Is Emirates' Dubai business class lounge worth $100 to visit?

By David Flynn, December 28 2017

Over the Christmas / New Year break, Australian Business Traveller will be revisiting some of our most popular articles of 2017. We’re still around to report on any breaking news during this time, otherwise our regular publishing schedule will resume on Monday January 8, 2018.

Emirates now lets travellers in economy buy their way into the airline's flagship business class lounge at Dubai for just US$100 (A$134) – but is it worth the asking price?

Emirates' business class lounge certainly ticks all the boxes for a weary traveller in transit.

That includes creature comforts such as showers, which will be welcome after the 11-14 hour flight from Australia to Dubai – although given the possibility of queues, we recommend the showers should your first port of call in case you have to make a reservation.

There are also rest nooks with a day bed so you can catch some sleep between flights.

A wrinkle here is that Emirates says your lounge access fee is good for only four hours in the lounge, so you might not want to spend too much of that time snoozing.

We've no idea how Emirates actively enforces this four-hour limit, but the airline claims that if you do stay for more than four hours – even due to "flight disruptions and delays" – you'll be up for an additional US$100 to cover a further four hours.

So what else does that US$100 give you? There's a self-serve buffet with an excellent spread of hot and cold food as well as snacks including Haagen-Dazs ice-cream.

While you'd be able to buy a meal in the sprawling Dubai terminal, there's something to be said about having plenty of choice and being able to graze the selection rather than limit yourself to a single dish off the menu.

If you fancy a drink or two to go with your meal, the lounge's bar is well stocked with beer, wine, spirits and champagne.

The Emirates business class lounge at Dubai's Concourse B goes a step better with a Moët & Chandon champagne bar, which also serves a selection of canapés created to complement each champagne...

... as well as a Costa coffee bar where you can grab a barista-pulled brew...

... or, at the Health Hub, a healthy spread of gourmet sandwiches, wraps, and salads alongside juices and smoothies.

To all that you can add the copious seating in Emirates' massive Dubai business class lounge – which runs the entire length of the terminal – and ample availability of AC sockets for charging up your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

None of these elements is worth US$100 on its lonesome. But roll them all together and as long as you've got three to four hours (or more) between flights, we'd rate this as a steal of a deal compared to sitting around in the terminal's public area.

And given that children aged 2-12 years pay just US$50 (A$67) and while infants under two years get into the lounge free, this is also a solid option if you're travelling on holidays with your family.

As a bonus, the ability to board your flight directly from the lounge rather than lining up at the regular ground-floor departure gate saves time as well as reducing transit hassle.

While the Emirates lounges include a password-protected WiFi network, we suggest logging onto Dubai Airport's own network which has recently been upgraded to deliver speeds up to 100Mbps.

Economy passengers can also jump straight into Emirates first class lounge for US$200 (A$268) but that's quite an ask compared to a typically low-range economy fare. We suggest that almost any economy class traveller will be more than satisfied with a couple of hours in the business class lounge.

Note that you'll need to be an entry-level or Blue member of Emirates Skywards frequent flyer scheme to buy your way into the business class lounge. You can sign up for Skywards online, and there's no cost – but this shouldn't be something you leave until you've just landed in Dubai.

David
David

David Flynn

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.

MKS111

MKS111

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2011

Total posts 85

You had me until the bit about children for half-price and infants for free. Is there an adults-only section?

jrfsp

jrfsp

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 111

Certainly not worth it for the concourse C lounge which i recently had the pleasure of ...after being refused entry to concourse A lounge 

Nick Sydney 2

Nick Sydney 2

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 223

$100 for showers and a snack?  Pricey. Have access and it's great to freshen up en route to London but it's very tight schedule on QF 1. Godsend when you are delayed as I was on QF 9 recently for 7 hours. 

