters of water, it is at least four times as big as any other in the world. Beneath the surface are artificial wrecks and ruins waiting to be explored. The facility offers snorkeling, SCUBA and freedive lessons and sessions. Prices start at 400 AED ($110).
Step inside a Van Gogh -- Inside Dubai Mall is a real showstopper of an exhibition. Digital art center Infinity des Lumières hosts a show projecting paintings by Van Gogh on a vast and immersive scale. See works including "Sunflowers" and "The Potato Eaters" as you've never seen them before and gain a fresh perspective on the Dutch Impressionist's work. Adult tickets 125 AED ($35).
Go old school in Al Fahidi -- Dubai's historical district Al Fahidi is the place to go if you want a glimpse of what the city was like before all the steel and glass -- in fact, before it was a city. There are dozens of traditional buildings, including wind towers, a form of ancient air conditioning. Take a tour at the winding streets and drop into Calligraphy House and the Coin Museum on the way.
Have afternoon tea on the QEII -- The Queen Elizabeth II, one of the great ocean liners, has been open for business in Dubai since 2018, when it received a new lease of life as a static hotel, restaurant and events space. Visitors can soak up the ship's distinctly period charms and hit the deck for a spot of afternoon tea from 15:00-17:30. Prices start at 145 AED ($40) (no shorts or flip-flops, thank you very much).
Look down from the world's highest infinity pool -- Address Beach Resort is the place to be if you want to cool off with one of Dubai's best views. Nearly 1,000 feet (294 meters) up, the infinity pool is nearly twice the length of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, but a mere 4 feet (1.2 meters) deep. There is a catch, however: the pool is only open to hotel guests 21 years old and over.
Get out of town with a trip to Hatta -- Dubai's rocky exclave to the east is a hotspot for outdoor sports. The Hajar Mountains are perfect for bikes (both road and mountain), while the lake formed by the Hatta Dam is popular with kayakers and canoeists. Many visitors go for a day trip, but if you want to stay, a range of options, from camping to glamping to lodges and the Ja Hatta Fort Hotel mountain resort have you covered.
Trot off to the races -- Situated 10 minutes from the Dubai World Trade Centre, Meydan Racecourse is the home of horseracing in the city. Racing kicks off in November and takes place on either Thursdays or Saturdays (some weeks both), culminating in the Dubai World Cup, the emirate's blue ribbon event, on March 26.
See a view as pretty as a picture from Dubai Frame -- With a golden design and proportions reflecting the golden ratio, Dubai Frame is also a golden opportunity to see a lot of the city in one go. It contains exhibitions including 3D projections of old Dubai, before taking visitors to the top for 360-degree views, before descending to another exhibition imagining Dubai in 50 years' time. Open 09:00-21:00 every day (sunset is a popular time). Prices from 50 AED ($14).
Sleep (or eat) with the fishes at Atlantis, The Palm -- Out on the artificial archipelago the Palm Jumeirah is iconic hotel and resort Atlantis, The Palm. The hotel's Underwater Suite has floor to ceiling windows into its giant aquarium. Evening diners can visit Ossiano, the hotel's restaurant with underwater views (would it be insensitive to order the fish?). If you'd just like a tour, it's open between 10:00-21:00 (book tickets online).
Escape the city without leaving it at Ras al-Khor -- The only desert wetland in Dubai, Ras al-Khor covers around 620 hectares on the banks of Dubai Creek. A peaceful idyll a stone's throw from the hubbub, the wetland is home to 450 animal species including 180 types of bird, such as the greater spotted eagle, kingfishers and, in winter, thousands of flamingos. Open 07:30-17:30 between October and March.
Dress up for a night at the opera -- Despite the name, Dubai Opera is a broad church, and within its sweeping curves you can watch all manner of live performances. There's opera, but also live stand up, ballet, musicals and stage plays, all between now and the end of the Expo (some performances require proof of vaccination for ticket holders). If you want to learn more about the building, book a tour for 75 AED ($20).
Look down on the clouds from the Burj Khalifa -- The Burj Khalifa has been the world's tallest building for over a decade, and it's still well worth a visit to the observation deck for a unique perspective on the city. The package "At the Top, Burj Khalifa Sky" includes entry to the outdoor terrace and lounge on the 148th level -- 555 meters (1,821 feet) high -- offering dizzying views, while the 125th level has a 360-degree observation deck. Prices from 379 AED ($104).
