Qatar Airways Opens New Lounge In Dubai

Several months back I flew Qatar Airways first class from Dubai to Doha (it was actually a business class seat, but for flights within the Gulf, Qatar Airways markets the forward cabin as first class rather than business class), connecting to Qatar Airways first class from Doha to London.

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Qatar Airways A320 first class from Dubai to Doha

I’d argue that Qatar Airways has the best regional premium products in the world. Where else in the world do you consistently get a fully flat bed, delicious breakfast, and freshly made cappuccino on a 30 minute flight?

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Qatar Airways first class breakfast

The one low point for Qatar Airways’ Dubai service has been their lounge there. Despite them having over a dozen flights a day between the two airports, they’ve been using the pretty awful Dubai International First Class Contract Lounge.

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Dubai International First Class Lounge

The good news is that Qatar Airways has finally opened their own lounge in Dubai.

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Here’s how it’s described in the press release:

The Qatar Airways Dubai Premium Lounge is situated near Gate 15 in Dubai International Airport’s Concourse D. First and Business Class passengers, as well as Privilege Club Platinum and Gold members, are encouraged to enjoy the lounge’s facilities, which are set within a modern and a sophisticated space for travellers to relax and rejuvenate before their journey.

Decorated with artistic Arabic calligraphy, Mediterranean-style tiles and calming water fountains, the Dubai Premium Lounge features private family zones, shower facilities, spacious seating areas and serves fresh international cuisine.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “It is an honour to welcome His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum into the Qatar Airways Dubai Premium Lounge. His visit truly sets the tone for the level of service we will provide to our First and Business Class passengers, and our Privilege Club members when they enjoy these exquisite facilities. The Dubai Premium Lounge is a symbol of our commitment to continuously evolve our customers’ experience, by taking everything a step above expectations. This attention to detail, and passion to deliver more to our customers, is what has earned Qatar Airways such a prestigious reputation amongst the international traveller and aviation community.”

Here’s a video Qatar Airways posted of the opening of the lounge:

Obviously airlines and governments are quite intertwined in the Middle East. Still, I find it hilarious that Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum was in attendance. He’s the President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group. It’s not every day that the CEO of a competing airline is part of the ribbon cutting ceremony for a new lounge.

The lounge seems to be modeled after Qatar Airways’ lounges in Doha (including the Al Safwa and Al Mourjan Lounge) and London, which are stunning. This is a huge improvement over the old setup.

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Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge Doha

However, Qatar Airways is continuing their trend of only reluctantly participating in the oneworld alliance. The lounge is only open to Qatar Airways first class passengers and Qatar Airways Privileges Club elite members traveling on Qatar Airways. It isn’t open to oneworld first class passengers or oneworld elite members. This is the same (ridiculous) policy they have for their lounges in London and Doha.

For an airline which threatens to leave oneworld all the time, they sure aren’t exactly playing nice in the meantime. 😉

Bottom line

It’s great to see Qatar Airways open their own lounge in Dubai, as it’s a huge improvement over their old one. However, I do wish they’d play more nicely with their oneworld partners. But if you happen to be flying Qatar Airways out of Dubai anytime soon, at least you have this to look forward to.

Comments

  1. The QR LHR Lounge is one of the best in the world for an outstation lounge. I was able to access easily with my QF boarding pass a few months ago. So the “This is the same (ridiculous) policy they have for their lounges in London and Doha.” That isn’t true and I know others have gained entry in the QR lounge with other OW premium boarding passes so it would seem like this policy is just for the DXB lounge if its true.

  2. That lounge looks really nice. Open space, cool light fixtures, and luxurious finishes.

    Will be there sometime in 2017. Hope it doesn’t flood before then.

  3. Maybe its because the sheikh is also the chairman of Dubai airport and thus appeared at the opening ceremony not as the chairman of the emirates group but rather representing the airport

  4. Back in 2010, Qatar airways had a huge dedicated lounge in Terminal 1 in DXB, when i was flying QR again in 2014, they were using the Dubai International Lounge.

    Opening their new lounge NOW in concourse D is a disappointment, Concourse D has been already operational for a couple of months now.

