Review: Emirates Business Lounge Dubai Concourse A

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Emirates has multiple lounges in Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3, but going in I knew that their lounge at Concourse A would be the largest by far. I made my way onto the train that connects Concourse B/C and Concourse A, and found myself in the grand atrium where connecting passengers landing at Concourse A are screened.

Concourse A Dubai Airport

The entrance to the lounge is located by where the airtrain lets off, smack in the middle of the concourse.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Entrance

In regards to lounge access, all Emirates business class fliers can access this lounge, except those on Business Special fares; Skywards Gold and Silver members can access the lounge as well, whereas those in economy/Business Special can get in on a fee.

For those unfamiliar with the lounge’s layout, it literally spans the entire course of the terminal, with the first class lounge also spanning the entire terminal one floor below it. The lounge features two sides that mirror each other to a T, and takes about 12 minutes to walk briskly through from one end to the other (apparently – my photoshoot took around half an hour).

Right by the entrance was a duty free shop that sold alcohol (which would be handy for locals, since alcohol isn’t permitted in the UAE).

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Duty Free Alcohol

Near the entrance I saw a large sign that described the food that would be served at the lounge, including Middle Eastern/Western, Asian food etc.. This testified to the fact that Emirates took their business class lounge food quite seriously, despite the fact that it was buffet-style (and not a-la-carte).

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Menu

As you’d expect for a lounge spanning the entire concourse, this lounge was colossal, and spanned many different seating areas. Near the entrance there were some somewhat populated, open seating areas (since I visited at 1 PM outside of the lounge’s peak hours, the lounge was mostly empty, especially considering its size).

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Main Seating Areas

Even along the hallway there was seating around round tables, though that wouldn’t be my preferred choice of seating due to the higher amount of foot traffic.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Hallway Seating

Further into the lounge there were huge areas of seating where armchairs faced each other, with higher tables that created a good setup for eating or working. These chairs were closest to the food spread, and comprised the busiest area of the lounge (which isn’t saying much, given the low ratio of people compared to the number of seats).

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Seating Areas

One cool feature of the lounge is that you can board your flight directly from the lounge. This meant that a lot of people were sitting somewhere close to their gate. Most of the gates further from the entrance were left unused during this time of day, so there was a quieter area on each end of the lounge that was left more or less entirely deserted.

This area of the lounge was where many varieties of seating were located, and I really enjoyed spending some time here.  The “outer” part of this area featured some comfy armchairs with pillows, a few working cubicles, as well as a water fixture, next to a food spread with some light bites.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Inside Seating Area

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Inside Seating Area Food Spread

Meanwhile, further into the lounge were some partitioned off areas that were more suitable for resting.

 Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Gate-Side Area

There were some little rest cubicles, which consisted of comfier (and somewhat more outdated) armchairs, some stools, as well as a bench for lying down.

 Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Rest “Cubicles”

Further into the lounge were some more armchairs. This area was more or less deserted while I was there, so it could be a very good place to have a phone/video call or catch up on work.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Gate-Side Area

There were also some bigger and better-padded/higher-backed armchairs that were fit for having a nice chat or watching cat videos on your laptop. Speaking of cat videos, WiFi in the lounge was fast and free.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Relax Chairs

There was even a separate closed area that led into a lower level of the lounge. In retrospect, I’m not quite sure if that was the first or business class area, though it really shows that this is a huge lounge regardless!

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Closed Area

Apart from lots of chairs with a large variety of seating, the lounge also featured other amenities, such as a business center with many cubicles. Lots of these cubicles featured PCs, though I appreciated that some didn’t, so those with a laptop could find a place to work.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Working Cubicle

In addition, there was a charging station for phones, complete with padlocks.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Charging Station

The food spread was much like the one found in Concourse B, in that separate sections were featured each with their own cuisines. As was the case in Concourse B, the food was generally appealing, which I appreciate in a hub lounge. I also thought that the sectioning of the food by cuisine gave a sense that more effort was put into the lounge’s catering.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Food Spread

Unlike Emirates’ Costa partnership at Concourse B, there’s no barista-made coffee here, though – a bit of a nuisance if you’re on a morning flight (since I imagine you wouldn’t go all the way to concourse B just for barista-made coffee), though there is a coffee machine.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Food Spread

In addition, scattered throughout the lounge are lounger chairs for sleeping, especially nearer to the ends of the lounge. Although they were comfy, I don have to say that they weren’t the best “shape” for sleeping, since they were akin to angled lie-flat seats.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Relax Areas

There were also chairs with ottomans. Towels were provided at these seats, presumably to act as blankets of sorts.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Relax Area

In addition to the above features, the lounge also featured a sizeable cigar bar. Now, Emirates’ Dubai lounge cigar bars are one of the more touted features in their airline lounges, and it was indeed a very nice space. While I didn’t spend too much time here (I’m not a smoker), I quited liked the eloquent wing chairs and understated chandeliers, as well as the wood finishes – I almost wish more of the lounge was designed in a similar way.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Cigar Bar

In this lounge I decided to take a shower. For some reason the rainshower function wouldn’t fully work (I could only turn the knob towards the rainshower direction to a certain point), and the bathroom didn’t smell terribly nice, and the ventilation was also horrible. That being said, I still enjoyed a shower in between flights.

Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse A Shower Room

After walking around the lounge and taking a shower (which, given the size of the lounge, took around 30-40 minutes), I headed back to Concourse B to meet my dad and catch my flight to London.

Bottom Line: Emirates Concourse A Lounge Dubai

Emirates’ Concourse A lounge is huge, though that means it gets most of the basics right. In some of the top 10 things I look for in an airline lounge, I look for a relaxed, quiet environment with nice workspaces and fast WiFi, as well as good food – this lounge accomplishes all of that. We normally take that for granted, but one of Emirates’ biggest rivals, Qatar Airways, fails to achieve most of this at their hub lounge. This is a lounge I wouldn’t mind spending time in before my flight, and I’d try to make my way further into the lounge in order to get a quieter/more serene experience.

This lounge isn’t one of the best in the world – it doesn’t have a-la-carte dining or any particularly unique perks, the showers aren’t particularly enjoyable, and I’d appreciate barista coffee. But I’d rather have a lounge that gets the basics right than a showy lounge that doesn’t.

Have you visited the Emirates Concourse A lounge at Dubai Airport before? What was your experience?

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