Photo tour: Emirates' all-new luxury first class suite

By Chris Chamberlin, November 12 2017

Emirates' new first class suites for its Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 fleet bring new levels of personalisation and service to the highest of high flyers.

First and foremost, each suite is literally a private room: not just with sliding doors as in Emirates' current first class, but cocooning travellers within floor-to-ceiling cabin walls for complete privacy.

Emirates CEO Tim Clark previously alluded to this, drawing comparisons between the suites and a "private railway carriage" – but train travel was never quite like this!

“Emirates pioneered the First Class private suite concept back in 2003, and today it’s the industry benchmark when it comes to first class travel," Clark says, describing the 3.7m² (40ft²) suite as "a real game-changer in terms of privacy, comfort, and thoughtful luxury."

For instance: instead of conventional window shades, there are stylish curtains.

Want a bite to eat or a Champagne top-up? There's no need to press a call button, let alone open your door - you'll instead be able to video chat with the cabin crew to place your order, which will then be delivered to your tray via a hatch in the wall (the panel on the right), making the experience less like a commercial airline and more like a private jet.

The new Boeing 777 first class cabin adopts a 1-1-1 layout with six suites overall, down from eight at present in a 1-2-1 configuration.

The cabin immediately impresses with its redesigned 'cathedral-like' ceiling and creatively-used lighting.

The temperature inside each fully private suite can be dialled up or more likely down to suit your preference (LED lighting is likewise tailored for your taste), and when the seat is converted into a fully-flat bed it closer to the windows so that you can stand aside and change into your pyjamas without a visit to the bathroom.

Speaking of windows, the two first class seats located in the centre of the cabin will feature 'virtual windows', with external cameras fitted to the aircraft delivering real-time vistas taken from the left- or right-hand side of the jet - and of course, you can choose which 'view' you'd like to see.

Passengers with an actual window will find their suite contains a pair of Steiner 'safari binoculars'...

... while everybody gets a set of Bowers & Wilkins noise-cancelling headphones to use with their 32 inch LED-backlit HD video screen.

Another nod to the old world era of luxury travel: record your sky-high musings in a leather-bound notebook, which is concealed in this 'inspiration kit' bureau alongside Byredo facial toner, eye cream, sleep oil and pillow mist.

But don't panic: there's still a full Bulgari amenity kit, which will come in four varieties for the blokes...

... plus four more for the ladies:

Emirates' new Boeing 777 first class suites will debut on flights from Dubai to Brussels and Geneva from December 1 2017; Clark also name-checked Chicago, Brisbane and Perth as possible candidates for the new birds in 2018.

Further down the track, these suites will also make their way onto Emirates' Airbus A380 superjumbos.

Take a tour of Emirates' new first class suites

Australian Business Traveller stepped on board the first of Emirates' new Boeing 777 jets in Dubai for a full tour of the first class cabin.

Those floor-to-ceiling walls and doors afford travellers a level of privacy otherwise experienced only on a private jet:

The journey begins with cabin crew hanging your jacket or coat in a personal wardrobe accessible from within the suite itself as opposed to the aisle, as is the case with Emirates' previous-generation first class...

When the door closes, large mirrors will help you check you're looking your best. These are also useful later in the flight when changing out of the supplied pyjamas into your normal clothing, as there's plenty of room to do this within the suite itself, not to mention the privacy as well.

(To comply with local photography laws in the United Arab Emirates, we've blurred parts of the mirror above which contained images of other people, but you get the idea.)

Settle in, and your eye is drawn to the large high definition inflight entertainment screen in front, not to mention the view out through the windows...

... and while you wouldn't normally expect to have windows when sitting in the centre (suites 1E and 2F), you actually do... well, as close as you can get to the real thing.

In the photos above and below, these are 'virtual windows': display monitors in the shape of traditional aircraft windows, but with in-built screens as opposed to regular glass. Cameras on the outside of the aircraft send in live pictures of the view, and these screens display that view at life-like quality.

That's not the only new technology at play: to the side of the seat is an innocent-looking control panel...

... and while it does the basics like switching your 'do not disturb' indicator on and off...

... it also allows you to adjust the temperature of your personal suite, and the lighting theme too.

