Reviews

Review: Emirates first class lounge, Dubai Airport Concourse A

Overall Rating

By Chris Chamberlin, August 6 2015
Emirates first class lounge, Dubai Airport Concourse A
Country

United Arab Emirates

City

Dubai

Airport

Dubai International Airport

Alliance

None

Airline

Emirates

Cabin-class

First

Notes
The Good
  • Full restaurant and day spa facilities
  • No boarding calls keeps things quiet
  • Different zones for travellers both young and young at heart
The Bad
  • WiFi speed didn't exceed 1.5mbps
X-Factor
  • Board your Emirates A380 flight directly from the lounge
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

Spanning the entire length of Dubai Airport's Concourse A is the Emirates first class lounge – quite literally stretching for as far as the eye can see, and situated above the hustle and bustle of the terminal proper.

Inside the lounge, you'll find everything from a restaurant and day spa through to a business centre, cigar bar, quiet rooms, a zone just for kids and of course, shower facilities.

Here's what we thought during a recent visit to Dubai.

Location & Impressions

The fist thing we notice on entering is just how spacious the lounge feels – walkways are wide, seats are far apart, and there's even a private duty-free store within the lounge for any last-minute luxury purchases.

It's so large, in fact, that maps are provided to help first-time visitors navigate their way around:

When it's time to board, you can also swan your way straight from the lounge onto the A380's upper deck without setting foot in the main terminal if your flight departs from Concourse A:

Just be sure to set a reminder on your smartphone or keep a close eye on the time, as boarding announcements aren't made in this lounge.

Access

  • First class passengers of Emirates and Qantas
  • Emirates Skywards Platinum frequent flyers travelling with Emirates or Qantas
  • Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers when travelling with Qantas or Emirates on a QF or EK flight number
  • Other Oneworld Emerald members booked on Qantas flights QF1/2 and QF9/10 only. No access before any Emirates-operated flights, other Oneworld flights or before a Qantas-operated flight when booked on the Emirates EK flight number.

Also keep in mind that while your Emirates boarding pass will show an invitation to the lounge nearest your departure gate (such as in Concourses B and C), you can still visit the newer – and frankly, much nicer – Concourse A lounges if you've arrived early for your flight or have a longer transit.

For example, we were booked on EK434 to Brisbane from Concourse B, but followed the signs to Concourse A after clearing security and passport control to make use of Emirates' flagship first class lounge, and returned to Concourse B in ample time to board.

Dining

Much as in the Qantas First Lounges that Emirates passengers can use in Australia, the Gulf airline offers its own a la carte dining facilities in Dubai, complete with full table service.

Our morning visit saw the breakfast menu available...

... which began with a delicious berry fruit smoothie, warmed croissants and espresso coffee:

As first class passengers can do in the air, you can order dishes here 'as is' or can customise them to your liking.

Today was no exception, where we ordered a fresh omelette with our preferred fillings, the 'Marmite soldiers' from a different dish and then a side of chicken sausages with a cherry tomato on top:

Everything was tasty and cooked perfectly, and while there certainly 'fancier' options on the menu, sometimes you just feel like something 'homely' when you're on the road, which this lounge delivered.

For guests who are merely peckish or have limited time, a number of 'grab and go' items are also available including salad rolls, meats and yoghurts...

... joined by an impressive selection of spirits...

... and also wines, with the signature drop being Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial (A$55/bottle from Qantas epiQure):

While it's not the Dom Pérignon you'll get on taking your seat in first class, non-vintage Champagnes are the norm for first class lounges – particularly those shared with frequent flyers travelling in economy.

Work

For work that just can't wait, make use of the dedicated business centre – offering computer terminals for those travelling without their own tech...

... plus a number of meeting rooms...

... providing for both privacy and productivity:

For something more casual, you'll find group seats scattered throughout the lounge and with power outlets near the lamps...

... or if you forgot to pack your charger, use Emirates' own charging station and securely lock your phone or tablet away while it's being refuelled:

There's also free WiFi throughout the lounge, which delivered download speeds averaging 1.5mbps during our visit. That's more than adequate for basic tasks such as email and web browsing but without being 'lightning fast'.