What to do when you're visiting Dubai
One country, two major airlines operating world-class long-haul fleets out of different major aviation hubs located close to one another.
On paper, the United Arab Emirates’ ownership of two powerhouse global longhaul carriers with largely overlapping international air networks that converge so closely might seem an extravagance too far. Isn’t one enough?
And so, the announcement by Emirates and Etihad of a new deal to work more closely will inevitably revive rumors of a potential merger between the two: something long discussed at a kind of academic level in aviation circles, particularly during tough economic times, but one potentially stymied by local politics – and the fact that their status symbol hub airports are an hour apart on the ground.
Earlier this month, the two airlines, both still coming back from the disruption caused by the pandemic, agreed on a so-called “interline” partnership. The move raises questions about what that means for passengers, and whether a new regional super airline is finally on its way.
Emirates and Etihad are both flag carriers of the UAE, the small Gulf country made up of seven emirates. Emirates, established in 1985, is based in Dubai and is one of the world’s largest airlines by most metrics. Etihad is newer, established in 2003 and based in Abu Dhabi.
Travel expert explains the 'unspoken rights' for every plane seat
02:23 - Source: CNN
Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport are fewer than 150 kilometers (100 miles) apart and the drive between them takes around 75-90 minutes depending on traffic. By and large, the Emirati capital city Abu Dhabi is known for being smaller and quieter than its glitzy, livelier northeastern neighbor Dubai, but both certainly have their draws for travelers in addition to being regional economic centers.
One of the big questions that pops up every time Emirates and Etihad are mentioned in the same announcement is whether it means a closer partnership – reciprocal agreements for frequent flyer benefits, codeshare flights and even a prospective merger.
Addison Schonland, partner at consultancy AirInsight Group, plays down the prospect of a merger, characterizing the interline agreement as “primarily a regional tourism marketing effort.”
“When these two airlines announced previous memorandums of understanding on aviation security in 2018 and another in 2022 on promoting Abu Dhabi, these agreements did not lead to integration,” he says. “Every time Emirates and Etihad announce joint initiatives, they are asked if this would lead to integration. Every time the answer is a firm ‘no’.”
Indeed, says Schonland, “these airlines follow their own strategies on codeshare and interline agreements, like the recent one between Emirates and United Airlines or the one between Etihad and Gulf Air in 2021.”
But what is interlining, and what does it mean?
Etihad celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2003.
Interline agreements are one of the earliest steps two airlines take when they want to cooperate. Usually, from the passenger standpoint, if you’re connecting from a flight on airline A to airline B, interlining means that you can check your bags in with airline A and not have to collect them at the connecting airport to then check them in again with airline B.
This agreement between Emirates and Etihad seems to be a little more expansive than that and looks to also cover what is known as open-jaw ticketing: flying into one city and out of another. That’s the kind of thing that travelers to Europe or Japan do quite often, to avoid having to backtrack on themselves as they explore – and it can be really useful.
“In the initial stages of the expanded interline, each carrier will focus on attracting visitors to the UAE by developing inbound interline traffic from select points in Europe and China,” the two airlines said in a joint statement about the partnership.
“The ‘open jaw’ arrangement will allow visitors to cover as much ground as possible when exploring Abu Dhabi, Dubai or any other emirate, saving time by removing the need to fly home via their arrival airport.”
To give an example, let’s imagine that you’re coming from Europe or China at the beginning of this new program. If you were flying into Dubai International Airport but wanted to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, you’d have to travel down and back to fly home from Dubai. Now, you can fly into Dubai and out of Abu Dhabi, or vice versa.
The double open-jaw is where options might get very interesting
Relatively unusually, you can also do a kind of double open-jaw.
“Customers traveling into the UAE also have the option of ‘multi-city flights,’ with the choice to travel from one city on both carriers’ networks, and conveniently returning to another point served by either Emirates or Etihad,” said the airlines’ joint statement.
That’s convenient for a number of reasons.
First, you might find flight deals or better timings for your schedule out of one airport in your home region but back to another – flying out of Copenhagen and back into Stockholm, say.
Second, you may well be able to use this on a longer trip as well: flying from Beijing to Abu Dhabi, spending time exploring the UAE, and then flying out of Dubai to somewhere else, perhaps a city that Etihad itself doesn’t serve but Emirates does.