    I suggest that you travel in DXB through Concourse D, it’s very different than the rest of the airport and is very nice.

  5. As per press release, QR biz class pax are allowed access as well. In your chastising paragraph, you said that only QR First class pax and PC elites have access, omitting QR biz class pax.

  6. @ Nobody in particular — There are no business class passengers. The planes are two cabins, with a first class and economy class.

  7. Ben – would you say that the OneWorld alliance may terminate Qatar from being part of the alliance? I may they are already excluding us OneWorld members from entering their lounge. So how far can they go with it? On top of us not getting full Milage credit when flying revenue with them.

  8. That picture of the Dubai International First Class Lounge may be out of date. I don’t know for certain about the first class lounge, but I do know that when I visited the Dubai International Business Class lounge, it was recently renovated, and is very nice. Upon arrival, an attendant showed my family and I around the lounge, offered a spa treatment, showed us to a table, and distributed menus. The whole experience was much better than what older online reviews said. I wonder if the same is the case for the First Class lounge.

  9. It’s annoying that QR won’t let in oneworld J/F or Emerald/Sapphire members, especially since the lounge entrance prominently displays the oneworld logo…

  10. I chilled in this lounge when I was flying in March. It was super nice, and I was wondering why nobody had made mention of it!

  11. I will be spending about 5 hours in that new lounge on 5/23. I am excited to try it out and will let you know my thoughts.

  12. Ben – your point about no J class pax is not technically true. There are occasionally 3 cabin planes (A340) that operate DXB-DOH. If you are booked in a J class ticket, for example DXB-DOH-HKG, you will be seated in the business class cabin on a 3 cabin aircraft. This has happened to me a couple of times. Additionally, depending on the channel (like some travel agencies) that you buy your ticket through, on a business class ticket DXB-DOH-LHR, with the DXB-DOH portion operated by a 2 cabin aircraft, you will be seated in the topmost cabin, but your flight number will show QRXXXJ instead of QRXXXF for that segment. The implications in both of these situations has been that I was not permitted to use the first class lounge in Doha because I was on a business class ticket. Whereas if your flight shows F class – even for the same seat, you get to use the F lounge.

  13. Qatar Airways lounge in Abu Dhabi (Plaza Premium Al Dhabi Lounge) still has a long, long way to go. And, the hard product is good on the intra-Gulf flights if you get a true QR aircraft. Watch for when they sub in one of their green Al Maha planes. First Class cabin just a US domestic product, no IFE, etc. Not that it matters on a short AUH or DXB to DOH flight. Food and service still amazing, though, regardless the aircraft.

  14. @John, No, the new lounge in DXB Concourse D is NOT better than QR business class lounge in DOH. For one thing, the food on offer is rather limited in the DXB lounge while the Biz Lounge in DOH offers buffet AND menu selection. Also, the Qatar Airways Lounge in DXB only has one ‘real’ Qatar Airways staffer (the others are contract catering staff that just wear the QR uniform). This is important because if there are any delays, they have very limited means to help you out ticketing-wise (unlike the full service counter staff at the entrance to the Biz lounge in DOH).

  15. Traveling to Manchester from Dubai. Compared the the lounge in Manchester this is miles apart. 1st stop the “washroom”. Surprised that they are actually nice and roomy. nice wooden shelves to place you items on. There was also a shower room (had I known before I would have used).

    There was a nice spread of food for breakfast in the lounge. Fresh juices and various selection of fruit.

    Nice dining area, comfy sofas and a tv area.

    Wasn’t too busy. Staff were prim and proper and very attentive.

    Minor flow was that there was not window in the lounge and There were no announcement for the flights so have to keep an eye on the boarding screens.

    Other Issues I did find, not with the lounge itself, but the airport. There is no priority lane for business class passenger and had to catch a train to gate D.

  16. Ben, I have a question for you in regard to this lounge.

    If I’m traveling from DXB to DOH on X/2/17 in economy on QR but I’m then connecting to a FC flight on QR on X/3/17 am I allowed to access this DXB QR lounge?

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