Qatar Airways’ flagship business class and first class lounges are already known for their sprawling footprint, but the new Al Mourjan Lounge North is set to dwarf them both.
Now being primed to open at Doha’s Hamad International Airport, the business class lounge will occupy a staggering 9,000m² – that’s 97,000ft², or around 2.2 acres – and be the centrepiece of the new ‘garden-themed’ North concourse.
Known as the Orchard, the fresh concourse boasts its own transit hotel, transfer facilities, retail outlets and a slew of aircraft gates.
Adding to the confusion though, Qatar Airways actually opened an Al Mourjan Lounge North earlier this month, albeit a temporary one. When the real Al Mourjan Lounge North opens – the exact date is yet to be revealed – that space will be renamed Platinum North.
Signage spotted by an Executive Traveller reader recently passing through Doha indicates there’ll be three frequent flyer lounges in the northern concourse, Platinum North, Gold North and Silver North, complementing their recently-opened South concourse siblings.
A new concourse in time for the World Cup
Unveiled on November 10, the Hamad International Airport ‘Orchard’ expansion is built around a lush indoor garden covering 10,000m², with a 268m² water feature reminiscent of the HSBC Rain Vortex, located within the Jewel shopping mall alongside Singapore’s Changi Airport.
Featuring over 300 trees and over 25,000 plants sourced from sustainable forests and plantations around the globe, selected to acclimatise to the airport’s indoor conditions, the garden dominates the new concourse, linking the current D and E concourses and serving as a focal point for travellers.
Beyond the gardens, the expansion includes the 100-room Oryx Garden Hotel, which opened in September, and numerous dining and retail options, including a FIFA shop and line-up of prestigious brands such as Louis Vuitton Boutique, Gucci, Burberry, and Tiffany.
The project also adds nine more gates for the twin-aisle aircraft which form the bulk of Qatar’s long-range fleet, while a new transfer area is expected to reduce connection times.
Lounge space for almost every passenger
Initial pre-pandemic plans for the Al Mourjan Lounge North – the real one, not the temporary one – included a gymnasium and spa facilities, as well as several restaurants, although it remains to be seen if those will be part of the loungescape.
While the upcoming Al Mourjan North lounge will admit only business class passengers on paid or points-based tickets (not upgrades or those on a Business Lite fare), most frequent flyers in Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club, Oneworld members airlines and partners such as Virgin Australia will be welcomed at these secondary North lounges.
An exception is expected to be the Silver lounge, which will welcome Qatar Airways Privilege Club Silver members but not Oneworld Ruby (such as Qantas Silver) or Virgin Australia Velocity Silver card-holders.