If the new interlining agreements are eligible in the region where you’re flying from, you might find some real bargains, especially if the idea of a stopover for a few days on the trip out and on the way back sounds appealing.
Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are attractive from the stopover point of view: They’ve got loads of hotels at many price points, including some very reasonably priced resort-style hotels with big pools and sunshine on tap.
It’s worth keeping an eye out to see whether either Emirates or Etihad – or both – start to offer extended stopover options, or expand existing stopover deals like the Dubai Connect program. Here, if your connection to your onward destination is more than six and less than 26 hours, Emirates will put you up in a hotel for the night as a mini-stopover.
Should I fly Emirates or Etihad?
From an on-board perspective, both Emirates and Etihad are highly regarded airlines with some of the best passenger experience you can find. By and large, for most passengers you won’t find much of a difference in economy between the two airlines.
However, if you do have the option to choose between flights, pick airplanes – of either airline – with wider economy class seats like the Airbus A380 and A350, rather than the narrower seats of the Boeing 777 and 787 that these airlines operate. There’s usually no pricing difference, but the difference between 18.5” and 17” in seat width can feel massive, and the extra room at the shoulder and in the aisles is also a plus.
And bear in mind if you’re more of a premium economy traveler, Emirates is the only one of the two airlines to offer it, and only on some routes.
Emirates and Etihad Airways Interline Partnership
Under the agreement, the passengers of both airlines are facilitated with booking through the itineraries of the carriers. In other words, the passengers don't have to go through the hassle of booking the airlines separately.
How has Emirates been able to build a strong brand in the competitive airlines industry worldwide? The success of Emirates can be attributed through a combination of marketing mix which emphasize on excellent customer service, product and equipment.Are Etihad and Emirates the same company? ›
Emirates and Etihad are both flag carriers of the UAE, the small Gulf country made up of seven emirates. Emirates, established in 1985, is based in Dubai and is one of the world's largest airlines by most metrics. Etihad is newer, established in 2003 and based in Abu Dhabi.Which cabin crew salary is more Etihad Airways or Emirates? ›
How does the salary as a Cabin Crew at Etihad Airways compare with the base salary range for this job? The average salary for a Cabin Crew is AED 6,075 per month in United Arab Emirates, which is 39% lower than the average Etihad Airways salary of AED 10,000 per month for this job.Who is better to fly with Emirates or Etihad? ›
Overall, there's little separating Etihad and Emirates when it comes to standard economy class seats. Perhaps Emirates has the edge because if you end up on the right 777, you might end up with 34" of pitch and 18" of width - not bad for an economy class seat.Which company is better Emirates or Etihad? ›
AirlineRatings.com, an aviation safety website has revealed its list of the safest airlines of 2023. GCC carrier Qatar Airways also made it to the top ten. Etihad Airways is the third safest airline in the world, followed by Emirates taking the seventh spot, climbing 13 places since last year's ranking.Who is the biggest competitor for Emirates airlines? ›
- Deutsche Lufthansa AG Headquarters. Germany. No. of employees. 112,392. Revenue. ...
- Air France-KLM SA Headquarters. France. No. of employees. 74,602. Revenue. ...
- Qatar Airways Group QCSC Headquarters. Qatar. No. of employees. 36,000. Revenue. ...
- British Airways Plc Headquarters. United Kingdom. No. of employees. 34,393.
|1||Delta Air Lines||28|
|2||American Airlines Group||13.1|
|3||United Airlines Holdings||16.8|
Three major companies are at the top of the U.S. airline industry: American Airlines, Southwest, and Delta. The current US leader is American Airlines, with 19.3% domestic market share. Southwest and Delta are second and third, at 17.4% and 15.5% respectively.Which is best Emirates or Qatar or Etihad? ›
Amenity kit: Emirates has by the far the best amenity kit of the three airlines, with Etihad offering the least impressive Business Class amenity kit. Unfortunately, Emirates only offers them on longhaul flights, while Etihad and Qatar Airways offer amenity kits on both medium- and longhaul flights.
We are now a Skytrax Certified 5-Star Airline. Rana Ashraf and 20,332 others like this.Which country owns Emirates? ›
Emirates is an airline based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The airline is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group, which is wholly owned by the government of Dubai's Investment Corporation of Dubai.What is the average salary of Etihad cabin crew? ›
Average Etihad Airways Cabin Crew salary in India is ₹ 8.1 Lakhs for experience between 4 years to 14 years. Cabin Crew salary at Etihad Airways India ranges between ₹ 1.5 Lakhs to ₹ 20.0 Lakhs.What is the highest salary of Emirates cabin crew? ›
Emirates Airlines Cabin Crew Salary FAQs
Cabin Crew salary at Emirates Airlines India ranges between ₹ 1.3 Lakhs to ₹ 40.0 Lakhs.
