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Best London-Dubai flight time for managing sleep on a short 4 day trip?

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  • jimchef.

    Hi all

    I wondered if anyone has experience of this they can share. We’re planning to go on a 4 night trip to Dubai ands the BA flight times available are 1) travel in the daytime and get there around midnight, or 2) travel over night and get there at 7.45 am.

    We’ve never been to Dubai but have flown long-haul in J a lot over the years so to me neither of these options seem ideal for switching timezones / hotel check ins, and making the most of our 4 days.

    Is there an option that might be preferable over the other?

    Many thanks

    • This topic was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    Lady London

    Did exactly that length trip some years ago to attend a work project meeting.

    Flew in the day got to hotel at midnight. Excellent time of the day to checkin as it will be cooler (I notice heat even in the short gap between aircons in car and hotel).

    I asked nicely at checkin and the hotel gave me a late checkout till midnight on my last day f.o.c. I think many Dubai hotels might do the same. At that checkin time I also got enough sleep before early meetings. I would never fly overnight ‘to’ Dubai I would only take a day flight.

    My flight from DXB to Europe was overnight. Never again. I arrived wrecked in ZRH and not even breakfast and shower in the OK Swiss Arrivals lounge rescued that. DXB airport IIRC no decent lounges that I had access too also didn’t help. I’d defo fly back in the day next time if returning to Europe even if it cost me an extra night.

    TGLoyalty

    I always try to take the late flight.

    Eat in the lounge have a few drinks. Sleep at wheels up and skip breakfast on the flight.

    Most hotels let you check in first thing or give you breakfast if there isn’t a room yet. As they’re used to people arriving / leaving early.

    I also leave on the 2am have dinner in a nice restaurant head to the airport and have a couple drinks then sleep / miss breakfast onboard (perhaps visit the arrivals lounge).

    John

    Well one option is to keep your body clock on roughly UK times. So arriving at a Dubai hotel around midnight is only 8 or 9pm in the UK, and a 2am departure is also an ok time for sleeping in the UK, which will hopefully let you arrive back feeling refreshed. During the trip you can wake up “late” but actually at the same time as you would at home, which also suits nightlife timings if you like that

    But if your flight lands in Dubai at 8am that involves being woken on the plane at 2-3am UK time. You then either need an early check in, possibly paid, or you save a hotel night but have to figure out what to do for the morning in a tired state. And a daytime flight to the UK is a waste of a day as you need to leave the hotel after breakfast but it’s too late to do anything else by the time you get home.

    To dare is to do

    I always choose the evening flight, I book a car to pick me up via hotel so they are aware what time I’m arriving, so far always checked in early. I get 10am or 2pm flight back, I’ve no interest in being in airports at 2am. On last day of trip I just want to get up and go home.

    Ibblybibbly

    Definitely the night flight – save on the cost of 1 night in the hotel and catch up on any sleep on a lounger by the pool !

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    With kids, an early morning flight is best (ie 9am). The BA Abu Dhabi flight (RIP) used to leave before any of the Dubai flights so we’d get that and then do the 50 minute taxi ride down. You then land at a sensible time and get a full nights sleep.

    I’m not a fan of flying overnight, getting 3 hours sleep and then probably not being able to access my hotel room and having to stick my stuff in storage. If your time is limited, of course, go for it.

    Similarly, we tend to take a lunchtime flight home because it is better for the kids, but it takes a day and you’re paying for another hotel night – although I have often stayed at a city hotel nearer the airport for the last night, saving about 80% on resort prices for equal room quality.

    SteveJ

    Well one option is to keep your body clock on roughly UK times. So arriving at a Dubai hotel around midnight is only 8 or 9pm in the UK, and a 2am departure is also an ok time for sleeping in the UK, which will hopefully let you arrive back feeling refreshed. During the trip you can wake up “late” but actually at the same time as you would at home, which also suits nightlife timings if you like that

    This. Just stick as close to UK time throughout, wake up late and stay up late, ideal for what most people do on holiday anyway.

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    To be honest, I’ve never really experienced any sort of jetlag to/from the Middle East. It’s not really a big enough gap to make a difference, especially if your usual bedtime jumps around a lot normally anyway.

    The real Swiss Tony

    I do think the lunchtime/early afternoon departures from the UK make for one of the most civilised travel experiences. Recall a flight with EK where I’m sure we had a leisurely lunch after take off, post-prandials, then a fairly substantial supper before arrival. Quality food and service, too.

    I’ve got a relatively short business trip out to the UAE next month – have booked the lunchtime flight and whilst the 1am check in may look like a waste, Emyr got me a 3-4-2 rate so it kind of comes out in the wash.

    Did the evening flight once on EK but that was 20 yrs back, so no lie flat seats. Went as late as possible then just flaked by the pool when we got there until the room was ready.

    Benilyn

    Did Doha to London recently, 1am flight back with a baby, we all knocked out, woke up 1.5hr before landing. Wouldn’t mind doing it again, although you don’t get to enjoy the plane, especially if you don’t fly J often say.

    SamG

    my usual “trick” for a late arrival is a cheapo hotel near the airport for the first night. I did this exact thing in Dubai a couple of years ago – just checked back and I did a Hotwire for £73 and got the “AVANI Deira Dubai Hotel” which was a few mins taxi from the airport and perfectly acceptable. I actually popped out to a local supermarket nearby and stocked up on mixers and snacks – combined with duty free gin this saved us a fortune at our hotel on the Palm!

    We then had a room service breakfast, got pool ready and then took a Careem down to our hotel, popped our stuff in storage and enjoyed the facilities until our room was ready

    jimchef.

    Thanks for your replies everyone,

    In the end we decided to take the lunchtime flight going and the early morning flight coming back. We figured the daytime flight would be far more civilised on the way there, thanks to John who quite rightly pointed out that being woken from our sleep around 3am uk time is far from ideal.

    Coming back in the early hours is no biggie, we’re going without children so it’ll mean a decent sleep overnight on the plane getting into LHR around 6am.

    Many thanks

    dbbs

    my usual “trick” for a late arrival is a cheapo hotel near the airport for the first night. I did this exact thing in Dubai a couple of years ago – just checked back and I did a Hotwire for £73 and got the “AVANI Deira Dubai Hotel” which was a few mins taxi from the airport and perfectly acceptable. I actually popped out to a local supermarket nearby and stocked up on mixers and snacks – combined with duty free gin this saved us a fortune at our hotel on the Palm!

    We then had a room service breakfast, got pool ready and then took a Careem down to our hotel, popped our stuff in storage and enjoyed the facilities until our room was ready

    Thanks, yes this is what we did the last two times in Dubai…

    Stay in a cheap hotel at the beginning and end of trip to save on the £400+ per night at Palm/Jumeirah Beach hotels that you won’t be able to fully use due to midnight flight arrivals and morning departures.

    Also good to use cheap hotels for trips to waterparks and city sightseeing etc.

    Some relatively new, cheap properties are Hilton Garden Inn Mall of the Emirates and the Tryp Wyndham. The Tryp also has a large Carrefour at the rear.

    In the middle of the trip you can sandwich yourself at a nice JBR/Palm resort and enjoy the facilities for two to three nights.

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