Like its sister Dubai International Business Class lounge, the Dubai International First Class lounge at Dubai airport bears a rather confusing name — despite its branding, it is simply a contract facility operated by the in-terminal Dubai International Hotel. The lounge welcomes premium passengers of multiple airlines, as well as specific credit card holders such as Diners Club members.
Located within the older Terminal 1, Concourse C, the Dubai International First Class lounge is a time capsule that reflects days gone by: picture marble floors, wood panels, worn seats and couches, neon lighting, and a large smoking room, all without a power outlet in sight. Yet, the space has redeeming factors: the layout is spacious, the oversized furniture gives patrons a fair amount of personal space, and the airport’s soaring roof offers both plenty of daylight and exciting views on the tarmac.
The draw of the lounge is its splendid buffet, which beats all expectations from a contract lounge. The selection includes a vast assortment of appetizers, hot and cold entrees, and desserts — more than enough for a full meal on the ground.
Overall, the Dubai International First Class lounge is a rather tired facility, with a generous buffet as a highlight. It is still, though, as far as Terminal 1 goes, the best contract lounge along with the adjacent Dubai International Business Class lounge.