Before my Emirates First Class flight form Dubai to Singapore, I checked out the Emirates First Class Lounge in Dubai (DXB), Concourse A. This is the concourse in Terminal 3 where many A380 flights leave from, though it’s not exclusively used for A380s. Emirates also operates lounges in Concourses B and C.
This trip report/review is part of a series. See also:
- The Emirates Lounge New York JFK
- Emirates First Class A380 New York to Dubai
- Grand Hyatt Dubai Grand King Room
I arrived at the airport around midnight, about 3 hours before my flight to Singapore. The check-in area was rather empty, and I received my boarding pass in just a few minutes.
There was a bit of a walk before I got to security, but again, I was through in a few minutes. I then took the train to Concourse A, from which my flight was leaving.
Dubai airport is huge, but I couldn’t help but feel like it’s a bit sterile.
At any rate, I made my way to the Emirates First Class Lounge in Concourse A.
The First Class lounge was located one level above the Business Class lounge, so they essentially occupy the same amount of space. Of course, the First Class lounge was much more exclusive, and serve a much smaller number of passengers.
I presented my boarding pass, and the lounge attendant initially gave me a strange look. I was aware that Alaska tickets get coded as employee travel sometimes, which do not confer lounge access. She talked to a few colleagues, confirmed that I was on an Alaska Airlines award ticket, and invited me into the lounge.
The lounge is absolutely massive, and just about span the length of the terminal. I can provide a description of the lounge layout, but Emirates saves me some trouble here, by providing a visual directory of the lounge.
The lounge entrance is located in the middle, and the two ends are have a sort of mirrored layout of each other. Below is the directory of just one side of the lounge.
The lounge also has direct connections to the boarding gates, and passengers can board straight from the lounge.
A La Carte Dining
I was getting a bit peckish as I arrived in the lounge, so I wanted to get something to eat right away. There was a distinct “fine dining” area, though I headed to an area with a “living room” sort of set up. The decor was absolutely gorgeous and elegant.
A lounge attendant quickly came by to offer a beverage, and I asked for a glass of water and a gin and tonic. He also presented the menu, which offered made-to-order appetizers, entrees, and desserts.
I ordered a few items off the menu, and the lounge attendant set the table, even though I was not in the formal dining area. He brought over a bread basket, and provided a few smaller appetizers.
To begin, I had the cornmeal crusted scallops, which were fantastically seasoned and cooked.
For the entree, I had the lamb shank, which was super tender and cooked to perfection.
Here is the fillet of sea bass, beautifully presented.
To finish off my meal, I had the “Rocky Road.” Not the ice cream flavor, but a pretty “upmarket” version of the Australian dessert, with white chocolate and chocolate mousse in a chocolate shell. It was out of this world.
I was perfectly happy eating in my arm chair and from the coffee table, but for those who prefer a sit down dinner, there is a nice space for formal dining. There is even a huge window to the kitchen where you can watch the chefs at work.
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Formal Dining Area
For those who fancy a buffet rather than a made-to-order a la carte menu, there is also an extensive buffet with everything from starters to desserts. I will just let the pictures speak for themselves here.
I was happy with their coffee and tea selection, which are available in stations all over the lounge. For those who want something alcoholic, there was also a bar area with a nice range of alcohol, including beer, wines, and spirits.
Seating Areas and Nap Room
I spent a lot of my time in the elegant “living room,” but there were also chairs lining the hallways and around the boarding gates. I know middle of the night is a popular departure time for flights from the Middle East, but at no point did I feel that the lounge was crowded. In fact, it felt almost desolate for the entire duration of my visit.
I don’t recall there being actual “sleep rooms” in this Concourse A lounge, though there was a quiet “nap room” with a few lounge chairs.
Since I spent all day sightseeing before my 3 am flight, I decided to take a shower to freshen up before getting on the plane. A shower attendant was eager to help, and there was no wait whatsoever.
The shower was clean and more than got the job done. It’s not the fanciest I have seen, and was honestly a bit…average, compared to the rest of the lounge.
Timeless Spa toiletries were provided, as well as individually wrapped towels and other amenities. They also provided slippers in addition to the bath mat in shower rooms, which I always appreciate.
If you want to get some work done, a business center is equipped with cubicles and work chairs. There are also computer stations with printers.
On the opposite end of the work-play spectrum, there is a spa area for relaxation, which is actually located outside the main lounge. First Class passengers get a free 15-minute treatment.
Back to the main lounge, there is a gorgeous cigar room, and I checked out the collection briefly. It looked like they had a nice selection, covering cigars of different price ranges, though I didn’t partake in any.
The First Class lounge also has its own duty free area, in case you need to get some last minute shopping done.
If you are traveling with kids, there is also a kids’ playroom.
A few of these charging stations can be found in the lounge, in case you forgot to bring your charger.
I don’t think the lounge explicitly prohibits phone calls in the main area, like some other ones do (for example, the Japan Airlines in Tokyo-Narita, just off the top of my head). However, there is a dedicated phone call area in the lounge.
A shoe shine stand provides the important service, though it wasn’t manned during my visit.
For those looking for entertainment, there is a number of magazine stands around the lounge. They offer an international collection of newspapers and magazines.
Overall Impression of Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A
This is definitely an “over the top” lounge, if only for its sheer size. The lounge meets many key points of the litmus test for a good lounge. It offers the convenience factor, by allowing passengers to board straight from the lounge. It scores high in the food and beverage department, with both buffet and made-to-order options, and a nice range of drinks. As far as exclusivity, the lounge is quiet and private, and never felt too crowded during my stay.
On the business front, the work center with computer stations and printers will be valuable to many, and I can definitely see travelers taking advantage of the shoe shine service as well. On the opposite spectrum, the nap room, showers, and Timeless Spa offer great options to unwind. The duty shopping and cigar room are great “entertainment” options for passing time before a flight.
Ultimately, I think this Emirates has put together a fantastic First Class lounge that appeals to all kinds of travelers with their extensive, high end offerings. Sure, it doesn’t have the “dedicated assistant” that Lufthansa First Class lounges offer, or the amazing Cabanas that Cathay Pacific has in The Wing. It also doesn’t have the hour long massage that Thai Airways provide, or the nap rooms with real beds that you will find in Qatar’s Doha hub. But it’s not fair to compare one lounge to the the aggregate of other top lounges in the world, and I think Emirates checked just about all of the right boxes with their First Class Lounge in Dubai.