Dubai Airports Updates Baggage Rules

For the many South African expats who fly to or from Dubai, or SA business and holiday travellers who fly through Dubai International Airport on their way to or from South Africa… please note that the Airport has introduced a new baggage rule – no more round bags!

The rule comes into effect on Wednesday 8 March.

The airport says it’s introducing the rule to improve service and reduce the risk of mishandlings.

“Dubai International provides some of the most sophisticated baggage systems in the world,” said Ali Angizeh, Vice President of Terminal Operations at Dubai International.


“However, even the most technologically advanced systems can be disrupted by irregular shaped or oversized bags. Bags that are round or do not have a flat surface of any kind are by far the largest source of baggage jams. These jams can shut down sections of our system, delay baggage delivery to the aircraft and inconvenience our customers.”

All photos sourced: Dubai Airports

From Wednesday, those bags without flat surfaces will be rejected at check-in.

“Passengers, who show up at the airport with non-compliant baggage, will also be given the option to have it repacked in boxes for a fee.”

Dubai Airport’s baggage handling system is among the largest in the world. Other stats include:

  • It stretches 140 km and covers a surface area of 75 football fields.
  • It has 15,000 trays and is powered by 21,000 motors.
  • DXB handled approximately 9.3 million bags in January this year.
  • A bag spends an average of 29 minutes in the baggage system at DXB.