Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022, Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Emirates Dubai 7s, UAE National Day 4-day holiday, winter break for schools … things are going to get busy over the next two months in the country.

Both Etihad and Emirates airlines are expecting millions of passengers to pass through Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports, respectively, starting today, November 19.

Based on peak travel advisories issued by the two airlines, Khaleej Times has collated some tips for residents and tourists to beat the rush.

1. Check in as early as possible

From November 21 to January 8, Etihad passengers will be able check in 24 hours to four hours before their flight at the staff travel centre located below the Terminal 3 check-in area. They will receive free Etihad miles or additional 5kg excess baggage and get complimentary two hours at the Skypark parking.

Emirates has recommended passengers leave their homes early so they can arrive at the airport three hours ahead of their flight. All passengers can check in online 48 hours ahead of their flight. Those who are coming from Ajman can avail of a 24‑hour city check‑in at the Ajman Central Bus Terminal.

2. Be aware of check-in closure times

According to Etihad, during peak times, check-in opens four hours before departure and closes one hour before for non-US flights and two hours before departure for US flights. Boarding closes 20 minutes before departure.

3. Home check-in

Both airlines offer home check-in options. This means passengers can have agents collect their bags and complete all check-in formalities from the comfort of their homes or offices.

4. Drop off your luggage up to 24 hours prior to departure

Emirates offers a complimentary option to drop luggage the night before travel. Passengers who are departing from Dubai can check in early and drop off their bags at the airport 24 hours before departure, or 12 hours before departure if flying to the US or Tel Aviv. They can then arrive at the airport and proceed directly to immigration.

5. Breeze through immigration

Emirates’ first and business class customers can use the ‘Smart Tunnel’ at Dubai International Airport for passport control. Passengers simply walk through a tunnel and are cleared by immigration authorities without human intervention or the need for a physical passport stamp. All it takes to register is a quick photo at check-in to capture facial data. Travellers can check in, clear immigration, access the airport lounge in Concourse B, and board flights at selected gates purely by facial recognition or using their boarding pass.

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