Welcome to the Emirates First Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 Concourse A, the largest First Class lounge in the world. In Dubai, beating world records is a way of life, so when you don’t have any new records to beat, then you might as well beat your own: with the opening of Terminal 3 Concourse A, Emirates has dethroned the former largest First Class lounge in the world, which was none other than Emirates’ own First Class Lounge in Concourse B.
Emirates First Class Lounge DXB design
Your premium ground experience starts at the Emirates Business and First Class terminal entrance, where you will find an entire wing dedicated to premium passengers. The facility is massive, but falls short of feeling luxurious, perhaps because of the sheer amount of walking involved in going from curb to security, or because everything is too large to feel exclusive. Post security, take the train to Concourse A—Dubai’s largest terminal, capable of supporting 18 A380s at the time—-then, take another two elevators to the First Class lounge. A grand reception lobby awaits. With six reception desks for a handful of passengers even at peak times, you’re unlikely to ever wait in line prior to getting admitted.
And then you walk past the reception desk, and find yourself in the midst of the concourse complete with duty free stores, and invariably ask yourself: “but where is the lounge?” That’s both the miracle and the oddity of Concourse A: the entire floor is the lounge. Let’s clarify. At the ground level is the regular concourse for economy passengers. Right above, two floors of the exact same dimensions are exclusively dedicated to respectively First Class and Business Class passengers. Emirates has done away with the traditional airport lounge approach in favor of a private concourse complete with signage, shops, and gate areas—all spruced up for First Class passengers.
Boarding is done directly from the lounge, and every gate is outfitted with comfortable seating and a luxurious buffet. Other amenities, such as the showers, smoking rooms, and sit-down restaurant are sprinkled throughout the concourse. The space is so large that it may be difficult grasp its layout at a first glance. That’s where the large map at the entrance comes in handy: note that the concourse is divided into two wings that are mirrors of each other. There’s no need to tour the whole floor; just make a note of the location of the amenities you’d like to use, and stay in the vicinity of your gate or venture further to explore—either way, you’re likely to walk a fair amount. It might just be an excuse to indulge.
There is an enormous amount of seating, and while the mostly open plan may not feel private at a first glance, the lounge is significantly over-dimensioned for the number of eligible customers. Consider walking to either end of the concourse for a more traditional lounge environment with views on the tarmac. Power outlets are available at most seats, though there are no USB ports—the lounge was built before they became ubiquitous.
Emirates First Class Lounge DXB amenities
A major highlight of the Emirates First Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport Concourse A is the food and beverage offering. It’s an embarrassment of riches. Sit virtually anywhere and a server will quietly show up, ready to assist. If you prefer to browse the selection at your leisure, there are different buffet areas with an astonishing variety of cuisines and options. Emirates hits a home run on all counts: presentation, variety, taste, and quality. Healthy eaters will appreciate the fresh salads and juices, while travelers seeking to indulge will appreciate the hot dogs and ice cream. In between is a wide range of tasty international appetizers and dishes. The food is plentiful and constantly replenished, even in the middle of the night.
You may also choose to sit in one of the two formal dining rooms for a complete cooked-to-order, restaurant style meal. The attention to detail is impeccable, with chilled glasses, French butter, and a menu that spans luxury (foie gras and accouterments), health, and comfort. Service is prompt and courteous and the facilities spotless.
Should indulging involve tasting a cigar, you’re in luck. Emirates has taken the concept of a smoking room to a completely new level. Picture a luxurious, posh area with a private club feel: large and comfy couches, stained glass windows, and ornate ceilings. The target audience is definitely male, but the vibe still informal and relaxed. Just take a seat, and you’ll be presented with a selection of complimentary cigars. You may as well order a glass of whiskey too, because you can.
If your notion of entertainment is more casual, then you’ll find game rooms with video game consoles. There is also an elaborate kids’ zones with a range of toys and video games.
Business travelers aren’t left aside: the lounge features two enormous, well-appointed business centers, with self-service computers and printers and meeting areas.
A specificity of Dubai airport is that it never shuts down, with flights departing all night and in the wee hours of the morning. The lounges are therefore open 24 hours a day. With this in mind, Emirates offers dimly lit slumber rooms with lounge chairs and day beds in an open layout with semi-private alcoves. Accommodations come with a pillow, blanket, and a side table with a bottle of water and eye shades.
