I visited the Emirates first class lounge in Dubai in late November. Access to the lounge was included as part of my Emirates Airline A380 first class flight from New York JFK to Dubai.
The Emirates first class lounge was massive. It occupies the 2nd floor of the Dubai airport in terminal 3.
Direct Access to your Flight
Customers actually board their flights directly from the lounge. So once your inside the lounge, you don’t have to go back outside into the regular airport again.
- Location: 2nd floor of the Dubai International Airport.
- Hours: 24 hours a day.
- Access: Restricted to first class customers.
- How I Accessed: Emirates first class flight.
I was so amazed at how large the Emirates lounge was that I actually spent 15 to 20 minutes just walking through the lounge trying to see the full area. Some of the notable amenities inside the lounge included:
- 2 full service restaurants.
- Cigar Lounge.
- Full sized spa (one 15 minute massage was free for first class customers).
- Kids play area.
- Sleeping lounge.
- Multiple large seating areas with magazines, newspapers, and large screen TV’s.
- Conference room space with computers and internet access.
- Board your flight directly from inside the lounge.
- Free WiFi.
Amazing Customer Service
Similar to my experience in Emirates first class, the customer service inside the lounge was exceptional. The staff really goes above and beyond to provide customers with standout service.
After walking through the lounge, I stopped in the restaurant for dinner. I actually had access to the Emirates lounge during two legs of a round trip flight on Emirates first class. The first time I arrived for dinner service and the second time I arrived for breakfast.
Customers in the first class lounge can order any food or drink item from the menu at any time of day. The lounge restaurant staffs a full kitchen inside the restaurant. In fact, the number of staff inside the lounge greatly out numbered the amount of guests inside the lounge during my trip.
Lunch & Dinner Menu
- Garlic Prawns – Warm garlic prawns served with fresh rocca leaves and bell pepper salad.
- Vegetable Hariyali Tikki – Warm spicy cakes of potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas and spinach, served with mint chutney.
- Oriental Wrap – Oriental rice paper roll filled with avocado, glass noodles and vegetables, served with sambal, chilli oil, and sakura cress.
- Tuna Carpaccio – Wafer thin slices of tuna dressed with oriental salad of courgettes, tomatoes, onions, and peppers tossed with chili, lime and coriander.
- Salmon Tartare – Salmon topped with sour cream, served with mild honey mustard dressing, salmon roe, and pickled cucumber.
- Pink Grapefruit & Avocado Salad – Light refreshing salad of pink grapefruit, avocado, and shaved fennel, dressed with fresh rocca leaves and offered with a white balsamic dressing.
- Chicken and Barley – Light, clear chicken broth with barley, garnished with carrot and sprinkled with chervil.
- Prawn Bisque – Rich creamy soup of prawns, garnished with fresh cream and chives, served with sourdough bread.
- Emirates Club Sandwich – Toasted farmhouse white bread layered with emmental cheese, smoked turkey, hard-boiled egg, tomatoes and crisp veal rasher, moistened with tapenade, and served with french fries and mustard.
- Char-grilled Specialty Wagyu Beef Burger – Wagyu beef burger served with french fries.
- Chicken Pahadi Kebab – Traditional dish from the imperial kitchens of the Mughai Empire of chicken marinated in mint, coriander and mild spices, cooked in the tandoor, served with cumin rice and cooking raita, accompanied by a crisp poppadom.
- Risotto Primavera – Creamy arborio rice risotto of baby spinach with asparagus, peas, young sweet carrots and fresh parmesan cheese.
- Grilled T-bone Steak – T-bone steak served with chive butter, field mushrooms, cherry tomato, fresh rocco leaves and golden fried potatoes.
- Fresh Breast of Chicken with Rosemary – Rosemary roasted breast of chicken, served with light chicken jus, minted garden peas, baby carrots, cherry tomato, and oven-roasted potatoes.
- Miso Marinated Fillet of Salmon – Served with Japanese seasoned sushi rice, dashi, and vegetables.
- Vegetable Shahi Korma – Traditional dish from the imperial kitchens of the Mughai Empire, a mildly spiced cashew nut based curry of green beans, carrots, peas, potatoes, and cauliflower, served with cooling mint coriander raita, crisp poppadom and saffron basmati rice.
- Lamb Shank – Pot-roasted boneless lamb shank on a tomato based lima bean stew.
- Banoffee Pie – Banana slices layered with dulce de leche, crispy filo pastry and whipped cream, garnished with coffee jelly.
- Creme Caramel – Homemade creme caramel made with dairy milk, fresh eggs and sugar, finished with golden caramel, and a confit of fresh orange.
- Sticky Date Pudding – Warm chocolate and sticky date pudding, served with creme anglaise.
- Namoura Ashta – Local sweet specialty of sugar-soaked cake topped with an unsweetened fresh cream.
- Aperitifs – Selection of fruit juices and soft drinks. Bacardi 8 years, Campari, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select, Chivas Regal 18 years, Canadian Club, Grey Goose Vodka, Southern Comfort, Tequila, and a selection of international beers.
- Cocktails – Black Russian, Bloody Mary, Bucks Fizz, Champagne Cocktail, Kir Royal, Manhattan, Martini Cocktail Classic, Screwdriver, Vodka Martini.
- Signature Cocktails – Arabian Sunset (Gin, Cointreau, and Cranberry), Cafe Creme (Vodka, Bailey’s and Tia Maria), Rum Luck (Gold and white rum, strawberries, cranberry, lemon juice, and ginger ale).
- Signature Mocktails – Nojito (mint leaves, lime, apple juice, sugar syrup, and soda water), Berrylicious (fresh strawberries, raspberries, cranberry, kiwi juice, and sugar syrup), Tropical Delight (banana, pineapple juice, and mango juice).
What I Chose
Both meals inside the lounge were excellent. The restaurant quality and service easily compare with the experience of a high end restaurant in a large city.
One of the things that fascinated me about the lounge was the ratio of employees to customers. Since the lounge was restricted to first class, employees seemed to outnumber customers by nearly 3 to 1 if not more.
The Emirates first class lounge really can’t be compared with other domestic airline lounges. The Etihad first class lounge in Abu Dhabi represents the only basis of comparison that I can make.
The Emirates first class lounge was much larger than the Etihad lounge. However, Etihad’s lounge recently opened in May 2016 and offers a more modern facility. The customer service and amenities in each lounge were both excellent. The Emirates lounge offered direct access to your flight whereas the Etihad lounge required you to exit the lounge and walk to the specific gate for your flight.
The Emirates first class lounge offers an amazing luxury experience. The lounge offers amazing food and drinks, exceptional customer service, and a premium environment to relax before your flight.