The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

WoWasis book shopping review: a superior English bookshop at Dhaka’s international airport in Bangladesh

Written By: herbrunbridge - Apr• 24•13

HazratShahjalalAirportThere’s not a lot to do for international travelers in the departure area of the Hazrat Shahjalal airport in Bangladesh’s capital of Dhaka. On top of that, the restrooms are crappy, literally. Most cow pastures are cleaner. This is amazing, given that international flyers, who have the money for plane tickets, presumably, would have learned proper bathroom habits. Since the restrooms are hardly ever cleaned, it’s just best to stay out of them. Just hold it until you can use the restroom on your departing aircraft (if you insist on crapping all over the toilet seat, please join your friends and do it at the airport, not on the plane, thanks).

What came as a shock to us here at WoWasis was the discovery that this airport has one of the finest English-language bookshops in any airport we’ve seen, namely Omni Books in the departure lounge. The store has tons of wonderful Bengali fiction, a terrific supply of picture books, historical non-fiction, you name it. Most of these books are in English. On top of that, the clerk was a young man that knew so much about Bangladeshi literature that he could make recommendations. We bought ten or so books, and all were winners. Shopping at the store was a magnificent experience.

There’s also an Omni Books store in Dhaka itself, but as we reported earlier, Dhaka traffic is such a mess that it might take you hours to get to the store. We’d suggest buying your books at the airport. The airport bookshop is not to be missed. But we guarantee you won’t want to do your reading in the airport bathrooms.

Omni Books locations:

Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport

Departure Lounge

Kurmitola, Dhaka-1229   Phone: 8901808



Dhanmondi (Dhaka)

Genetic Plaza, Level-3

House #16, Road#27(old)

16 (New), Dhanmondi


Phone: 8121472, 8126433


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  1. That’s so cool, Alison, what a great “hidden spot” that bookstore is. Thanks for confirming it!

    BTW, we’ve reviewed a number of Bdesh books at including ‘Lajja’ a banned book in Bdesh. Thnaks again for visiting us!

    – The folks at WoWasis

  2. Alison Britton says:

    Yes. I agree. It is terrific. When I was in the airport yesterday I saw the shop but it was closed. It looked interesting so I sat hoping it would open. It did. I bought a book of short stories written by Bangladeshi authors, a book discussing Bangladesh politics and some prints. Service was great too.

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