Wednesday 2 May 2012

Dubai Airport Lounges

Recently I had to return to Europe, and a convenient route was to use Emirates. Whatever airline I was going to take, there was no way to escape a stop over on either leg of the route. The stop over in Dubai was going to give me the least hassle. Of course a decent price tag, 30KG luggage allowance (yes economy) and the fact I could fly an A380 for the first time contributed as well.

On of my credit cards has the extra service of providing you with a so called PriorityPass. This company provides a membership service, allowing access to a number of airport lounges. It is an independent programme, so it doesn't really matter which airline or class you fly in order to be able to use the facilities.

As I had some time to kill in Dubai, it was time to find a lounge, have a coffee and maybe some food. Better, a decent place to sit, use the wifi and get the emails send. Dubai airport was quite alive (was there around 0400 local time. With heaps of people wandering around the many shops, Starbucks was full as were many other places that were open. People were sitting everywhere at the airport. Anyway, I choose the Marhaba Lounge, in terminal 3 at DXB. Close to gate 230 which was close to where my ongoing flight was departing from.

As usual, registering at the entrance desk is the first thing you do. As it was fairly busy this took a little while. No worries - as I just had been sitting for hours. After registration, let's pick up a coffee and find a place to sit. Oh, coffee machine broken. Then a juice would do. Food.. hmm most of the storage was empty as well. This as opposite to seating opportunities. The whole place was filled up with people, and shopping bags on tables chairs etc. It did look similar as outside the lounge. Finally found a space on a broken chair to sit down for a bit. So experience in this lounge not that great.

On the way back, I had a way longer time to kill. Getting to 10hrs. Well, it was either spending a little more time Dubai airport or stop and waste time at Bangkok for a bit. So I was hoping for a slightly better experience. This time I went to Terminal one where you can find then "DUBAI INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS LOUNGE" between gates 108-110. The setup is fairly spacious, food and drinks in abundance and during my visit there was sufficient space to sit down as well. The wifi does work and has a decent speed.

Food gets refilled regularly and there is a good variation on cooked, salads and other dishes.

Since there was a time limit, I planned to move on the other Merhaba lounge in Terminal 1. When leaving, the gentleman asked if I wanted to extend though choose not to. When walking through the terminal I couldn't help to notice it was still busy with lots of people sitting, sleeping and hanging out everywhere. Anyway, arriving at the Merhaba lounge the welcome was way better than the one in terminal 3. A friendly smile and rapid service, despite the early hour. The setting was slightly better than terminal 3's lounge as well. Possibly due to the time there was sufficient seating - just about though. Food and drinks were sparsely available as well.

So, the best bet if you have to spend some time at a lounge would be the DUBAI INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS LOUNGE.