Whether that's blue...

... yellow...

... red, or any of the other colour options, the decision is yours.

Your chosen colour will appear throughout your suite, such as on the floor-level mood lighting...

... behind and around the curtains – yes, there are curtains as opposed to normal window blinds...

... and in the wall pattern:

You can adjust the brightness in addition to the colour itself, so if you find that the armchair light is giving a reflection on your smartphone or laptop screen, you can dim it.

Flick that armrest open and you'll discover a remote control for the inflight entertainment system, but you can also use the tablet to choose your preferred movie, TV show or aircraft camera view, or even to video call 'room service'.

We put the system to the test: the video link worked well and we could hear our flight attendant without needing to don any headphones, so if you've awoken for a midnight snack, you can simply grab the tablet and call.

When your order is ready to be delivered, you don't need to get up, nor does your suite's door need to be opened. Instead, the cabin crew can slide down a hatch that's built into the wall itself...

... and slide your order onto the suite's fixed shelf (where the newspaper appears below). That's great for a snack of a Champagne top-up, although a more traditional meal service continues to be available, enjoyed on the pull-out table:

That table is also a great place to plant your laptop and get some work done, and can be accessed by pulling on the rope-like bar in front of you...

... which releases the tray to slide towards you:

Next to that and tucked away behind a cover door: an international AC power point, two USB power outlets and an HDMI connector for displaying your laptop or tablet on the main inflight entertainment screen:

Above is that fixed shelf which the crew can slide your room service tray onto...

... but if you press the button on the leading edge, the top pops up to reveal another compartment, not unlike a briefcase.

There's a large lighted mirror, a writing kit and an easy-access refresh kit (replacing the 'spa kit' as in Emirates' current first class)...

... but the airline's popular snack basket continues to make an appearance...

... as does a mini bar.

However, this isn't refrigerated, so unless you just want a quick sip of water or are happy to have a room temperature soft drink or juice, you're better off just calling room service.

That said, we're happy that Emirates has included two magazine holders within the suite, which avoids what sometimes feels like an excessive number of visits from the crew before take-off, where multiple crew members stop by to offer magazines and newspapers on a tray.

Now, they're all at your fingertips, which should help get your journey off to a more relaxing start.

Before take-off, store your baggage in the cupboard by your feet...

... while any unneeded smaller items such as pillows and blankets can be stored in an almost-hidden compartment in the ceiling:

After take-off, there are easy-to-use seat control keys at the end of your armrest to put your suite into one of several popular positions...

... but if you'd like to sleep, just ask the cabin crew to make your bed.

That said, you can also sit up in bed and watch TV, if you need a bit of time to relax before your shut-eye.

Travelling with a partner? They can certainly pop into your suite a visit, as there's sufficient sitting room, but these are only single beds – there are no 'adjoining' suites in the first class cabins of the Singapore Airlines or Etihad Airways Airbus A380s.

But just in case you think of cosying up, Emirates President Sir Tim Clark cheekily points out that, "the suite's side panels have little apertures that the crew can use to see that you're... 'asleep'."

"The doors are easily opened," he added, "but generally, people behave."

Emirates' new Boeing 777 first class suites will debut on flights from Dubai to Brussels and Geneva from December 1 2017; Clark also name-checked Chicago, Brisbane and Perth as possible candidates for the new birds in 2018.

Further down the track, these suites will also make their way onto Emirates' Airbus A380 superjumbos.

Want to see more? Join us for an exclusive walkthrough of Emirates' Boeing 777 first class cabin by watching the video below.

Chris Chamberlin is visiting Dubai as a guest of Emirates.

PREVIOUS, November 9 2017 | Emirates will unveil an all-new first class suite at the Dubai Airshow on Sunday November 12 for its Boeing 777-300ER jets, but has dropped a few sneak peeks online ahead of the launch.

The airline’s teaser video begins by showing what appeared to be hinged doors – as opposed to sliding doors on its current Boeing 777 first class suites – but which later turned out to be part of the briefcase-like fold-up mirror shown above, adopting a subtle woodgrain and champagne gold finish…

… reflecting the more sophisticated contemporary palette of Emirates’ recently-revamped Airbus A380 inflight bar (below) rather than the heavier ‘bling’ aspects of heavy brass and faux ‘burled walnut’ which feature prominently on the airline’s current jets.

