Review: Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai B Concourse

Introduction
Emirates Lounge Dallas DFW Airport
A First Timer’s Thoughts On Emirates First Class
The World’s Most Over The Top Afternoon Tea
Review: Emirates A380 First Class Dallas To Dubai
Our Late Night Las Vegas Experience In Dubai
Review: Park Hyatt Dubai Park Deluxe Room
EK17 To Manchester: Having The Best Time And Keeping It Green While Ben Goes Amber
Review: Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai B Concourse
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Arlanda Express: Speedy Transport For Dummies
Should A Few Instances Of Bad Service Spoil Overall Perceptions Of A Hotel?
Review: Emirates A380 First Class Dubai To Manchester
Review: Hilton Manchester Deansgate
First Time In Lufthansa First (With Two Celebrities): Review Of The First Class Terminal In Frankfurt
Review: British Airways Lounge Manchester
Review: British Airways Galleries First Lounge London Heathrow
Review: Sheraton Stockholm
First Time In Lufthansa First (With Two Celebrities): Review Of LH450 from Frankfurt to Los Angeles
Review: Aurora Lounge Stockholm Arlanda Airport
Review: Grand Hyatt Berlin
Review: Airberlin Lounge Berlin Airport
Review: Park Hyatt Vienna
Review: Austrian HON Circle & First Class Lounge Vienna Airport
Review: Austrian A320 Business Class Vienna To Frankfurt
Review: Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt
Review: Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Frankfurt To Newark


As Matt explained in a previous installment, we ended up going to Dubai Airport shortly after midnight for our 7:25AM departure. Not because we actually wanted to be there that early, but rather because we were both jetlagged, and when we were wide awake and hungry at around midnight, we figured we might as well just go to the airport and have a decent meal, a couple of glasses of wine, a spa treatment, etc.

I reviewed the Emirates First Class Lounge in the A Concourse at Dubai Airport earlier this year, and reviewed it a couple of years prior to that. This time around we ended up using the B Concourse first class lounge as well, so I’ll focus my review around that.

As explained, we arrived at Dubai Airport at around 1AM, and found ourselves in the sterile and oversized check-in hall. The first & business class check-in area has way too many counters, and almost feels unfinished due to how sterile it is.

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Emirates first & business class check-in Dubai Airport

We were checked in very quickly, and informed that our flight would be departing from the B Concourse. Emirates operates out of the A Concourse as well, which is intended to be the concourse for A380s. However, 777s also depart out of the A Concourse, and A380s also depart out of the B Concourse. So if nothing else it would make for a great opportunity to check out a new lounge.

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Emirates first & business class check-in Dubai Airport

However, since we had so much time to kill, we decided to check out the A Concourse First Class Lounge first, given that Matt had never been there before. That required taking a train from the main terminal, and then the huge elevators up on the other side.

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Dubai Airport terminal airside

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Dubai Airport terminal airside

The A Concourse First Class Lounge is huge, and unique in that you can board your flights directly through the lounge. However, you can use the lounge even when departing from a different concourse.

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Emirates First Class Lounge A Concourse Dubai Airport

At around 3AM we decided to head over to the B Concourse first class lounge, which required getting back on the train.

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Dubai Airport terminal airside

From there it was just a short walk to the first class lounge, which is located between gates B15 and B17.

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Emirates First Class Lounge B Concourse signage Dubai Airport

The lounge is located one level up from the concourse, with the entrance to the business class lounge on one side, and the entrance to the first class lounge on the other side.

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Emirates First Class Lounge B Concourse entrance Dubai Airport

The entrance was rather grand, with a beautiful floral arrangement in front of the reception desk. We were admitted promptly, which was good. For whatever reason award tickets issued by Alaska show as staff tickets, so the computer seems to think they’re not eligible for lounge access. That being said, agents seem to deal with this enough so that it’s a non-issue, and they usually just ask “this was an Alaska ticket, right?”

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Emirates First Class Lounge B Concourse reception Dubai Airport

So the Emirates A Concourse First Class Lounge is beyond massive but also modern. The B Concourse First Class Lounge is beyond massive… and not modern. It’s, like, way past its prime. These lounges really are puzzlingly large. There must be seating for well over a thousand people, even though at any given point there most likely won’t be more than a few dozen people in the lounge.

