Here is what I don’t get. Why did they name Dubai International Airport an airport? Ok, it is in Dubai and it is international in the sense there are many nationalities from all corners of the world; that’s easy to fathom. What isn’t easy to understand is why not just call it Dubai International Smotipoto? Smotipoto is just a short hand for: Shopping Mall on the Inside & Planes on the Outside.
The whole place is designed for your maximum exposure to shops, shopping and means to waste your hard earned money to the exclusion of almost every other reason why you are there in the first place: to travel somewhere.
You can literally buy anything and everything known to be “consumer goods” in 30 different varieties. You can eat Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Arabic, American, Indian, Taiwanese, French, etc. You can drink soft drinks, hard drinks, cold drinks warm drinks, more drinks than you can imagine. You can consume on the go or sat down, it can be self-service or waiter service. You can sleep in hotels, on sofas, on the floor or in privileged lounges. You can be manicured, pedicured, massaged and pampered within an inch of your life. You can do all of these things and much more but; you cannot get to your departure gate in less than 45 minutes no matter how hard you try.
As for making a connection through the place well, good luck to you my friend! You might think a waiting time of 3 hours is excessive but; trust me, it is not! It is touch and go, whether you can make your connection at all. You are fetched from your airplane and deposited in one corner of say Terminal C. You go through Security and then you walk for a couple of minutes to the first display board, which tells you that your connecting flight is in Terminal A. So, you walk on and after 20 minutes you discover you are going in the wrong direction and access to Terminal A was actually behind you when you were examining the display board after Security. You ask a nice helpful person who gives you a look of sympathy and draws you a complex diagram with instructions not dissimilar to the electronic circuit for an atomic detonator.
You walk for a while, climb escalators, go down escalators, walk some more, take lifts, walk further, take a train, walk for a while longer, go up more escalators and, assuming you have not had a cardiac arrest by then, you finally arrive at your departure gate sweating, angry and anxious only to be met by a false friendly airline staffer who welcomes you then wishes you an enjoyable trip! How can you enjoy anything after such an experience when you are gasping for oxygen and wishing you flew through a war-torn city in the middle of a final and brutal assault?