RaptorNation158

RaptorNation158

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Sounds pretty good but I can see the lounges being a lot more occupied with all the children making noises. 

undertheradar Banned

undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

'child like' behaviour/noises is not the exclusive domain of children!

rk1

rk1

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Oct 2015

Total posts 11

No way. I would not stopover anywhere in Dubai if they paid me $100!

Nick Sydney 2

Nick Sydney 2

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 223

Could be a bit tricky doing this if you are on QF1 and 9. Have heard many comments like this and frankly do not see the concern as it is simply a stopover and even if visiting, Dubai is a pretty easy place to get around. The summer heat is the only thing to avoid to be honest. 

ivanb52

ivanb52

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Aug 2014

Total posts 24

A while back I had a 7 hour connection at Doha and used the Oryx lounge at US$45.  Probably lower quality than DXB business level but I thought it was worth the price.  The occasional unruly spolit child did spoil the calm somewhat but bearable compared to alternatives outside.

dravid74

dravid74

13 May 2016

Total posts 13

but Dubai terminals have free shower rooms...
Then you can just go to a restaurant and pay for whatever meal you want... have some champagne... and still probably spend less than $100

Serg

Serg

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

I do not know how lounge in Dubai looks alike, but it should be better than in Bangkok (where I been and it very good) and I would happily pay $134 for visit if I have layover 4 hr plus that is easy to achieve for example in MEL-DXB-KBP route despite promised by QF "convenient one hop to any city in Europe". For 2 hours brake IMHO asking price is way too much.

undertheradar Banned

undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

if you have the means, go ahead, knock yourself out.

rowwdy

rowwdy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2013

Total posts 135

If flying to the UK with a partner, probably better value picking a QF flight number and joining Qantas Club, especially if you can get the discounted rate. 

Phil Young

Phil Young

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 260

However, Qantas Club members only get access to Qantas Clubs, and there isn't one in Dubai, and many other places that QF flies to including LAX, Heathrow, Tokyo, Dallas, Joburg & Santiago.

Doubleplatinum Banned

Doubleplatinum Banned

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 558

Alcos would be the only ones jumping at this offer, you could just see them now back and forth to the bar to top up to make sure they get their $100 worth.

ajstubbs

ajstubbs

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 169

Plenty of J and F passengers doing the same right alongside! It always amazes me how much some people drink when flying. 

Brockf

Brockf

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Feb 2017

Total posts 1

Would have been upset if I had to pay last night in the concourse B lounge - showers not working! 

traveller90

traveller90

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

I travel mostly in Y - yet I see the Emirates brand and service levels provided to both the F and J customers, whom have paid top dollar for their travel experience, being watered down by a "pay to enter" arrangement to both the J and F EK lounges. I feel it reduces the value of their travel experience and the exclusivity of their travel experience.

parislizzie

parislizzie

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Oct 2016

Total posts 1

I will be travelling Melb-Dubai-Rome-Dubai- Melbourne in May

First 3 legs are in business but Dubai Melb Economy with no chance to upgrade.

I would love to take advantage of the business lounge offer 

 for $100 US ( before the last longest sector home )  It appears you cannot book ahead of time, just at the lounge when you arrive.   Is that correct? Thank you to David and everyone for such great information.

Johnsy

Johnsy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Aug 2015

Total posts 18

What's the extra features in the first class lounge?   I would pay to enjoy that for 4 hours ! Whilst the sticky screaming kids tear apart the business lounge.. lol

AGoldring

AGoldring

QFF

13 Feb 2016

Total posts 12

Pity, this devalues the premium experience you pay for. Shame 😟

AfricaTraveller

AfricaTraveller

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

20 Jan 2018

Total posts 32

As an Emirates platinum member, I'm always in the F lounge in Dubai and personally I find it exceptional in all respects. Food, alcohol, amenities are.....first class!

AfricaTraveller

AfricaTraveller

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

20 Jan 2018

Total posts 32

And I have no objection to people buying their way into EK lounges. It only bothers those who wish to pretend and appear that they are somehow more important than they are.

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