Within the suite itself, a line-up of controls handles the basics like lighting, entertainment and service, and appears to provide individual control over each window blind, with a ‘shortcut’ key to perform the same task across all three:

We can also see curtains, binoculars, and what appears to be a beverage shelf: whether that’s within the suite itself or a walk-up fixture for first class flyers remains to be seen:

A close-up of the seat – the only other glimpse visible so far – brings into focus a soft leather finish…

… while a second controller is also available with a few extra features like ‘do not disturb’, a setting available in Emirates’ current first class suites, but also an individual temperature control…

… and a ‘colour’ setting as well…

… which may allow travellers to customise the lighting colour above and around their suite, as hinted in this final glimpse.

Australian Business Traveller will attend Dubai Airshow as a guest of Emirates, where Emirates President Sir Tim Clark will unveil the seat before passengers get their first chance to experience it on flights next month.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

British Airways - Executive Club

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 48

I'm glad its not as gaudy as the usual F suites. There is just too much gold around.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Those switches... it's almost like the first class passengers are flying the plane. There's more at the seat then in the cockpit.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

The 80s is back. Straight out of an episode of Dynasty.

11 Oct 2017

Total posts 3

Can't wait to see it and then fly it!

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 185

teaser video? either you reveal the thing or not? this is not a peep show-anyway we got the pic that this will take another year or two before hits our shores so why bother????By than all other airline will come up with something new after all business and first is the biggest grab so they have to splash out money on it before people spend their dough on them-referring your article yesterday there is no solid confirmation when will they introduce this product here-instead of this light show extravaganza should implement real first class thing like SQ book your cook etc... still light years away from the classics

24 Mar 2015

Total posts 18

Chris is it you I’ve spotted in the syd Emirates lounge? Are you on your way to review Emirates new fc?
Only just spotted your message, but it was lovely to meet you (assuming you're the guy who came up and said hello - in which case, enjoy Bangkok!).

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 33

My radar hit on the binoculars. What's with the binoculars?
The bed doesn’t look fully flat

13 Jun 2017

Total posts 10

Some thoughts. These look fantastic. Especially the separate climate controls.


Along the same vain as Etihad's Apartment but with no Separate chair and bed. Both look like excellent products.


Looks like the new Singapore Suites will get the Double Bed Suite advantage.


Shame Emirates for still going with a 2,3,2 Business Class config. in 2017.

The best business product to me still looks like the Qatar Q-Suites.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2012

Total posts 169

Wowser, looks great. Would love to see them eventually on the 777 into Dublin. Probably won’t get a spin in this new F for a while with the routes I use which is mainly in and out of Dub/Lhr from Australia
JPeuty Banned
JPeuty Banned

07 Nov 2017

Total posts 29

A great product from the EK boys; the ceiling to wall feature is world class.

Chris - I must correct you when you said "but train travel was never like this". Luxury carriages from as far back as the 19th century were at least as luxurious (certainly less gaudy) and far more spacious than any first class suite in the sky.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

I take your point but suggest that trains in the 19th century didn't have per-cabin LED lighting and aircon, personal minibars, 32 inch video screens etc... :P
Zac
Zac

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2014

Total posts 129

Looks absolutely fabulous... much more classy than today's suites and a true private room - wow. Looking forward to trying it out.
mnc
mnc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Aug 2017

Total posts 4

so which has the edge with their new F.. EK or SQ?

12 Nov 2017

Total posts 1

It looks amazing, I have only had the good fortune to fly Emirates once due to a medical emergency while on a rare holiday overseas. I was overwhelmed with the elegance and 1st class feeling while in Business class so can’t I,amine how much better that can be. One day I would love to fly Emirates again, in my dreams maybe.

14 Oct 2013

Total posts 6

Oh, I do like this!

13 Jun 2017

Total posts 10

Tim Clark says 8-9 planes will be done max and Australia will be getting one of the refits.

13 Jun 2017

Total posts 10

Tim Clark- Possibly Brisbane, Possibly Perth.

