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DHAKA ZIA INTL AIRPORT review : 21 August 2009 : by S Bashar

Just traveled in and out of Zia International Airport on international trip. It has improved since my last visit 4+ years ago. There's a "health desk" at the arrivals hall manned by health professionals but does not seem to serve any purpose; no one at the immigration desks that follow ask about the form. Although there are separate immigration counters for Bangladesh Passport Holders, Non-Resident Bangladeshis, nationals of other South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Foreigners, in effect there are only two gateways: foreign passport holders and Bangladesh passport holders. The arrivals hall is all very civilized but the time it takes for the luggage carousels to start delivering checked luggage varies: it's quicker for day-time arrivals and dreadfully slow during the post mid- night hours. Departure check-in varies airline to airline; it's a lot quicker if you checked in online via the web. Departure immigration is no non-sense, friendly and professional. There are two smoking rooms at either ends of the terminal on the air-side on the departure level. There are a few duty free shops selling both Bangladeshi export quality products such as leather bags, cases, shoes etc., as well as stores selling run of the mill duty free stuff (cigarettes, perfumes). There are not many public phone booths that are working as most people use cellphones. Not the most interesting place on the face of the earth but there are worse places to be stuck in that part of the world.