The lounge featured all kinds of seating arrangements and decor, it’s just that unfortunately none of it was actually nice.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

But the amount of seating really is insane…

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

Much like the A Concourse First Class Lounge, this lounge spans along the terminal, so you have views of the main level of the concourse from much of the lounge.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai seating

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai concourse view

I think the degree to which the lounge was past its prime can be summed up nicely by the business center, which is almost painful to even look at.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai business center

While the seating was a bit scattered and underwhelming, the dining area was quite impressive. It featured a more traditional dining room with 2-4 person tables.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai dining area

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai dining area

Then there was a “cozier” covered dining area with booths and other types of seating.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai dining area

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai dining area

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai dining area

Emirates has both an a la carte menu and a buffet. And the food is fantastic across the board, an area in which the lounge really excels. We had a late dinner in the A Concourse First Class Lounge so didn’t eat much here, though everything looked excellent.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

I was especially impressed by the sushi bar and buffet.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai buffet

In terms of the lounge’s other features, there was an entertainment zone intended for kids. They had a Sonic Racing game. I don’t think I’ve played a video game like that in 15+ years, though this proved oddly fun at 4AM. And in case anyone is wondering, it’s free.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai entertainment area

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai entertainment area

The lounge also has a Timeless Spa. We already had back massages in the other lounge, but still decided to get a reflex foot massage. First class passengers receive one treatment for free, and then it’s 100AED for an additional treatment.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Timeless Spa reception

The treatment menu read as follows:

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Timeless Spa reception area

In the past I’ve always done the 15 minute back massage, which is quite nice.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Timeless Spa massage chair

But surprisingly I really liked the foot massage, and would choose it again in the future. It was really great.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Timeless Spa foot massage chairs

I was planning on showering in the lounge, though decided against it once I saw the facilities. There’s a single facility with individual shower rooms.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai shower rooms

The individual rooms are small and don’t have a toilet or area to get ready, so you can shower in the rooms and then get ready in the communal area. Beyond that, since the rooms are so small, presumably they get really hot really quickly.

That’s something I find completely ridiculous for a first class lounge… especially one as large as this. So I decided not to shower… good thing Emirates has showers on their planes. 😉

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai shower rooms

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai shower room amenities

Our departure gate, B13, was located pretty close to the lounge. Since the lounge is open air, we could actually hear the boarding call for our flight at around 6:40AM. Excited about our flight, we headed down to the gate.

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Walking to departure gate Dubai Airport

The upper level of the concourse has a separate boarding area for first & business class passengers, though the agent there said it would be another 20 minutes or so before boarding continued. We could see people having their boarding passes scanned on the lower level, so figured we’d go down there.

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Walking to departure gate Dubai Airport

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Departure gate Dubai Airport

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Emirates A380 Dubai Airport

On the lower level our boarding passes were scanned, though we were asked to take a seat for a few minutes. After a few minutes, a PA was made indicating that first & business class passengers were invited to board. So we started walking down the jet bridge, at which point one of the agents came running after us to tell us that they weren’t actually boarding yet, and that it was a glitch.

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Jet bridge to Emirates A380 Dubai Airport

Sure enough, at around 6:55AM we were finally invited to board, excited for our journey to Manchester.

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Emirates A380 Dubai Airport

Emirates First Class Lounge bottom line

In the past I’ve called the Emirates First Class Lounge A Concourse one of the best in the world. I think I may have to change my mind on that. It’s certainly one of the most overwhelming lounges, given how huge it is. But in terms of actual amenities and overall experience, I don’t think it can compete with the real best lounges out there, like the Air France First Class Lounge ParisLufthansa First Class Terminal FrankfurtQantas First Class Lounge Sydney, and Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Bangkok.

As far as the B Concourse First Class Lounge goes, I found it downright underwhelming, aside from the food selection. The decor was outdated, the lounge was uselessly large, and the shower facilities were possibly the worst I’ve ever seen in a first class lounge.

I’d definitely go out of my way to use the A Concourse First Class Lounge in the future, though even there don’t think I’d arrive all that early. It’s impressive, but not really actively fun to spend time in.

What has been your experience with Emirates’ lounges in Dubai?

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Comments

  1. “However, you can use the lounge even when departing from a different concourse.”

