Qatar Airways set to open world’s largest airport lounge

The Al Mourjan North business class lounge will be part of the newly-unveiled Orchard concourse at Doha’s Hamad Airport.

By David Flynn, November 11 2022
Qatar Airways set to open world’s largest airport lounge

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.

Primed to open at Doha’s Hamad International Airport early next year, 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. 

An artist's impression of the new 'garden themed' concourse.
An artist's impression of the new 'garden themed' concourse.

Adding to the confusion though, Qatar Airways actually debuted 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. 

Creative lighting brings the Orchard to life after the sun has set.
Creative lighting brings the Orchard to life after the sun has set.

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.

The fountain is considerably smaller than the Rain Vortex, yet still rather impressive.
The fountain is considerably smaller than the Rain Vortex, yet still rather impressive.

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. 

Walking through the space it feels like you’ve left the terminal behind and taken a detour into a lush jungle-like forest. 

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.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Aug 2017

Total posts 77

Is there an anticipated/expected opening date?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 253

Great, considering every time I've been through Doha there are lines to get into the business lounge, the dining area in the business lounge and the paid Al Maha lounge. Busy and claustrophobic...the only thing that hasn't expanded is the check in area, which recent reviews say check in lines of up to an hour wait snaking around the airport. Also advise to catch the train there if heading late evening, the traffic up to drop off area was chaotic..somehow it still wins airport of the year

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 344

Nice, but too big.  I prefer AlSafwa First Lounge, which is positively palatial, usually only a few pax, and you feel like a pea in a giant pod.  Displays of Islamic Art , the Water-Wall/Fall and the massive waterfall Pond just add to the grandeur and awe-someness of the First Lounge.  I remember the old days of Qatar Airways where we had a separate First/Business Terminal

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

09 Aug 2016

Total posts 30

My experience with airport lounges tells me bigger often isn't better...

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 103

I'd actually say having the largest is not necessarily the best thing. The main issue I had with the Al Mourjan business lounge was with all the high ceilings and reflective surfaces it felt like you were in the regular terminal and I found the food/refreshment option to be OK but nothing too special. I just couldn't get too comfortable. 

I still feel the best business class lounge is the Pier in HKG. It really nails it in making the experience very comfortable like a home lounge and also offers heaps of good dining options. 

25 Feb 2015

Total posts 43

Completely agree with you Pcoder. Long live CX with their excellent lounge offerings and real “lounge room” like vibes in the new designed lounges (like The Pier). Food and beverage is also good, and service is super fast which is what you want in a lounge. (No one beats the family feel that is the QF Singapore lounges but I guess you can’t expect that everywhere).

QR’s lounge offerings certainly continue to be more and more confusing in terms of cabin class vs FF status. The gym would be amazing though and is something I’ve always thought an airline should do. 

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