Doha - Hamad International Airport
- Shower suites with diptyque amenities
- Dedicated business centre
- Overcrowded during peak time
- Wifi dropouts during my visit
- Two à la carte restaurants
- Self-service bars with premium drinks and snacks
Featuring two distinct restaurants, a reflection pond under a five-tier chandelier, and sprawling footprint the size of 10 Olympic pools, the Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan lounge at Doha Hamad International is easily one of the world’s best.
Comfortably seating up to 1,000 guests, with a variety of zones, there’s no shortage of room to stretch out, relax and indulge… before doing the same in Qatar Airways’ superb Qsuite business class.
Location & Impressions
After clearing the Premium Check-in and security, the Al Mourjan lounge is only a few minutes stroll away, past the giant yellow teddy bear and up a clearly marked escalator.
Reaching the top and walking around the silver desk, the lounge comes into view – and it is vast. You can wander a good 20 minutes and still not see it all. Maps are on hand to help you get your bearings.
Upstairs to the right is Al Mourjan Dining, the à la carte restaurant where guests can enjoy a tantalising mix of appetisers, a limited buffet and sushi counter, in addition to made-to-order dishes listed on a QR code menu.
Travellers after a less formal dining experience will instead be drawn to the Al Mourjan Global Cafe to the left, located at the far end of the lounge.
Between them is a broad seating lineup: electric blue lounges for solos, dining tables for two, meeting areas for three, and intimate nooks behind woven privacy screens, to name only a handful. Almost all have power outlets.
It’s a truly eye-catching space, restrained and dramatic in equal measures. The swimming pool-like pond – beneath a rippled and reflective ceiling – is the embodiment of that.
The lounge’s central location makes it well-placed for almost all gates, as well as the retail outlets and dining venues within the Duty Free Plaza South.
Al Mourjan business lounge is open 24 hours a day.
Business class passengers jetting off with Qatar Airways on Elite, Comfort and Classic fares – as well as those on Oneworld partners like British Airways and Royal Jordanian, and anyone who booked their business class ticket using frequent flyer points – enjoy complimentary access to the expansive lounge.
Those booked on Qatar Airways ‘Lite’ business class fares or seated in economy class can also pre-purchase access online for QAR 350 (AUD $139) per person, or pay QAR 450 (AUD$176) for walk-ins.
It’s worth noting that Oneworld status doesn’t get you access to the lounge – only the above listed can enter. Instead, QR offers Platinum and Gold frequent flyer lounges to accommodate Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members respectively.
Guests can dine in style at two restaurants: Al Mourjan Dining and Al Mourjan Global Deli.
Al Mourjan Dining is the standout of the duo, accessed via a Q-shaped staircase and filled with polished timber, white marble and matte black seating. Walls of glass either side afford views of the tarmac or into the main lounge.
Breakfast is from 5:30am to 10:30am, with lunch and dinner from 11:00am to 4am.
Inside, staff eagerly wait to escort you to your table and take drink orders – today’s Champagne choices are a Philipponnat Royale Reserve Brut and Charles Heidsieck Champagne Rosé – while scanning the menu.
The 10-strong à la carte offering includes beef tenderloin with parsley chateau potato and a bourguignon sauce; pan grilled Thai sea bass; and a fragrant lamb biryani.
I opt for the sea bass and receive an ETA of under 10 minutes. Using that time to swing by the appetisers, I nab two ready-made dishes: a green papaya salad with a poached prawn, and a mini falafel sandwich. Sadly, neither is particularly memorable.
The Thai sea bass, on the other hand, is worth the wait – perfectly cooked and seasoned, lavished with a subtly spicy sauce. Lotus roots and wild rice add a welcome element of crunch.
An assortment of sliced cakes and tarts, plus traditional Arabic sweets and dates, fill the dessert table.
But, knowing I need to head to the next restaurant, I regrettably skip the sweets.
With such a high volume of guests passing through, the atmosphere is a little chaotic during my 5pm visit. As a result, I don’t linger for long.
However, staff do a commendable job to keep dishes restocked and tables cleared.
At the far end of the lounge is Al Mourjan Global Deli – a casual eatery plating up sandwiches and salads, with the same drinks menu as Al Mourjan Dining.
It has a less intimate, almost cafeteria-like ambience, mostly due to its exposed location under the full-height ceiling. Brighter lighting doesn’t do it any favours either. But, though not quite on par with the main restaurant, there’s plenty of charm and fine service to match.
Seating choices are marble-topped benches lined with potted herbs and surrounded by metal stools (thankfully with cushions), plus a mix of dining tables and u-shaped lounges.
Those after more substantial fare will prefer the made-to-order menu, featuring a caprese salad, cajun chicken sandwich, slow roasted lamb shank on sourdough, and the like.
A choice of basic desserts are available: panna cotta, fruit salad, and a tiramisu, as well as various pastries. If you want something more exciting, I’d recommend going to Al Mourjan Dining.
Self-serve bars are also dotted throughout the lounge, each with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Roaming staff can also take orders.
There are snack counters too, laden with tasty treats like carrot cake, walnut and date cake, and Arabic sweets.
Business travellers are well catered for, starting with an array of solo seats where you can work in privacy without being up close to anyone else…
…and if you need to plug in, AC and USB power outlets near each lamp accept Australian, UK, European pins and many others without an adapter.
Duos and groups will also find appropriate seating for collaboration or catch-ups.
For any serious work, a separate business centre goes far beyond the odd chair and table, taking on an office-like feel with meeting rooms, printing facilities and group tables.
Rather than featuring its own Wifi network, the lounge uses the terminal-wide connection. Unfortunately, it’s having technical issues for most of my visit, throwing me off almost as soon as I join.
When I do eventually connect, speeds are an excellent 44.49 Mbps download, 71.80 Mbps upload.
Whisper quiet by design, you can shut your eyes for a snooze almost anywhere in the lounge and not be disturbed by chatter. Specially designed ‘nap pods’ can be nabbed on a first come, first serve basis too, should you want to stretch out.
‘Family rooms’ with multiple lounges and a large coffee table make an ideal base for groups or those feeling social. There’s also a kids/games room with foosball table and TVs.
Want to freshen up before your flight? Shower suites can be easily booked by presenting your boarding pass to the waiting attendant, who adds your name to the queue. My wait is a mere three minutes.
Inside, they’re spacious and well appointed with Diptyque amenities, an overhead and handheld shower, toilet, and a space for your bag and clothing.
Lockers are available if you want to explore the terminal (I recommend catching the train to the new Orchard precinct at the end of Concourse C, complete with an indoor forest and waterfall).
It’s rare to find an airport lounge you want to stay longer in, yet the Al Mourjan South does just that. I spent two hours inside and could’ve easily kicked back for more – another cocktail, another dessert.
While not as intimate as smaller lounges, Al Mourjan’s footprint results in an incredible feeling of space and calm. It oozes luxury… and is a great place to get your daily step count up before the flight too.
- The writer travelled as a guest of Qatar Airways.