    Something I asked in Matt’s post, but don’t think I was clear in my questioning. Is the A lounge open to all first class passengers, regardless of plane type, or just A380 first class passengers, regardless of concourse? Ie, if you’re flying first on a 777 from concourse B, can you still visit the A lounge?

  2. You were excited for your flight to Manchester?? No one ever wants to go their willingly – it’s probably one of the worst cities in the UK.

  3. From the pics the lounge doesnt look at all bad

    I hope you tell us why on earth you went to Manchester???

  4. You’ve obviously never been through DXB at a busy time… those first and business check-in counters can have two or three people waiting at each at times, with the lounges totally full too.

    The B concourse business lounge is undergoing a refurb at the moment and I expect they’ll do the same with the first lounge some time soon too.

  5. “For whatever reason award tickets issued by Alaska show as staff tickets, so the computer seems to think they’re not eligible for lounge access.”

    That didn’t happen to me when I was in the A lounge.

  6. Lucky – firstly, as a long time reader i just want to say that your trip reports really stand out as superb, not just on this site but more generally. Reading this I realize why i remember why I’ve enjoyed reading your blog so much. I know you’re very busy with other stuff, but here is at least one vote for more trip reports from you because I think that’s the thing that makes this blog special.

    This report also is very helpful for me because I’m about to decide whether to pay about $800 extra to fly first class on EK from DXB-BOM or to just do the whole trip (from JFK) in economy. Part of the reason was to experience the A380 experience and also the ground service in Dubai. I’m a bit concerned that the flight is too short to allow me to really enjoy the experience and now after what you say about the lounges I’m not sure they are all that special either. Unfortunately with work and family I rarely have the chance to fly these sort of aspirational products so thought i might try this. It seems Alaska miles cannot be redeemed for EK F from DXB unless it’s to the US (or so i was told), so now I’m trying to figure out whether this is worth it.

    I already got some helpful feedback on the Ask Lucky forum, but in light of this review would appreciate your thoughts.

    Django

  7. Definitely a massive airport lounge as expected from Emirates – Though the lounge does look to be outdated and rather giving the “old school vibe”. But I prefer being there than anywhere else (terminal) ;). But I think Emirates should make it a priority to renovate the lounges with more state of the art installations and give it a refresh, which in the near future I could see that coming from them.

  8. The shower rooms in the A First Lounge are better in that they are self-contained (sink, shower and toilet), but they are small and have very poor ventilation, so they end up not being all that nice.

  9. How does Emirates not fly A380s to Miami – I don’t think Emirates can be a leading A380 flier until it flies at least hourly service to every A380 handling airport in the world.

  10. So seating for 1000 but usually about 50 in the lounge. Tons of food out. And you were there super early.

    The question is how often they refresh the food. Do the breads and muffins stay out so long they get stale? Are they just tossing out tons of food? Were the other food options fresh?

  11. Totally agree about the outdated B lounge. Then again at least its age gives it some character compared to the A lounge which I found overwhelmingly sterile. Had better food in B than A but those were about a year apart so not sure it’s a fair comparison.

  12. If you think the B terminal F lounge is out of date, you should see the one in Terminal C. The smoking portion of the Terminal C lounge is above the main lounge, with open air viewing to the floor below. Luckily smoke tends to rise. The food was pretty much the same in all 3 lounges, though, as one note of consistency.

  13. I used this lounge on a recent stopover from YYZ to PER and was also completely underwhelmed! The furniture is tatty and the decor questionable, to say the least.

    The only exception were the staff, who were beyond accommodating and helpful, which I’ve found to be typical of Emirates staff in general.

    I wasn’t aware that passengers departing from the B Concourse has access to the A Concourse lounge. If only this review was published a few weeks earlier!

    Thanks for yet again another fantastic review Ben.

  14. Lucky: love your reports and photos. Questions re Dubai airport. I’m flying from LAX – DXB on a 380 in first, short layover, then DXB – SEZ (Seychelles) on a 777, both on Emirates.
    1. Do I correctly understand that I can use ANY Emirates 1st class lounge in Dubai (concourse A or B) while waiting for the DXB – SEZ flight?
    2. You strongly prefer the concourse A Emirates 1st class lounge, correct?
    3. Can you book spa treatments in advance of arriving at DXB?
    Thanks, Mark

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