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Book now: BA adds extra Dubai flights over Christmas and New Year, wide open for Avios

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British Airways has announced an extra Dubai service this morning. It starts on 8th December and appears to run until 9th January.

Because this service has just been added to the booking system, Avios seats are wide open.

At the time of writing (11am) you will have no problem getting seats for Christmas or New Year.

British Airways adds Avios seats to Dubai

Here is a SeatSpy screenshot showing dates with at least TWO Club World seats available:

Avios seats to Dubai

Outbound is on the left, return flights are on the right. The darker circles are peak dates in terms of Avios pricing.

There is also plenty of available in World Traveller Plus. There is no First Class availability.

What aircraft do I get?

The new service is showing as an A350 so you would get the new Club Suite in Business Class. Whilst BA plans to use one on the Dubai route from 5th December, it looks like it will not be swapped onto this service.

This new flight is timetabled to leave Heathrow at 19.55, arriving in Dubai at 06.55.

The return leaves Dubai at 09.25, arriving into Heathrow at 13.10.

If you’re looking for a hotel, Rhys has just returned from nine nights in Dubai checking out various Marriott Bonvoy properties. A series of reviews will follow in a couple of weeks.

I would strongly consider buying hotel points over this period, as we did for our Waldorf Astoria The Palm Dubai trip last Christmas. We cut our bill for 5 nights from £3,200 to £1,250. IHG has a bonus running to 8th October and Hyatt has a bonus running to 31st October – although neither has a beachside hotel in Dubai. A Marriott ‘buy points’ bonus is upcoming and Hilton is more than likely to be back in the game within the next month.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (94)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Ad says:

    Great spot, thanks! Even BA World Traveller redemptions are good value over Xmas/New Year time, given the high cost of cash tickets.

  • Edwin says:

    Only one comment by now as everyone is busy booking!

    • Pete M says:

      Or has no interest in Dubai 🙂

      • marcw says:


      • Babyg says:

        an increase to 3 daily flights from BA says otherwise?

      • Navara says:

        Or will be flying Emirates from up North

      • riku says:

        I would not go on holiday to Dubai even if somebody paid me to do it.

        • Phat Finger says:

          Bit silly

        • TGLoyalty says:


          It’s still a gateway to half of the world …

        • Rob says:

          One day you will get a couple of little kids and change your mind.

          • Edwin says:

            Lol exactly. At least you will have sunshine, beach, theme parks, and nice hotels kids clubs

          • Yorkieflyer says:

            I hope not at my age

          • John says:

            Having been once I can’t say that Dubai appears now that I do have a little one in tow, but it’s very much horses for courses. Objectively I can see why it’s an attractive place for people to visit. It just wasn’t quite right for me.

            Good brunches though, I’ll say that for it.

    • Babyg says:

      im waiting for a380 first redemption.. none released yet…

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Us both …

        • Babyg says:

          TGLoyalty are you going to the f1 ?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Unsure. Perhaps if I can get a good deal on flights/hotel/tickets.

            I decided to cancel the W stay from last year rather than carry it over due to all the uncertainty.

            However, I know Harry T is @ The W

          • Babyg says:

            Hmm chances of good deals seem unlikely given the way the season is going, most of the f1 packages seem to have sold out for Abu Dhabi now.. finally a season where perhaps the last race might be important! HarryT you should share your details if you want babyg_wc (a)

      • Harry T says:

        @babyG if I manage to make it there (you never know with Covid) let’s grab a drink or something. I’m going to Dubai first – booked business class flights from CDG using my Jersey evouchers (about 1k per person for business with BA).

        • Babyg says:

          i am/was actually looking at ditching my reward flights and going via CDG (or the bus thing that rob posted), the £££ vs points is very attractive from CDG now, there were many BA £1 fares from Europe, but i missed out on flying from where i am currently in Faro because i waited too long to book… there is a few of us hfp w-hotel points people chatting” on email ATM… i think this year is looking good for it to actually happen!

  • Flyer68 says:

    They put on extra Maldives flights as of 9am this morning too, Avios seats briefly appeared before all the flights were pulled. When the flights re-appeared about an hour later, the Avios seats did not come back.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, weird. I just got the BA press release which mentions Maldives and Mauritius – went over to SeatSpy but nothing. Dubai is NOT on the press release!

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        Why not mention these in the article then rather than your favourite Dubai which you know is a marmite destination

        • Rob says:

          What do you want me to say? ‘BA has put out a press release which talks about extra flights to the Maldives and Mauritius but we don’t know if they actually mean new flights or the flights which were announced weeks ago, and in any event not a single Avios seat is available so there is nothing you can book anyway’?!

          When BA launches a new route you usually get sent a detailed breakdown – terminal to be used, aircraft type, classes to be sold, exact flight times etc. We’ve seen none of that.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Aren’t the usual 4 Eco 2 PE and 4 Bus guaranteed?

  • Nicholas Shaw says:

    Tried to book but just keeps saying Redemption booking error

  • Cambridge Dad says:

    If you flight light and have not much money – eg student – there are flights UK-Dubai starting @ £73-£118 from Luton or Birmingham via Budapest with WizzAir on the first leg and I assume flydubai on the second. flydubai having just started this route. Once you add luggage etc the price goes up a lot but that is expected with a LCC. Also self-transfer which means if you miss the connection in Budapest, you don’t get a free re-routed flight to Dubai. I haven’t checked out whether you can have a day or 2 in Budapest in the middle, probably not.