Qatar Airways is most highly rated for Compensation and benefits and The Emirates Group is most highly rated for Culture.How much do Qatar pilots make compared to Emirates? ›
A First Officer with the Dubai airline gets a basic pay of Dh30,125 and a housing allowance of Dh14,325 – this sums up to more than Dh44,000 in a month. In comparison, Qatar Airways pilots typically earn around Dh25,000 per month, with some receiving a pay-check of up to Dh40,000.Is Qatar better than Emirates? ›
Generally, service on both Qatar Airways and Emirates is consistently good. Our personal impression is that service in Emirates' economy can sometimes come across as a little hurried and less personal and that Qatar does a better job of personalizing service. But that is a subjective view and varies by flight.Which is the No 1 airlines in Dubai? ›
|Emirates||EK||Largest airline in the Middle East|
|Etihad Airways||EY||Second largest airline in UAE|
|Flydubai||FZ||Low-cost carrier of Dubai|
|Wizz Air Abu Dhabi||5W||Low-cost carrier of Abu Dhabi and A Subsidiary of Wizz Air of Hungary|
The biggest airlines based in the United Arab Emirates.
- Japan Airlines.
- Cathay Pacific.
- American Airlines.
- British Airways.
- Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS)
- Virgin Atlantic.
- Air New Zealand.
Emirates has always been known as one of the world's best carriers and has won buckets of awards. Most passengers say it is a lot to do with the fantastic service from economy to first class, the larger and more modern in-flight entertainment, and the better-than-average plane food.Is Emirates a 4-star airline? ›
Emirates is Certified as a 4-Star Airline for the quality of its airport and onboard product and staff service. Product rating includes seats, amenities, food & beverages, IFE, cleanliness etc, and service rating is for both cabin staff and ground staff.Is Emirates prestigious? ›
Dubai, UAE, 07 April 2022 – Emirates, the world's largest International airline has ranked among the top 100 most reputable organizations in the world by 2022 Global RepTrak® 100.What is America's #1 airline? ›
A new WalletHub report ranks the best U.S. airlines. Delta Air Lines topped Wallethub's list for the second year in a row.What is America's greatest airline? ›
- Delta Airlines.
- Alaska Airlines.
- Southwest Airlines.
- United Airlines.
- Allegiant Air.
- American Airlines.
- Spirit Airlines.
- Frontier Airlines.
1 Delta Air Lines
The prize for the most profitable airline in the world goes to none other than Delta Air Lines.
United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are the top ranked airlines based on 2022 domestic market share. Delta operates out of Atlanta, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Delta's hub, sees the most passenger traffic in the United States.Who are the largest airline builders in the world? ›
Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), Safran SA (EPA:SAF.PA), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), and Aviation Industry Corporation of China are some of the biggest airplane manufacturers in the world.Who has the highest authority on an airplane? ›
The pilot-in-command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to the safe operation of that aircraft. In an emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot-in-command may deviate from any rule in the General Subpart A and Flight Rules Subpart B in accordance with 14 CFR Section 91.3.Is Etihad a fancy airline? ›
As far back as the early years of Etihad, premium / luxury service and products have been its stronghold and it's not surprising that the airline fast became an innovative authority on luxury commercial flying in just a number of years.
Dubai is much bigger and has more entertainment options, nightlife, family activities, luxury hotels, and plenty of budget options. In contrast, Abu Dhabi is slightly more expensive. Despite being more expensive, Abu Dhabi is a more peaceful location. And Abu Dhabi has better beaches than Dubai.Which country is richer Abu Dhabi or Qatar? ›
Qatar is currently the wealthiest country in the Arab World.What are 7 star airlines? ›
According to AirlineRatings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas, the airlines that have achieved the double seven-star for safety and product in alphabetical order are: Air New Zealand, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air from Taiwan, Korean Air, Qantas Airways, Royal Jordanian, ...Is Etihad declining? ›
Etihad Airways posted passenger revenues of US$ 1.07 billion in 2021, down by 14% year-on-year. While ongoing travel restrictions and new variants of the virus dampened demand, the airline saw passenger revenues bounce back in the last quarter of the year, recovering to 50% of 2019 levels in December.Is there a 7 star airline? ›
Airlineratings.com has released the latest figures on airline safety. As expected, most of the major airlines have all achieved seven out of seven stars. Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin are all on the list.What US cities does Emirates fly to? ›
- Flights from Boston.