In business class, the setup might be outstanding. For First Class, on the other hand, the facilities are somewhat lacking. Privacy is limited, and there is neither a place to change into night attire or adjacent bathrooms. Given the staggering amount of available real estate, Emirates could have easily built true individual rooms or at least, private or enclosed sleeping pods. The open design feels like a compromise: the accommodations are adequate for a nap but are no substitute for a hotel room. Other world class First Class lounges, such as the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, British Airways Concorde Room in London or SWISS First Class Lounge in Zurich provide substantially better sleeping options, without the reality of Emirate’s 24 hour flight schedule.
Along the same lines, the bathrooms feel like a missed opportunity. The facilities are spotless, decorated with fresh flowers, and stocked with constantly replenished amenities. But in lieu of private stalls with a toilet and a sink, Emirates has resorted to a more traditional layout with sinks in a communal area, which offers little privacy to freshen up.
The showers perhaps represent one of the more significant improvements over the Emirates First Class Lounge at Concourse B. The spacious rooms are outfitted with a toilet, sink, and dressing area. The design is sober and classy, and numerous amenities including slippers are provided. Should you require additional pampering, consider visiting the Timeless Spa for a complimentary 15-minute treatment. Do note that it’s located outside the lounge, though, and shared with Business Class passengers, so it is wise to make a reservation as early as possible.
There’s more. Much more in fact. If you take the time to stroll, you’ll come across various seating areas; some with a more expansive buffet selection, some more intimate than others.
Other amenities include newspapers and magazines, prayer rooms, complimentary shoe shines, and of course, fast Wi-Fi throughout.
Just don’t wander too far away from your gate, as it may be a hike to get back. And when it’s time to board, you’ll scan your boarding pass directly from the lounge and use an elevator that will take you to straight to the upper deck of your Airbus A380. In theory, that’s a model of efficiency. In reality, though, expect the process to take longer than expected, as the same elevator serves the Business Class lounge. And should you get selected for an additional security check, then you’ll be herded all the way down to the Economy concourse — the horror! But nothing that a glass of Dom Perignon or two may not fix once on board.
Emirates First Class Lounge DXB bottom line
The Emirates First Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, Concourse A is, literally, extraordinary. It’s a sight to behold—-an over-the-top facility that seemingly caters to every need. And yet, at the end of the day, we can’t help but think that something is amiss. Maybe it’s the lack of actual private sleeping rooms. Maybe it’s the sheer distance to walk to get to the lounge and then to the gate. Or perhaps it’s the fact that while the service is extremely attentive, it also falls short of personal. For example, don’t expect an escort to your gate when it’s time to board (in fact, tacky but pragmatic signs remind you to show up on time.) The staff is extremely polite, always available, and never pushy. You could spend hours enjoying the various amenities and still miss a few. But at the end of the day, it might just be a case of “a little too much.” Privacy and intimacy aren’t the same: the lounge provides plenty of the former, but not much of the latter; it may just be a little too large and too elaborate to foster a sense of genuine luxury.
The Emirates First Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 Concourse A is an experience not to be missed, but the more humane dimensions and personal service, of say, the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, are likely to leave a longer lasting impression.
The following is a typical sample selection; actual choices may vary. All food and drinks are complimentary.A la carte breakfast (4am to 10am)ContinentalHot breakfast
- Fresh juices, smoothies, daily detox drink
- Natural or fruit yoghurt
- Swiss Bircher muesli
- Tropical fresh fruit skewers
- Florida cocktail of fresh orange and pink grapefruit segments
- Warm Scottish porridge
- Fresh eggs cooked to order
- Scrambled eggs finished with cream or herbs
- Poached eggs
- Boiled eggs served with “marmite soldiers”
- Poached scottish kipper fillets with roesti potatoes and cherry tomatoes
- Salmon, potato and parsley fishcakes
- Herb crepes rolled and filled with woodlands mushrooms a la crème, with fresh asparagus and grilled tomato
- Veal or chicken grilled sausage
- Butter field mushrooms
- Roesti potatoes
- Grilled tomatoes
- Baked beans
