TRIP REPORT: Emirates, Dubai - Zagreb


Submitted by Igor Gavrić

I’m from Banja Luka but I live in Dubai now. Prior to the establishment of Dubai - Zagreb route, I used to fly to Belgrade and hope for a good time to catch Air Serbia’s flight to Banja Luka. Flying to Sarajevo was an option as well. This is the second time I flew DXB - ZAG (on May 3) so this time I decided to share my experience as there is a lot of interest in this route. So here we go.

Dubai Airport Terminal 3
Check-in area

The flight departs from Terminal 3 at 8.30 am. You really need to be there at least 2.5 hours prior to the flight as it can get crazy busy. Emirates now offerx a service to check you in at your home. They come, take your suitcase and you just go straight to the security clearance. If you are a UAE resident you can use the Smart Gate, i.e. scan your ID and pass, which is quite fast.

Notice board

The plane was departing from Gate A19 and to reach it, you need to first take a train to “A” gates, then walk through a mall-alike area, then go down the stairs, then walk and walk… The “C” gates are even worse as you need a minimum 25 minutes of good running. I can’t even imagine how older people navigate this. Dubai Airport is huge and Terminal 3 is packed with transfer passengers. Even with all the enhancements, it really needs more space.

After walking around the terminal, the boarding started. You can see in the queue how there was a large group of Japanese tourists. I would say at least 40 of them.


We reached the aircraft by bus, so it took another 10 minutes just sitting in the bus which is quite tiring.

Some snaps from the bus

Finally we reached the aircraft and we could board. In economy the load factor was 90-95% There were just a few vacant spots. I have not seen the first or premium class as we boarded at the backdoor. After takeoff, we were treated to some amazing views of Dubai.

After takeoff, I decided to check out the in-flight magazine and pick a movie to watch. The choice of movies, music, you name it, is amazing! The magazine was redesigned recently and the interesting thing is that they now show Flydubai’s destinations combined. I took a snap of the Ex-Yu area. In due course, breakfast was served, i.e. a sandwich and a drink, in my case - wine. Don’t judge.

After a few hours, a full lunch is served. The food is quite tasty as well as the wine, so I had more!

The flight time was just over 5 hours, so here is a photo of us descending into Zagreb, as well as being parked by the terminal.

I flew from Zagreb's new airport four times now, and this time I was unpleasantly surprised to see a long queue for the passport control. It took some 20-25 minutes to get out of there. One thing that I don’t understand about the new terminal in Zagreb is this huge empty space. There are no luggage belts around and the photo couldn’t capture the vast emptiness. I hope they fill out the space with something.

After picking up my luggage, same as in Belgrade or in Sarajevo, customs officers love passengers coming from Dubai! As I was in transit through Croatia, he didn’t bother much as they were after the locals.

Overall, Emirates is indeed great! For me, Turkish Airlines' service is comparable, sometimes even better on long haul. For the Emirates flight, most of the passengers were transit. There were a lot of Slovenians as well, residents of Dubai, Japanese, Chinese as well as obviously Croatians. I hope the trip back will be equally pleasant! Thanks for reading.

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  1. Anonymous09:30

    Sto ja volim te carinike.....uf.
    To je posebna vrsta neljudi.
    Jos ne kuze kako je u 21.stoljecu sasvim normalno koristiti internet bankarstvo.

    Imate li sto za prijaviti?
    Kako nemate, pa iz Dubaia dolazite???
    Rekoh ne gispodine, ja dolazim iz XYX preko Dubaia......
    Blink-blink-blink s njihove strane

    1. Anonymous10:06


    2. Anonymous11:53

      Al realno, sta bi danas vrijedilo truda svercati?

  2. Anonymous10:06

    Great report. Thanks!

  3. Anonymous10:21

    Dear Igor, thanks for the report. I did not know Dubai airport is so hard to navigate and that bus gates are used to board the planes. Useful info.

    1. Anonymous10:56

      DXB nije nista razlicitiji od ostalih aerodroma..
      Sve sto moras znati je brojevni pravac.....
      Gledati oko sebe a ne zujati kao muha bez glave.

    2. Anonymous17:46

      Went to VCE from Australia with EK via DXB this January, same situation, B777 on remote stand, but it's much less to walk - some 10 min, and bus ride is some 5 min, like on any other big hub airport, and absolutely acceptable

    3. Anonymous18:36

      It's really not that hard to navigate. You just follow the signs. Don't need to be extremely intelligent to do that :)

    4. Anonymous00:03

      Easy to navigate like Amsterdam or Munich, or you just follow all the signs but still too complicated as Paris or Rome?

    5. Anonymous07:50

      Like Paris or Rome. No airport is as simple as MUC or AMS.

  4. Anonymous11:55

    Kokiko ti je vremenski trebali od MZLZ-FT do Banja Luke?

  5. Anonymous15:25

    Thank you for the report. Did you have enough legroom and was your seat wide and comfortable?

    That route map is eye opening. Except for London, the only place in Europe where EK/FZ serve 3 airports in close proximity are Dubrovnik, Tivat and Podgorica. All of them combined are smaller that some other airports they don't serve yet. Just priceless!

  6. Interesting capture of the 737max getting pushed back from Zagreb.

    Also noticed you were drinking Aussie wine. Guess it makes sense since the CEO is Australian.

  7. Thanks for the report! Totally agree on the empty space at Zag airport. It's been a year now. They are really slow with filling all that space up.
    I never visited Dubai, but it's on my bucket list for sure. This summer it'll be Greece. Also my first time in that country and finally!!

    I did fly via Dubai once and landing there at night is absolutely spectacular!


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