Emirates business class lounge, Dubai Airport Concourse B

Review: Emirates business class lounge, Dubai Airport Concourse B

City:
Dubai
Airport:
Dubai
Cabin Class:
Business
Alliance:
None
Airline:
EK (Emirates)

location:

dining:

work:

overall:

What's Hot

  • Space for over 1,500 guests
  • Barista coffee, vintage Champagne
  • Extensive door list with paid access too

What's Not

  • One of Emirates' busiest lounges in Dubai brings noise, crowding

X-Factor

  • Visit the Moët & Chandon Champagne bar

Introduction

Dubai is home to no less than seven Emirates lounges, but no doubt one of the busiest is the Emirates business class lounge in Dubai Airport's Concourse B, catering for over 1,500 business class passengers, mid-tier frequent flyers and even Qantas Club members.

With barista coffee, an exclusive Champagne bar and plenty of natural light, we put Emirates' buzzing, recently-refurbished business class lounge to the test.

Location & Impressions

If beginning your journey in Dubai and arriving at the airport via Emirates' complimentary Chauffeur Drive service, clear passport control and security through the dedicated premium area – conveniently in Terminal 3 Concourse B where this lounge is located – and take the lift upstairs, where you'll see clear signage pointing to this lounge:

If you're stuck in economy and arrived at the airport the 'normal' way, or if you've arrived into Dubai on one flight and are connecting onto another, clear the usual formalities and follow the same signs once you emerge in the terminal concourse.

When you're in the right place, it's hard to miss the entrance:

Inside, there's plenty of natural light throughout the space along with views over the boarding gates below...

... and speaking of space, this lounge is big: clocking in at over 900 square metres with a variety of zones, which you'll discover as you continue to explore.

It doesn't feel like a 'holding pen' as such, but the lounge was busy before my mid-morning flight to Brisbane... really busy, which meant quite a trek until I found a vacant seat.

Because it is Emirates' most centrally-located lounge in Dubai, this one does always tend to be the busiest, but the layout helps to break the lounge up into zones and separate areas:

Among them, a quiet space, a Champagne lounge, a business zone and more, with directional signs throughout to help get your bearings.

Many of the signs here also offer maps in case you're having trouble finding something:

Access

  • First class and business class passengers flying with Emirates and Qantas
  • Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairmans Lounge frequent flyers travelling with Emirates or Qantas
  • Qantas Club members when their next onward flight is booked on a QF flight number, including codeshare flights operated by Emirates
  • Emirates Skywards Gold, Platinum and iO cardholders flying with Emirates or Qantas
  • Emirates Skywards Silver members flying with Emirates or on a Qantas codeshare flight
  • Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald frequent flyers when travelling on a Qantas flight with a QF flight number only

Not covered by the list above? Skywards Blue members can purchase access at the door for US$105 (A$131.10), while non-frequent flyers can also buy entry for US$136.50 (A$170.45), including VAT.

However, if you happen to be a Priority Pass member – such as packaged with high-end cards like the AMEX Platinum Charge Card and Westpac Altitude Black – that membership could grant you access to the Marhaba Lounge and 'Ahlan Lounge at B' in the same concourse, so consider those options too.

Dining

Need a morning coffee hit before your onward flight? There's a Costa Coffee counter near the main entrance for that barista-made latte...

... with a number of small buffet counters dotted throughout the lounge for snacks and lighter bites...

... and for the calorie conscious, a dedicated 'health hub' in the far-left corner.

That's where you'll find a variety of fresh fruit...

... healthy smoothies and salads...

... and plenty of chilled water to stay hydrated, with dining tables nearby:

There's a main buffet area in the centre of the lounge for a broader selection of hot and cold food, but this area was incredibly busy with a small queue just to get near the food, so while I enjoyed a few bites before tucking into a more substantial meal on board, we don't have any photos of the space to share.

But on the beverage front, there are several tended bars throughout the lounge with a selection of beer, wine and spirits...

... joined by many self-serve beverage counters, all of which feature Moët & Chandon Impérial – the brand's entry-level, non-vintage Champagne...

... and in the far corner of the lounge, a dedicated Moët & Chandon Champagne bar.

That's where you'll find Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial, Nectar Impérial and Grand Vintage 2008 on top of the entry-level drop as found elsewhere in the lounge: you can try them all, have a glass of your favourite or even enjoy a matching canapé with your wine.

Read: Visiting Emirates' Moët & Chandon Champagne bar in Dubai

As the Champagne is actually better here than in Emirates' first class lounges – which pour only the Moët & Chandon Impérial (NV) – high flyers with ample time before they depart might choose to visit this business class lounge for a glass or two of the upgraded Champagne, before retreating to the first class lounge.

