Emirates redesigns its iconic Airbus A380 inflight bar

By David Flynn, February 23 2017
Emirates redesigns its iconic Airbus A380 inflight bar

The sky-high bars on Emirates' flagship Airbus A380s are getting a mod new look – and, like the airline's forthcoming first class suites, it's a style "inspired by private yacht cabins."

Out go the dark heavy tones for this innovative social space at the back of the superjumbo's upper deck...

... and in comes a cleaner, sleeker design built around a lighter colour palette of ivory and (appropriately) champagne, with bronze and woodgrain accents.

The seating has been revamped to include cafe-style tables with a window view, while other areas have been opened up to make mingling easier.

Emirates has even added subwoofers (!) so the bar's patrons can enjoy surround sound – handy when paired with the 55 inch TV for live sports – while more subtle touches include LED mood lighting...

... and these wall motifs of the UAE's national Ghaf tree.

There are also soundproof curtains to keep the din of the bar from disturbing passengers seated in the rear of the business class cabin.

However, a spokesperson for Emirates confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that only factory-fresh jets will sport the swish new bar – which will makes its debut on a new A380 set to take wing in July 2017 – while the rest of the 93-strong superjumbo fleet will make do with the original design.

It's the first rethink of the bar since Emirates began flying the Airbus A380 in 2008, and comes ahead of a new generation of first class suites which airlines executives have also described as being more like a private railway cabin or a luxury yacht.

"We’re talking fully enclosed rooms, with all the touches and amenities that you’d expect in hotel or a private bedroom on a luxury yacht, room service and so on" says Emirates CEO Tim Clark.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1379

Qantas. Take note.


03 May 2013

Total posts 667

"Sound proof curtains" - HA! Cabin crew keep those curtains tied back to make it easier for them to come and go. Never ever sit in the rear J cabin on an EK A380. I tested this on two flights in J and let the curtains down and each time I walked back to the bar and returned only to find each time the curtains had been tied back by the crew, thus rendering the "sound proofed curtains" useless for the poor pax in small rear J cabin trying to sleep.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1248

I too am skeptical of the effectiveness of the so-called "soundproof" curtains. With the addition of the subwoofers avoiding the last couple of rows of business at all costs become all the more essential.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 207

Arrgggh!! The scourge of the on-board bar continues!! Why do airlines persist with this waste of space? I've unfortunately experienced the noise from the bar when I've been seated row 25 and it made it impossible to sleep. The addition of soundproof curtains is hardly going to help when the crew keep them open all through the flight.

04 Nov 2012

Total posts 217

Have spent many an hour in the EK on board bar, met so many interesting people, this upgrade so well thought ou and modern look forward to next trip.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jan 2016

Total posts 62

Would be interested to know how many J class flyers think a bar is a good idea,  versus those who have upgraded for the quiet lie flat bed to get rest, and then dont because of people in the bar.  Every time I have flown EK its been sparsely populated.  So have never really seen the value of it.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 551

The bogan 'drink as much as you can for free' crowd will be ectastic

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Feb 2015

Total posts 119

Well that looks so much better even nice.... no more revolting walnut and gold its just gross 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Feb 2017

Total posts 12

Some nice changes from EK & should make it more inviting. Note a bad thing if it gets people out of their seats & moving around on long haul flights! Personally I've travelled in the rear cabin & never really noticed the extra noise from the bar area; once you put on your noise cancelling headphones it doesn't really matter anyway. Also being in the middle pair of seats provides a little more of a buffer from traffic/noise etc. Anyway, I've noticed just as much noise from other PAX standing in the aisles socialising with others in their seats? But really if that's all we have to worry about in J class then it can't be all bad. Happy flying!!


03 May 2013

Total posts 667

Don't get me wrong I love the bar and along with the direct isle access its a great product. EK just need to really ensure a better system of noise control from the bar for high paying premium J pax and believe in it themselves and TRAIN their crew to put the passenger first, not their ease of passage.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 193

subwoofers??? what is this a disco ship? no matter what kind of hight tech sound proof curtain they will use the last ten rows of the business class will feel like studio 54!

think they loosing the plot

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Emirates redesigns its iconic Airbus A380 inflight bar