Emirates First Class Lounge Review, Dubai Airport

Mention the Maldives and images of pristine turquoise blue waters come to mind. Overwater bungalows with direct jump-in access to the water and romantic sunsets are commonplace in this island paradise.

While it’s on almost everyone’s wish list, getting there can be a challenge. Flights are often ridiculously expensive and once you DO get to the islands, a barrage of expensive hotels with overpriced meals await. Never mind the flight distance involved, those expensive factors are enough to turn some people off and have them looking for cheaper destinations.

a palm tree on a beach

Lonely Palm Tree

Getting to paradise and back doesn’t have to cost a fortune. We booked a ridiculous, normally unattainable luxury vacation valued at almost $46,000 for a grand total of $1,818… for two people!

Considering that’s usually the price of a regular coach class ticket to the Maldives, that’s one heck of a steal.

In the series of posts to follow, we’re going to walk you through all the experiences that we enjoyed on this trip. While most people would consider this once-in-a-lifetime, with just a little legwork and dedication you can have a luxury getaway to make Instagram followers drool with envy.

The First Class lounge in Dubai International Airport, and to a certain extent the Business Class lounge as well, have no equal in the world. The lounge doesn’t simply encompass a room or a few rooms. It is literally the entire length of the terminal occupying one floor each. Business class gets their own floor and First class gets their own floor.

a large mall with many people walking around

The products and services differ for each level and even include amenities like a spa, a private duty free shop, and laundry services.

a screen on a wall

When we left the Dubai International Hotel and headed to the terminal, we decided that it would be a good idea to have a bite to eat. While there were plenty of options in the airport itself, the First Class lounge has a private, 5 start fine dining experience all for free in the lounge.

The six first class elevators for the First Class lounge was in the middle of the terminal, one floor for first and one for business.

a glass doors with a sign on it

We were granted immediately entry by showing our First Class boarding passes.

Each gate has their own mini lounge. We were leaving out of gate A9 and so we headed to the mini restaurant and lounge for gate A9.

a sign in a building

Yes, you read that correctly, each gate has their OWN LOUNGE.

The restaurant at gate A9 (and connecting to A11) has a very large seating area with white linen napkins and proper silverware. Note, there are real forks and knives, not some quasi plastic compostable mess that you get here in the lounges in the USA.

a table set up for a meal

Food Options

The cold breakfast options consisted of yogurt, fruits, and a coconut sago. A full breakfast comes with eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, sausages, and hash browns.

a buffet with different types of food

You could also go with prepared meals of foul medames, houmous, chicken congee, aloo bhaji, Scottish kipper, boiled eggs or porridge.

a row of silver containers with lids and spoons on plates

Looking for something sweeter? How about French toast, waffles, pancakes, or berry porridge?

Breakfast not your style? How about an early lunch? Wagyu beef burgers, a superfood salad, black angus tenderloin, sea bass or palak paneer is all yours for the taking.

a menu of a breakfast a menu of a restaurant a menu of a restaurant a menu of a restaurant a menu with text on it

I wasn’t terribly hungry and I knew that on the plane I would get a full meal, so I went with one pancakes, some berries, and a side of turkey bacon.

a pancake with berries and a bowl of bacon

There’s also a full bar service with aperifits, cocktails, signature cocktails, mocktails, wine, liqueurs, and digestifs. Good Lord, if you go thirsty in the lounge it’s your own fault!

a group of people sitting at tables in a restaurant

For whatever reason, if you don’t want something prepared fresh, there’s a buffet for you to grab some food. Mind you, I don’t know WHY you would want to do that when you can get a freshly prepared meal, but to each his own.

a row of silver containers with lids and spoons on plates a buffet with different foods on it a row of silver containers with lids and spoons on a counter

MY favorite are the dates. Emirates has these stuffed dates with either almonds or candied orange. They are to die for, and I had to restrain myself from not taking the entire box.

a box of nuts and a bowl of nuts

Lounge Extras

After a nice meal you can go to the quiet room and lie back on one of their leather loungers.

a chair in a room

There’s a large seating area as well in the middle of all the gates. There is table service as well if you want to sit in full view of everyone there.

a room with a chandelier and chairs

Take a look. The world moves underneath you… but let them… because you’re relaxing in comfort in the First Class lounge!

a group of people in a building

Oh, I almost forgot! They’ve got ice cream…

a glass with a scoop of ice cream in it

Included as well in your First Class ticket is one treatment at the Timeless Spa. Ben went for a free 20 minute facial while I got a neck and back massage.

a display of white shelves with different products

Once we gathered ourselves and our belongings, we strolled over to the gate. Just out the window was our gorgeous bird, painted in the Expo 2020 livery.

an airplane on the runway a plane on the runway

Riding your private elevator down to the airplane, a 16 hour luxury experience awaits. Yup, once again, you don’t have to even board with everyone else. The elevator will take you right to the door of your plane.

an elevator with a sign and a window

Now that you’ve seen the lounge, how do you feel it compares to the lounges in the US? 

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. Seems a little nicer than domestic lounges.

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    • I’d say juuuuuust a tinge

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  2. nice review! It is a wonderful place. RTW19 3.0 this past November had me with a 21 hours layover and I camped at the 1st Class Lounge quite room – which was empty of people I had a lounger by a window to the terminal to watch the world go by as you note. But also a darker area with flat surfaces to nap on 🙂

    Cafe was nice as well as all the other bars and snack/buffets through the lounge

    I left for a few hours to the Burj Kafila to watch the sun set at the 156 level – super fun!

    Enjoyed a shower before boarding to ICN. Looking forward to reading your EK 1st Lounge review as I enjoyed the foot massage on return from ICN

    Post a Reply


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