Work

When your time in Dubai calls for productivity, there are plenty of tables which you can commandeer as a makeshift office...

... but finding power points can be a little harder: not because there aren't any here, but just because the lounge is so busy, that often the seats closest to power outlets are taken first.

My trick is to hang out near the Champagne bar – not only as there's Champagne, but as it's the furthest point inside from the lounge entrance, many travellers simply settle down when they spot the first spare seat along the way, leaving this space for those 'in the know'.

There are also power points tucked away under each of the gold tables at the bar and at many of the surrounding seats too, which, as it's a quieter area, are also easier to snap up.

As you'd expect, free WiFi is available regardless of where you sit – you'll find the password on signs throughout the lounge – although with so many users connected at the same time, the speeds can vary considerably.

Across multiple tests during my visit, I measured downloads between 18.9Mbps and 44.2Mbps, uploads between 3.15Mbps and a staggering 90.5Mbps, and ping speeds ranging from 6ms to 32ms.

In simpler English, the connection was more than usable for web browsing, sending and receiving large files and for watching HD video, even when the WiFi was at its slowest, which is no easy achievement in a lounge catering to over 1,500 people.

Relax

Because most Emirates flights offer inflight Internet access, there isn't the usual rush to sync your email inbox while in transit as there can be with other airlines, which hopefully means you can spend less of your lounge time working and more of it relaxing.

Whether you go wandering through the lounge to admire the artwork and sculptures...

... kick back while watching TV...

... put your feet up at one of the day beds or visit the user-pays day spa...

... devour some reading material...

... swing by the smoking area...

... socialise with fellow travellers...

... or stop by that Champagne bar...

... the choice is entirely yours.

Just note that boarding announcements aren't made here: the onus is on you to make it to your gate, so keep an eye on the flight information screens as it gets closer to departure time.

Shower suites are available too, but there were long lines for these as well – meaning that travellers with shorter transit times may not be able to squeeze one in.

Chris Chamberlin travelled to Dubai as a guest of Emirates.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

26 comments

  • simon drakeley

    drsimon50

    22 Jan, 2018 12:22 pm

    great review chris - i was there a month or so ago and have to say seemed to be busier than normal - but the main issue i have (and i think emirates missed a trick) is the lack of loos! whilst the showers are still woeful considering its the current hub on the way to europe (or elsewhere) the lack of loos is even worse! all else since the upgrade i have to say is much better
    No member give thanks

  • MarkJohnSon

    MarkJohnSon
    Banned

    22 Jan, 2018 12:35 pm

    Great to see Emirates as big advocates of barista-made coffee. It's amazing that despite all the rapid advancement in machines and technology, having the human hand of barista involved in the process invariably leads to a superior cup of Joe.
    No member give thanks

  • Simon Coveney

    Covvers

    22 Jan, 2018 12:46 pm

    Mark,

    I certainly agree that any lounge of pedigree today ought to include barista-made coffee, but it is not really something that troubles me greatly. Call me old fashioned, but I a decent pot of drip coffee is all I need.

    What troubles me more is the woeful standard of wine in most lounges which, in all other respects, are top rate. For instance, I was in the CX Pier lounge last week and despite it being excellent in every respect, the selection and quality of wine is just woeful. I struggle to find any wine with any significant age on it.

    In my view, there should be less focus of barista made coffee and more focus on improving the selection of wines. I still fondly remember the old days with QF where the selection of wines was, whilst carefully considered, of extremely high quality.
    No member give thanks

  • PK

    PK

    22 Jan, 2018 10:17 pm

    Providing good coffee is appreciated by travellers, and is a lot less expensive for an airline than significantly improving the quality of the wine in the lounges.

    Bit like saying that you are not fussed that they provide fresh fruit, because you will make do with the tinned fruit, but really wish that the free caviar was better.
    No member give thanks

  • LP

    LP

    22 Jan, 2018 08:00 pm

    I’m not sure that coffee aficionados would class Costa as true barista grade mind...
    No member give thanks

  • Dean

    deanr

    22 Jan, 2018 01:00 pm

    Thanks for the review! I flew through Dubai recently but wasn't game to take any photos in the lounge (even a selfie) as Smart Traveller said it was illegal to photograph "airports and related transport infrastructure" in the UAE. Has that changed or does nobody actually care?
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    22 Jan, 2018 01:25 pm

    Hi Dean, it's a little different for media who have permission from the subject of the coverage (Emirates in this case), but even then, I just took out my SLR and snapped my photos, and nobody really cared anyway. For something innocent like a selfie at an airport, I'd like to think you'd be fine. (Not legal advice, of course, but it's not like the Sistine Chapel where there are guards stationed everywhere to stop you taking photos...)