Lunch and dinner (11am to 3am)AppetizersSoups
- Waffles freshly made to order, served with fresh berries and whipped creams
- American pancake stack with maple syrup, powder sugar and strawberries
- Fresh mussels – warm New Zealand mussels served on a bed of sauteed spinach, gratinated with saffron sauce with wafer of crisp semolina
- Golden spring rolls – vegetable spring rolls, served with coriander pesto dip and spicy corn salad
- Buffalo mozzarella cheese – baby buffalo mozzarella cheese bathed in fresh basil pesto and garnished with vine ripened yellow and red cherry tomatoes
- Tuna carpaccio – wafer thin slices of tuna dressed with an oriental salad of courgettes, tomatoes, onions and peppers tossed with chili, lime and coriander
- Garden leaf salad – assorted seasonal leaves with mushrooms, sundried tomato and micro herbs with a parmesan cheese tuille and balsamic vinaigrette dressing
- Palm heart salad, with crisp apple and crumbled feta cheese set on a fresh celery jelly tossed with apple vinaigrette
- Chicken and barley soup – a light clear chicken broth with barley, garnished with carrot and sprinkled with chervil
- Roasted tomato soup – homemade soup of oven-roasted fresh plum tomato, served with finely diced courgettes and finished with a quenelle of crème fraiche
- Chicken pahadi kebab – chicken marinated mint, coriander and mild spaces, cooked in the tandoor, served with cumin rice and cooling raita, accompined with a crisp salad
- Risotto primavera – risotto of baby spinach with asparagus, peas, young sweet carrots and fresh parmesan choeese topped with rocket
- Grilled beef steak – prime fillet of beef served with pike peppercorn bearnaise sauce, smoked bell puree, wilted spinach and filled French a la ratte potatoes
- Fresh breast of chicken – Breast of chicken marinated with maple syrup, served with grilled avocado, cabbage colesaw and griddled sweet corn pancakes
- Fillet of grouper – fresh grouper fish fillet topped with a herb crust, presented on a seafood-asparagus cassoulet
- Vegetable jaipuri – miled spiced mixed vegetable curry of green beans, peas, tomatoes, green pepper and carrot cooked in traditional Jaipuri style, served with raisin and cashew nut pulao
- Lamb loin – seared prime Austrlian loin of lamb with a blackberry sauce, garnished with young vegetables, accompanied by a grilled gorgozonla polenta
- Classic club sandwich – toasted farmhouse white bread layered with emmenthal cheese, smoked turkey, hard boiled egg, tomatoes and crisp veal bacon, moistened with tapenade and served with our special French fries and mustard
- Grilled fillet steak sandwich – served with onions, mushrooms, red and green peppers, topped with cheese on a crusty ciabatta, offered with fried potato wedges
Bar serviceAperitifsSelection of international beers Cocktails
- Chocolate parfait mousse - classic triple layered milk and dark chocolate parfait mousse garnished with chocolate mousse and almond tuille
- Crème caramel - homemade crème caramel made with dairy milk, fresh eggs ad sugar, finished with golden caramel and a confit of fresh orange
- Rocky road - chocolate and hazelnuts on a bed of dark chocolate with rosewater jelly and fresh raspberries
- Halawat al jibin - local sweet specialty of cheese with whipped cream
- Chocolates and petits fours - miniature rabic treats, white and dark fig truffles
Wines Champagne Moet Chandon Brut imperial Liqueurs
- Bacardi 8 years
- Bombay Sapphire Gin
- Woodford Reserve 15 years
- Chivas Regal 18 years
- Canadian club
- Grey Goose vodka
- Southern comfort, tequila
- Black russian
- Bloody mary
- Bucks fizz
- Champagne cocktail
- Kir royal
- Martini cocktail classic
- Vodka martini
- Arabian sunset
- Passion quila
- Signature mocktails
- Grand Marnier
- Tia Maria
- Crème de Cassis
- Cherry brandy
- Cinzano (bianco)
You may have access to Emirates First Class Lounge as a premium customer of one of the following airlines, or as an elite member of their frequent flyer program. Check the Access rules tab for more details.
Emirates (EK) Qantas (QF)
The following passengers have access:
- Emirates First class passengers (+1 guest)
- Emirates Skywards Platinum members departing on an Emirates or Qantas flight (+1 adult guest + 2 minors)
- Emirates Skywards Gold members departing on an Emirates or Qantas flight, for a USD 100 fee for four hours (no guests)
- Emirates Skywards Silver members departing on an Emirates or Qantas flight, for a USD 100 fee for four hours (no guests)
- Emirates Skywards Blue members departing on an Emirates or Qantas flight, for a USD 200 fee for four hours (no guests)
- Qantas First Class passengers
- Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum and Platinum One passengers departing on a Qantas flight
Guests must be traveling on the same flight. Minors are defined as children under 17. Passengers may purchase access for additional guests at USD 200 per guest.