Relax

Aside from the serenity of having no boarding calls to constantly interrupt your train of thought, the lounge also squeezes in a Timeless Spa day spa, with a selection of free 25-minute treatments for first class passengers and Platinum frequent flyers.

Among them, a de-stress back massage and a 'reflex therapy' leg and foot treatment...

The Timeless Spa features both kneeling chairs and traditional massage tables...
The Timeless Spa features both kneeling chairs and traditional massage tables...

... or indulge in a manicure, a hair trim and shape or a professional blow dry in the beauty salon.

There are also separate 'quiet rooms' within the lounge, which you can use to nap when you've got the time...

... or to just read the day's news or a good book in peace:

We're told that Emirates doesn't formally offer a 'wake up' service in time for your flight, but that passengers are requested to keep their boarding passes visible for staff to check when passing by as a just-in-case.

Further, there's a walled-in cigar bar for travellers so inclined...

... and a separate – and very colourful – room for young children:

With everything you could reasonably ask for as a first class passenger, and then some, Emirates' terminal-sized Concourse A lounge in Dubai easily deserves all five stars.

Also read:

Chris Chamberlin was travelling as a guest of Emirates.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Rufus1

Rufus1

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 122

It's a great lounge - but, in common with plenty of other top class airline lounges, the showers are poorly ventilated.  You get out of the shower and you're stuck in a steam bath which has you covered in sweat before you've even had a chance to get dressed.

 

drsimon50

drsimon50

qantas

10 Oct 2013

Total posts 113

sorry to be a pain - but i was wondering if you know the answer as i cant find it on emirates - if you fly in first (from home in ADL) and transit in DXB for onwards to CPH (in business) - can you use the first lounge as per (for example) oneworld rules - i just cant find out if you can - i know you can other way round - ie fly in business and out first - but ? other way round - would really appreciate knowing 

RT

RT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2017

Total posts 5

Hi Simon, Just came here to find out this exact same question - know this was a couple years ago, but how did you go? We have a 7 hour transit, first flight should be in First - wondering if we stay at the airport can we spend the time in First lounge? On-flight is in economy with EK.

drsimon50

drsimon50

qantas

10 Oct 2013

Total posts 113

i found out the answer is no - you have to be leaving in first to use the lounge not arriving in first (unlike one world) but you can pay to upgrade lounge or get in business lounge if in economy

RT

RT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2017

Total posts 5

Thanks Simon, bad news, but at least I know now.

drsimon50

drsimon50

qantas

10 Oct 2013

Total posts 113

you are welcome - shame i know!

Sevae

Sevae

28 Apr 2015

Total posts 3

This lounge was great on my return leg on QF2, good review Chris. I do agree with Rufus1 comments re: showers, was challenging getting a shirt on in that humidity. The disappointing thing was the fact that the Emirates staff didn't man the counter for checkin to the boarding gate below until just before take off and as I had read on other forums,  every lift that arrived was full from business above. The lift didn't work going down to the ground floor so we boarded on the second level and walked down to FC via internal stairs. (Not that I was in a rush for the 13 hour sit!) The staff on the flight  said the lift is frequently not working. 

AWA2602

AWA2602

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 209

I'm flying in to DXB on EK and then back out same day on BA (albeit after a 13-hour stop-over for some meetings in the city), what are the other lounge options at DXB for a QF Platinum One (OW Emerald) FF when not connecting to a QF or EK flight?

Tanya

Tanya

25 Mar 2018

Total posts 1

I am looking forward to experiencing the first class lounge with my family next week. I however would like to point out how disappointed I am with the picture of the children’s area. It doesn’t look like much is going on in there. Our children are 4 and 5 and we travel to Dubai regularly, my husband every month and together as a family every six months. We have experienced one of the business class lounges in Dubai and the children’s area in there was disappointing too. As a parent I do not want my small children playing computer games or watching television before an 11 hour flight. We are Australian, we understand the importance of encouraging our children to run, climb, jump, explore and move especially before such a long flight. I find it extremely disappointing to find computer games and consoles the dominating feature. It is a poor and lazy choice and makes the flight much for difficult for parents, flight staff and other guests if the children have lots of energy. It baffles me why the first class lounge (in fact any lounge as the business class lounges are exactly the same) can’t have a dedicated staff member organising craft activities and encouraging the children to move before getting on flights. Obviously this is is everyone’s best interest.

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