REVIEW – Qatar: First Class – Dubai to Doha (A330)August 22, 2016
REVIEW – Qatar: First Class – Doha to London (A330)August 22, 2016
- Location: Doha (DOH)
- Class: Business
- Access: OneWorld Ticketed Business and First Class passengers only
- Date: September 2014
The Al Mourjan lounge is the facility currently used by both First and Business Class passengers departing DOH. It is located on the first floor and is accessible via a very long escalator, guarded by a primary dragon.
Once you get upstairs there is a further check to ensure eligibility for access. A young guy spoke to the downstairs dragon, saying he was going to the lounge to upgrade his ticket, only to immediately turn back around when asked to show his boarding pass upstairs… can’t blame him for trying.
Once our boarding passes were scanned we were given a brief tour of the facility by a member of staff. I believe that at the time cabin crew were being brought in to help although I’m unsure if this is still the case. The staff member was obviously very proud of the lounge and dotted her speech with adjectives such as luxurious, elegant and beautiful whilst explaining the lounge to us.
Initial seating area. The entrance counter is located behind the glass.
Seating area to the left as you enter the lounge
Looking right as you enter the lounge
The Al Mourjan lounge is quite frankly spectacular. Your first instinct is much like that of a child stepping into Disney World, ‘I have to try everything… now’.
The blue chair areas are great for setting up your laptop and hanging out for a while.
Continuing on past the blue seats you come to the casual dining area. Here you can get sandwiches, salads and other quick and light meal options.
Following the lounge around in a clockwise direction you come to the lounge areas facing the runways.
Once you’ve grabbed your coffee you can head to the business centre (which looked to be a very large and comprehensive facility) or you could head to the games room:
In the runway seating area there is an abundance of natural light, something which can be really helpful when wanting to overcome the fatigue of long haul travel.
Much like the blue seat area, the seating here has plenty of power points as well as tablets, should you not have your own device.
I also loved the fact that there were little packages of Arabic sweets wrapped in Qatar ribbons, placed at every table alongside bottles of mineral water.
Heading back into the main lounge, there is a central seating area running down the middle. This is more for comfy lounging as opposed to working.
In terms of design, it is my favourite area of the lounge. The textures, colours and lighting are all top notch. Sitting here next to the reflecting pool feels genuinely special.
The reflecting pool
At the far end of the reflecting pool is a staircase leading to the formal dining area.
There is a main buffet area in the centre of the room with more private seating along the edges of the room.
These seats remind me of SQ J, only narrower
At the end of these wings of seats are doors leading to a family seating area. Families do appear to be well cared for at the Al Mourjan lounge between the private seating and the games room.
We took a seat on the far edge of the dining area, with views of the entire lounge below.
I took some starters from the starter buffet, which were really good. Anything, spicy, stewed or slow cooked works really well in a buffet (or reheated on an airplane), so the lamb chops worked perfectly. The selection of mezze was excellent too.
One of the huge selling points of this lounge is that they serve Krug! The logic with this is similar to the thinking aboard the A380 bar. If an F customer is going to be there, as a result of it being the top level facility available to them, then QR will cater to them rather than the lowest common denominator, so to speak.
I then ordered the fillet steak rare. This came well done and I suspect this is because the catering for the lounge is done together with the onboard food. The lounge kitchen must just be responsible for plating and presenting rather than cooking.
The presentation was great but the meat definitely didn’t taste like it had just been cooked from raw.
K’s strategy of only ordering dessert worked out really well!
The pistachio pudding was delicious
Overall the Al Mourjan lounge experience is one of the best in the World. QR’s strategy is, as with EK and EY one in which they hope to capture market share based on geographic location and access to cheap fuel.
As a result, they rely on customers being prepared to transit in DOH. Going forward, I would not hesitate to fly Qatar Business Class to Asia from Europe. The transit experience is something I will now actively look forward to. There is no question in my mind, QR J with a stopover in DOH is preferable to BA J direct in every way except for time. If you are on holiday and happy to ‘lose’ a few hours, drinking Krug in luxurious surroundings; I’d recommend you give it a try.
On the way to our gate we passed another giant (and no doubt very expensive) sculpture. This one actually doubles up as a children’s play area.
And for good measure, one more a few gates further along:
- Part 1:
- The First Class Lounges of LHR T3: Emirates, Cathay and BA
- Part 2:
- Qantas: First Class – London to Dubai
- Part 3:
- Park Hyatt Dubai: Terrace Suite
- Part 4:
- Eating and drinking our way around Dubai
- Part 5:
- Qatar: First Class – Dubai to Doha
- Part 6:
- Qatar Al Mourjan Lounge (Business Class) – Hamad Airport Doha
- Part 7:
- Qatar: First Class – Doha to London