    • Russ says:

      For a little more Finnair are doing one-ways HEL-DXB for around £300 plus you pick up tier points and avios. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days when I had to scrimp and save for travel, really keeps one’s brain sharp.

    • Nick says:

      If it’s ‘self connect’ then of course you can have a day or two in the middle – it has to be on two separate bookings to ‘dodge’ APD so you can book whenever you want. In either case though you’re going to have to have the right to enter Hungary, which is still quite strict (covid) for those coming from the UK.

      • Cambridge Dad says:

        It’s just a PCR test requirement these days to enter Hungary. I think the issue is the ticket doesn’t allow stopovers en route as far as I can see. (Otherwise would have made a great 2 centre holiday & I know which centre I’d prefer.) Long connection times though, so you’d be unlucky to miss connection; and would be in transit so no PCR test needed..

    • Distichon says:

      If you’re a student without much money… what do you do in Dubai though? I visited a friend who was living there while I was still on relatively low income, and on those days where he had to work and I was on my own, I was bored out of my mind. It felt like all you could do was shopping, and what little entertainment else there was, it was quite expensive.

      Of course, that was more than a decade ago, so maybe things have changed in the meantime… I never felt any urge to visit again.

    • Sam G says:

      It’s Wizzair all the way – they fly to Dubai & are starting their own base in Abu Dhabi

      Unless you can really manage with a personal item it’s unlikely to work out worth doing – you can pick up one stop flights on one ticket with Turkish and the like very inexpensively (and tbh outside peak dates BA & Emirates are pretty cheap non stop!)

      • Cambridge Dad says:

        Got it. So I guess that self-transfer point avoids both higher APD & the obligation on Wizz to put your luggage on the 2nd plane and fly you if you missed the connection. I bet they’d still let you fly at no further cost if they messed up the first flight.

        • Cambridge Dad says:

          @Sam G – you prompted me to check direct on the WizzAir site – one way tickets BUD-Dubai from £30 in November. Very cheap Wizz options UK-BUD as well. So you could actually fly UK-BUD-Dubai for about £40-£50 one way, with a 2 centre holiday as an option if you break the journey in Budapest (for the sake of a PCR test).

          • Lady London says:

            Think I might finally start to take a look at Wizz.
            I mean, how bad can it get?

          • Cambridge Dad says:

            5hr35 out, 5hr55 back – the BUD-Dubai leg. Perhaps to meet a connecting flight onwards – surely that’s not so bad to save a lot of money? Luggage on LCC being the buggeration factor as it ratchets up the fare, you can get round that. The planes themselves are fine, a very modern fleet, pop a sleep aid and time will fly.

    • BP says:

      GLA – DXB direct can be as cheap as £350 return down the back with 25kg luggage included.

  • John says:

    The visitdubai website says ‘in the case of a positive test result, you will need to strictly comply with a 10-day isolation as instructed by the Dubai Health Authority’.

    What does this mean precisely for tourists? Can you isolate at your hotel/place of stay, or do they move you to a government operated/supervised isolation accommodation?

    • Harry T says:

      It means you do whatever they decide you should do 😊

    • Blenz101 says:

      It’s means you should self isolate and not infect other people. Just like you should be doing anywhere else in the world.

      You can do this at your hotel but if that isn’t practical you can contact Dubai health and ask about alternative accommodation.

      Nobody is going to forcibly make you stay anywhere.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Hotel and I recall the rates were cheap discounted ones especially for those isolating.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Chose your own Hotel*

        Of course you can stay anywhere you can isolate.

        @Blenz101 any changes like the UK where close contacts don’t have to isolate anymore? I assume the fact there’s no post entry test means people don’t get “pinged” as often as they would coming to the UK.

        • Blenz101 says:

          To be honest I’m not sure, reality is though the only PCR test you will take is the one to go home. Never been any test and trace or pings here.

          If you develop symptoms and take a test as a result of that I’m sure most people would self isolate from the rest of their family. If you all get it nobody will be able to get a clear result to go home plus you would naturally not want to make them sick!

          The numbers across the whole of the UAE are about 200 cases from a resident population of 9m. It’s pretty unlikely to end up with it here given you will be outdoors or at worst in a very well air conditioned mall 99% if your waking hours.

          • NC says:

            We don’t need a PCR test to come home to the UK anymore, right?

          • Rob says:

            You never did.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Nope no test at all if you’re vaxxed or under 18.

            If you’re flying BA Chronomics/Qurad Lateral flow should be fine if not vaxxed.

          • Blenz101 says:

            Sorry. The only test type available in Dubai is PCR.

            With no test required to return home as of 2 days ago then of course you are correct.

          • David says:

            Reply to NC: Separate to country requirements, some airlines may require a PCR test to board their flights, e.g. Etihad appears to currently have this requirement.

  • lev441 says:

    Booked.. Very happy!!

  • LondonFoodie says:

    Thanks Rob!!! Booked.

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