Qatar Airways temporarily closes Al Safwa first class lounge

The airline will consolidate all eligible passengers into its spacious Al Mourjan business class lounge.

By Brandon Loo , April 16 2020
Qatar Airways temporarily closes Al Safwa first class lounge

Qatar Airways has temporarily pulled down the shutters on the iconic Al Safwa First Lounge at its Doha hub, along with the dedicated Business Class and First Class lounges for economy passengers with Oneworld status, due to reduced travel demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Until further notice, all lounge-worthy travellers flying through Doha with Qatar Airways and partner airlines will be directed to the cavernous Al Mourjan Business Lounge, which is usually reserved solely for business class passengers.

It's a pleasing upgrade for anybody travelling in economy while holding Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status, such as Qantas Gold or Platinum, or British Airways Executive Club Silver or Gold.

The impact on first class passengers is minimal as at the time of writing, none of Qatar Airways' flagship Airbus A380s – the only aircraft in the fleet boasting true first class seats – are flying.

Travellers booked in 'regional first class' to select destinations around the Middle East, who would normally be welcomed to the Al Safwa First Lounge, will have to settle for the Al Mourjan Business Lounge instead.

Qatar Airways' Al Safwa First Lounge boasts an eye-catching waterfall.
Qatar Airways' Al Safwa First Lounge boasts an eye-catching waterfall.

Speaking to Executive Traveller about the closures, a spokesperson for Qatar Airways was unable to provide a re-opening date for the lounges.

"We continue to assess the situation, however, all customers are being accommodated in our iconic Al Mourjan Business Class lounge for the interim."

The Al Mourjan is among the world's biggest business class lounges, measuring over 10,000m² and divided into multiple zones – perfect for some social distancing between flights.

Seating in Qatar Airways' Al Mourjan lounge.
Seating in Qatar Airways' Al Mourjan lounge.

"The management of social distancing and passenger comfort remains a priority and our reduced volumes necessitate how we manage our operations," the spokesperson continued.

"All customers will enjoy the world-class service we are known for and will enjoy an insight into the award-winning Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge during this period".

Review: Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha

Qatar Airways' new business class lounge set to open in 2022 will occupy a still-staggering 9,000m² – that's 97,000ft², or around 2.2 acres – and include a gymnasium and spa facilities as well as several restaurants.

Qatar Airways continues to fly

At a time where many airlines are operating a 'skeleton schedule' due to onerous travel restrictions and dwindling demand, Qatar Airways has kept many routes open to help people around the world get home.

In the first two weeks of April, this even included temporarily adding Brisbane to its route map and boosting existing flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, up to three times daily.

Read more: Qatar Airways to fly to Brisbane, adds more Sydney, Melbourne, Perth flights

While Brisbane flights and those additional frequencies are finished now, daily connections remain between Doha and Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. From Doha, multiple European cities are still being served, including London, Paris and Frankfurt.

Foreign nationals remain able to transit through Doha's Hamad International Airport to get back home, unlike the transit bans in place at other key hubs including Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Also read: Post-coronavirus travel may not resume until 2023

Brandon Loo

Based in Perth, Brandon enjoys tucking into local delicacies, discovering new cocktails, and making aeroplane food look good on camera.

04 Dec 2017

Total posts 56

This airline is the only way to fly.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 131

Shame was goint to be here after a QR F flight fro mPER-DOH late next week, then continuing on to AMM (QR "F") then TLV (RJ C) Shame best way to fly and although Swiss F Lounge E Gates got best F lounge Skytraxx 2019, I much prefer Al Safwa First becasue at least there is air conditioning, which I can control, in the sleeping rooms in Al safwa F Bit different from Swiss F Lounge E Gates where the 2 hotel rooms are only normal temperature in winter/autumn/spring - in summer you lay on the sheets with the 20 cm thick quilt thrown onto the ground Schwitzing!

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 243

What about those that have already purchased access to the First Class lounge (non Qatar) - do they get shifted into this, or get shafted?

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 67

Hi Brandon or indeed any one with any experience, I need your advice

If Qatar is still flying out of Melbourne to Paris, what are the restrictions in Paris to stop me from hopping on a train to Amsterdam. With an elderly sister in the Netherlands and a cancelled Qatar ticket in J class to Europe, I would like to be prepared should my presence in the Netherlands be allowed on sentimental/ humanitarian grounds?

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 118

Hi OttoV, questions like this are best asked in the community forums, where people with more experience in this situation may be able to help.

Having said that, my understanding is that the Netherlands is currently restricting entry, including from other Schengen countries i.e. Paris, except for essential travel. This is currently scheduled to go up to 15 May.

'Compelling reasons to visit family members' is an exception, but is explained as "visiting a terminally ill family member or attending a funeral." Contacting the IND in the Netherlands may be a start, but the webpage mentions assurances can't be given in advance and border staff will decide whether to let you in or not at the border.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Mar 2020

Total posts 3

I love this lounge, even though it's a bit impersonal.

Can you clarify, in one paragraph you say

The Al Mourjan is among the world's biggest business class lounges, measuring over 10,000m² and divided into multiple zones

In the next paragraph you say

Qatar Airways' new business class lounge set to open in 2022 will occupy a staggering 9,000m²

If both are true, the new one will be smaller that the current one. Maybe the current is 1,000m² ??


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