Lounge Review: Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A

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:

  1. The Emirates Lounge New York JFK
  2. Emirates First Class A380 New York to Dubai
  3. Grand Hyatt Dubai Grand King Room

Check-in

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.

Dubai Airport Terminal 3 Emirates First Class Check-in Area

Dubai Airport Terminal 3 Emirates First Class Check-in Area

Dubai Airport Terminal 3

Dubai Airport Terminal 3

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 Terminal 3

Dubai Airport Terminal 3

Dubai airport is huge, but I couldn’t help but feel like it’s a bit sterile.

Dubai Airport Terminal 3

Dubai Airport Terminal 3

At any rate, I made my way to the Emirates First Class Lounge in Concourse A.

Dubai Airport Terminal 3

Dubai Airport Terminal 3

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A

Layout

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Directory

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Directory

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Directory

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Directory

The lounge also has direct connections to the boarding gates, and passengers can board straight from the lounge.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Directory

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Directory

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Seating

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Seating

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Design

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Design

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Design

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Water

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Water

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Menu

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Menu

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Menu

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Menu

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Bread Basket

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Bread Basket

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Dining Setup

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Dining Setup

To begin, I had the cornmeal crusted scallops, which were fantastically seasoned and cooked.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Cornmeal Crusted Scallops

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Cornmeal Crusted Scallops

For the entree, I had the lamb shank, which was super tender and cooked to perfection.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Lamb Shank

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Lamb Shank

Here is the fillet of sea bass, beautifully presented.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Fillet of Sea Bass

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Fillet of Sea Bass

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Rocky Road

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Rocky Road

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

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Formal Dining Area

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Formal Dining Area

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Formal Dining Area

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Formal Dining Area

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Formal Dining Area

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Formal Dining Area

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Formal Dining Area

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Formal Dining Area

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Formal Dining Area

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Formal Dining Area

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Formal Dining Area

Buffet 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.

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

First Class Lounge Buffet

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Tea Selection

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Tea Selection

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Coffee Machine

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Coffee Machine

Alcohol Selection

Alcohol Selection

 

Alcohol Selection

Alcohol Selection

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.

Seating Options

Seating Options

Seating Options

Seating Options

Seating Options

Seating Options

Seating Options

Seating Options

Seating Options

Seating Options

Seating Option

Seating Option

Seating Options

Seating Options

Seating Option

Seating Option

Seating Option

Seating Option

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.

Nap Room

Nap Room

Nap Room

Nap Room

Nap Room

Nap Room

Showers

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Shower Attendant Stand

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Shower Attendant Stand

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Shower

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Shower

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Shower

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Shower

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.

Shower Amenities

Shower Amenities

Shower Amenities

Shower Amenities

Shower Amenities

Shower Amenities

Other Amenities

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Business Center

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Business Center

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Business Center

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Business Center

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Timeless Spa

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Timeless Spa

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Cigar Room

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Cigar Room

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Cigar Room

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Cigar Room

Cigar Selection

Cigar Selection

The First Class lounge also has its own duty free area, in case you need to get some last minute shopping done.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Duty Free Shopping

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Duty Free Shopping

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Duty Free Shopping

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Duty Free Shopping

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Duty Free Shopping

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Duty Free Shopping

If you are traveling with kids, there is also a kids’ playroom.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Kids Playroom

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Kids Playroom

A few of these charging stations can be found in the lounge, in case you forgot to bring your charger.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Charging Stations

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Charging Stations

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.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Phone "Booth"

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Phone “Booth”

A shoe shine stand provides the important service, though it wasn’t manned during my visit.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Shoe Shine Service

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – Shoe Shine Service

For those looking for entertainment, there is a number of magazine stands around the lounge. They offer an international collection of newspapers and magazines.

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A - Newspapers and Magazines

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A – 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.

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