Thanks Chris for asking about Adelaide as well in the question but those were the only 2 possible destinations he replied back with.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1136

Holy crap, this is gorgeous. So what SQ's new Suites product should've been. They should be quaking in their boots now.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Apr 2016

Total posts 4

This looks amazing. Doesn't look like there is any award space yet though for Geneva and Brussels in first :(
Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 396

Qantas fades far far away even more now with it’s less is more cheap boring drab F Class. Let’s hope the refurb is worthy.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jan 2016

Total posts 61

Really interested to see how the virtual windows will work in practice, As this is the one element of the re-design which seems innovative. It may also be the pictures, but I am not seeing where this "ample sitting room" is if your travelling with your partner. In fact I do not see how these would work for couples at all given the high walls and the 1-1-1 layout.
When the seat is in bed mode, you can sit on it next to each other as you would a bench, as there's ample legroom for two people on the side (unlike some first class suites where there's no room 'next' to the bed).

QF

02 Oct 2012

Total posts 39

The SQ suite gets my vote for understated elegance and a seperate bed. Not sure why in first class you’d need you’d own fridge on EK that’s not even chilled?

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

03 Nov 2017

Total posts 4

Gorgeous - Thats what I had hoped for Singapore Airlines. You can lie in bed and have dinner or breakfast :)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Jul 2017

Total posts 1

oh wow this looks amazing,haven't seen photos of the bathroom/shower yet.

Booked Brisbane to Milan June 26th 2018 :)

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

31 Jan 2013

Total posts 26

The full privacy is a real clincher for me.

09 Jul 2012

Total posts 27

This is what I was hoping the new SQ suites would be like in terms of finish, colour palette, features etc. In toning down the 'bling' factor, EK aesthetics have moved a step closer to what SQ could/should have been. In turn, SQ have moved from fab to almost drab. Well done Emirates, well done.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Jun 2015

Total posts 16

Emirates and Singapore airlines won't be able to keep up with the demand, all the others will fly near empty.
I love the idea of breakfast served through a slot in the wall. You need to stay in 1970s motels to get that now!

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 33

Oh great memory, use to love those wooden two-way slots where they pushed the breakfast tray through, after you filled at the card and hung it on the door the night before.
Ahh, memories...
AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 264

Just loving the heavy Roman curtains!! So OTT!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Sep 2017

Total posts 3

Flying DXB to Madrid in First next April. Fingers crossed it's as classy as this.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

All very attractive indeed. I would be more impressed with good old fashioned service levels returning. Perhaps a moment of thought for airline management teams to ponder.

14 Nov 2017

Total posts 2

I love EK and fly with them in first AUtoEU twice a year in first. I have also flown Etihad Apartment last year.

This looks amazing, however they have again made the same mistake as the previous design. That stupid desk only gets in the way, especially if you are extra tall like me. It prevents from a second person dining with you...one of the joy is sitting across from your partner and enjoying the excellent service and food offered on board. qantas has this, although the airline offering is third class. Etihad allows for you to sit across from one another... in fact three of you can dine.

The Etihad ottoman, and the exisiting EK seat are narrow if you are large. From the photos the Singapore first bed (new) and this one seem to be narrow as well. Why oh why are their inches of spare space on either side of the chair...a super wide flat bed beats led lights, serving panels, fridges, or curtains.

Usable ottoman, wider seats and you will have everyone beat.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

In comparison, Air Frances First Class product is difficult to beat when it comes to a full unclutted bed to sleep, with no shelf to restrict your legs. Room to move and abmiance. Though no bar offering, cabin and bedding arrangment makes up for it - also the drawn curtain is a suttle touch from days of old - my views anyway!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Feb 2017

Total posts 11

Hi all, I'm booked on the Syd Christchurch first class in April, then the last Emirates a380 flight from Christchurch back to Sydney in business, what are the chances of getting the new cabin?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 140

Does anyone know if EK415/416 have the new First?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 May 2019

Total posts 1

what routes offer this aircraft type? it is difficult to fully understand which aircraft will be used when booking a journey? i am all about the air travel - don't really care which country i visit - would be just as happy to travel on aircraft and return home again - just to have the experience of THIS particular version of first class. appreciate any advice. thank you.

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