- Flights from Chicago.
- Flights from Dallas.
- Flights from Houston.
- Flights from Los Angeles.
- Flights from Miami.
- Flights from New York John F. Kennedy.
- Flights from Newark.
Do Emirates Serve alcohol? Great news for those who love a little tipple on board, yes! Emirates is a full-service premium airline, and alcoholic drinks are served for free in all cabins of the aircraft.Why is Dubai is so rich? ›
The UAE is the third-richest country in the world, below Luxembourg at number two and Qatar at number one, with a GDP per capita of $57,744. The bulk of its money comes from the production of goods and provision of services related to petroleum, petrochemicals, aluminium and cement.What is the highest paid flight attendant? ›
|Annual Salary||Monthly Pay|
They will pretty much stop at nothing to get what they are after. Pay The median annual wage for flight attendants was $61,640 in May 2021. Average American Airlines Flight Attendant hourly pay in Dallas is approximately $32.68, which is 27% above the national average.
Compare Flight Attendant Wages.
Emirates Airlines Pilot Salary FAQs
What is the salary of Pilot at Emirates Airlines ? Average Emirates Airlines Pilot salary in India is ₹ 49.6 Lakhs for less than 1 year of experience to 4 years. Pilot salary at Emirates Airlines India ranges between ₹ 4.0 Lakhs to ₹ 96.0 Lakhs.
All employees sign a three-year non-binding contract in accordance with current Dubai Government regulations. The contract is renewable with agreement between Emirates management and the employee. All new employees undergo a probationary period of six months starting from the day they join.Do Emirates cabin crew have to live in Dubai? ›
All Emirates cabin crew live in the exciting city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This means you'll earn a tax-free salary, have your accommodation provided by Emirates and have plenty of opportunity to sample this unique, vibrant & multicultural city.Who has the best cabin crew in the Middle East? ›
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways, has been awarded Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax.What is the safest airline in the Middle East? ›
Middle East airlines Etihad, Qatar Airways and Emirates have been listed among the safest in the world, according to a new report. AirlineRatings.com, a dedicated aviation safety website has revealed its list of the safest airlines of 2023.What is the best Arab airline? ›
- Etihad Airways.
- Gulf Air.
- Saudi Arabian Airlines.
- Oman Air.
- Kuwait Airways.
- Air Arabia.
This comes down to the unique geopolitical situation of the country. The United Arab Emirates is, as the name suggests, a federation of seven loosely-affiliated emirates (the largest and most populous of which are Dubai and Abu Dhabi in that order), each with its own royal family. Emirates is based in Dubai.Is Etihad and Qatar Airways the same? ›
While Qatar Airways is the national airlines of Qatar having its headquarters in Doha, Etihad is a major airline of Abu Dhabi, UAE. Etihad comes from Arabic word meaning union, denoting UAE.Is Emirates partner with other airlines? ›
|Caribbean Airlines Limited||Malaysia Airlines||Turkish Airlines Inc.|
|Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.||Malindo||Ukraine International Airlines|
|2||Delta Air Lines||195,312|
Emirates is an airline based in Dubai and its integrated business and operating models have made Emirates commercially successful.Which Middle Eastern airline is best? ›
- Etihad Airways.
- Gulf Air.
- Saudi Arabian Airlines.
- Oman Air.
- Kuwait Airways.
- Air Arabia.
Come fly with us
Our historic partnership with United opens up seamless connections to hundreds of new destinations in the US and around the world. Book your whole journey with us and travel on one ticket. Enjoy our baggage allowance on all flights and smooth baggage transfers throughout your journey.
United Airlines and Emirates previously announced a historic new partnership in September 2022. The new codeshare agreement will allow flyers on either airline to travel seamlessly throughout either carrier's network.Can I use United miles on Emirates? ›
MileagePlus members can redeem miles on Emirates flights on select routes between Dubai (DXB) and Africa, the Middle East, and the South Asian Subcontinent as part of an award reservation that includes a United flight between Newark (EWR) and Dubai (DXB) all on the same ticket.