Emirates First Vs Business Class Lounge At Dubai Airport


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Emirates is a world-class airline, but which are the best Emirates lounges at Dubai International Airport, and is it worth paying to use the Business and First Class lounges? The best lounge is obviously the First Class lounge at Dubai Airport, and you can read why below. You can also read why we don’t think that it is worth paying to upgrade your lounge access from the Business to the First lounge and also why we think it is worth paying for the Business Lounge if you are flying Economy or Premium Economy.

Before The Airport

Emirates will drive you to and from the airport at both ends of your journey if you fly Business or First. Chauffeur-drive must be requested online up to 48 hours prior to your flight. If the Chauffeur-drive service requested exceeds the mileage limits specified for that city, passengers must pay for the excess mileage at locally applicable rates. For London Heathrow and London Gatwick, the mileage limit is 70m. I am located 93 miles from Heathrow, so I always have to pay excess mileage.

Since 1 March 2019, Chauffeur-drive service reservations were not available in conjunction with Skywards Business and First Class Classic Rewards and Economy to Business Class Upgrades. It is also not available on reward tickets booked via Emirates Skywards airline partners for travel on Emirates. I have reviewed the lounges in Dubai Airport, which is Emirate’s hub airport, below.

Emirates Planes

Emirates has the largest Boeing 777 & Airbus A380 fleet in the world. They currently have a huge 105 Airbus A380s in their fleet and an order for 57 additional aircraft.

All Emirates A380s are fitted at the Airbus factory in Hamburg, with cabin interior work and final livery being delivered from Hamburg. Airbus estimates that Emirates’ A380 orders alone support 41,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs in Europe, including some 14,500 in Germany alone. Emirates currently operates the A380 to 48 global destinations.

Emirates has 165 Boeing 777s in its fleet, one of the most popular and advanced wide-bodied aircraft in commercial operation today. It also has a further 164 B777s on firm order, including 150 of the next-generation Boeing 777x aircraft. Emirates is the only airline that operates all the variants of the B777 aircraft. Today, Emirates operates the Boeing 777 to over 140 cities on six continents from its hub in Dubai.

Business Class on Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER is located between First and Economy Class and spread over 2 cabins. When the new Premium Economy launches, this will separate Business from Economy with an intermediate cabin. The front Business Class mini-cabin contains 2 rows of 14 seats and feels quite intimate, while a second and larger cabin contains 28 Business Class seats spread over 4 rows. The two Business Class cabins are separated by a galley kitchen, the lavatories, and the main exit doors.

In comparison, Emirates’ A380 aircraft feature a staggered 1-2-1 Business Class configuration, which is much better for solo travelers and overall much better design.

Of note, Emirates is also in the process of refurbishing its B777-200LR aircraft (used for its longest B777 routes) with a 2-2-2 layout (instead of 2-3-2 abreast).

All Emirates B777s feature excellent mood lighting, with the colors of the ceiling changing according to the local time. Stars on the ceiling – called StarLight – which is a cool technical feature unique to Emirates; it is pretty amazing lying down in your bed at 35,000 feet, opening your eyes, and seeing stars.

How To Get Access To The Emirates Business & First Class Lounges

The Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai was previously only accessible to passengers who traveled in First Class. Same for the Business Class lounge. Now you can buy your way in, which is a big bonus and really enhances your flight experience, particularly if you are flying Economy or Premium Economy.

They say, “You and your guests can enjoy up to four hours of paid access to Emirates lounges in Dubai and worldwide. If you’re an Emirates Skywards member, you’ll also enjoy reduced lounge access fees when flying on an Emirates-operated (EK) flight.

Unwind in our Emirates Business Class lounges and Emirates First Class lounges in Dubai and around the world. And enjoy exclusive amenities, including personal shopping, food, and drink, access to Business Centres, as well as relaxation areas. Visit our Emirates lounges before takeoff for a smooth journey that leaves you feeling refreshed.”

It is worth becoming an Emirates Skyward member as lounge access is cheaper if you join their loyalty scheme. You don’t have to have any level of status to get this discount, but you do need to be a member. Current First Class Lounge prices are $210 USD for an adult and $105 USD for a child. If you are happy with the Business Class lounge, this is half the price at $105 USD, with children costing $52.50 USD. The Emirates lounges at Concourse C cost $105 USD per adult and $52.50 USD per child.

You can also enjoy the Emirates lounge experience before your flight in Emirates lounges at selected airports around the world. Paid access to Emirates worldwide lounges is $100 USD per person, and you can pay to access these lounges in Auckland, Bangkok, Birmingham, Boston, Brisbane, Cape Town, Colombo, Delhi, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manchester, Melbourne, Milan, Munich, New York John F. Kennedy, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Perth, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo Narita, and Zürich.

Is It Worth Paying To Upgrade To The First Lounge?

If you are traveling in Business, you can pay to upgrade to the First Class lounge at Dubai International Airport for around $100 USD. The Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai is better than the Business lounge; large and comes with a nice and complimentary a la carte restaurant – you can see photos of what is on offer in my lounge review. But the Business Class lounge is so huge that you will usually have no problems finding a quiet spot in this lower grade Business lounge. While I was there, many of the seats were empty, and the lounge felt incredibly spacious.

That said, if you go into the Business Class lounge and can’t find space, it might be worth paying to upgrade your lounge at this point. I would always change the Business Class lounge before trying the First Class lounge.

The food is not a la carte in the Business lounge but is plentiful and of excellent quality, available from various (warm and cold) buffet stations, as is Moët and Chandon Champagne. The shower rooms are also really good here and ideal for a wash between flights.

Is It Worth Paying To Upgrade To The Business Lounge?

Is it worth paying $100 USD to access the Business Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport if you are traveling in Economy or Premium Economy? In my opinion, yes, these are excellent lounges, and assuming you would buy a meal and a drink in the main terminal, you will recoup much of the cost anyway. Certainly, I find lounges reduce the headache I usually experience from the stress of traveling through airport terminals.

Emirates First vs. Business Class Lounge At Dubai Airport
Review: Emirates First Class Lounge At Dubai Airport

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In April 2016, I flew First Class on an Emirates A380 Airbus A380 from Dubai (DXB) to Amsterdam (AMS). Pre-departure, I was given access to the Concourse A Emirates First Class Lounge at Dubai International Airport. All Emirates flights arrive and depart from Emirates Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport, currently the world’s largest airport terminal, with over 1,713,000 m² (18,440,000 ft²) of space. This terminal comprises two concourses: Concourse A and Concourse B. Both concourses feature Business and First Class lounges.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.