    No member give thanks

  • Simon Coveney

    Covvers

    22 Jan, 2018 01:39 pm

    I can't see it being an issue most of the time, but I think Dean is right to take a sensibly cautious approach. Even a cursory perusal of recent media will quickly show how arcane and strict UAE law can be.

    I would, therefore, have to disagree with you Chris that it is worth taking the risk with a quick selfie. No selfie is worth an entanglement with UAE law enforcement or, worse still, time spent in a notorious UAE prison.

    I think this is just another case of the need to be overtly sensitive to the fact that different countries have different norms and legal standards.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    22 Jan, 2018 02:03 pm

    As I said, the above isn't legal advice: people are always responsible for their own actions and are capable of making their own decisions and applying common sense.

    Personally speaking though, I was taking photos around Dubai Airport for about four hours straight with a big (and rather noticeable) SLR camera, and during that time, nobody stopped to ask what I was doing or to ask if I had permission - so as I said, it's not like the Sistine Chapel where "NO PHOTO!" is barked every 30 seconds. :)

    (There's also a big difference between taking photos of yourself, your Champagne or the furniture in an airport lounge and taking photos of security checkpoints or of other restricted/sensitive areas, which is where most reports of issues seem to arise: again not legal advice.)

    No member give thanks

  • 346

    346

    22 Jan, 2018 02:06 pm

    Question for Chris or anyone who may know the answer.
    Is it possible pay to "upgrade" to the first class lounge when flying EK business? So basically pay the difference between the J & F entry fee.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    22 Jan, 2018 02:09 pm

    Yes, if you already have access to the business class lounge you can pay US$105 per person to upgrade to the first class lounge (US$136.50 if you're not a Skywards member). Children are chargeable but at half the normal rate per person.
    No member give thanks

  • grov

    grov

    22 Jan, 2018 03:23 pm

    How did you manage to find it so empty and with plenty of food? When I was there it was a zoo - overcrowded, nowhere to sit and hardly any food. And the lack of adequate restrooms was a disgrace. Won't fly Emirates J again if I can avoid this place.
    No member give thanks

  • MarkJohnSon

    MarkJohnSon
    Banned

    22 Jan, 2018 06:26 pm

    grov, you'll note that in the review text, Chris said it was really busy, taking some time to find a seat. Some of these photos may be stock photos, or photos adeptly taken by Chris at opportune moments.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    22 Jan, 2018 07:10 pm

    Both of the above. (You'll also notice in some photos that people's faces have been pixelated, etc., where necessary.)
    No member give thanks

  • antkleve

    antkleve

    22 Jan, 2018 05:22 pm

    I can’t say this lounge lights my candle. The sheer size of it makes it like a sizzler with Moët.
    No member give thanks

  • moa999

    moa999

    22 Jan, 2018 08:07 pm

    So there is this lounge and the First Class lounge above it (been to both)

    What are the other five EK lounges?
    No member give thanks

  • Simon Coveney

    Covvers

    22 Jan, 2018 08:20 pm

    Moa,

     
    I think you will find all the information you're looking for here:
     
    No member give thanks

  • y8w2ng

    y8w2ng

    23 Jan, 2018 01:15 am

    the shower is a no no for me.
    No member give thanks

  • Matthew Liu

    gapmatt

    23 Jan, 2018 07:02 am

    Lack of toilets is a serious issue, it is always packed with a line of 5 people or more.

    I resorted to going downstairs to the public toilet which was much quicker! When you gotta go, you gotta go!

    Please expand the toilets!!
    No member give thanks

  • flyingdoc

    flyingdoc

    24 Jan, 2018 04:14 pm

    Excellent review and photos. I must say this is the quietest and emptiest I have ever seen it. I fly through DXB very frequently and literally go out of my way to avoid using the Concourse B Business lounge. It is extremely crowded between 6AM - midday, which is around the time for my mid morning Brisbane departure. In fact crowded is putting it very mildly. One has to make multiple laps of the floor trying not to bump into fellow passengers in the narrow corridors before finding a spot to sit. On more than one occasion there was very little food left around breakfast time (and lunch, too) with food splattered on the floor around the buffet area giving it a very 'food court' like feel. Also, I wonder if it is just me but the lounge is quite uncomfortably warm throughout the day. Must be the heat from all that glass. Absolutely agree with the others regarding the woeful lack of loos. Queues snaking out into the corridor! I have ducked out to the 'public' toilets downstairs as I was busting, come back up relieved and the queue had barely moved on more than a couple of occasions. If I have a couple of hours or more between my connections and I'm arriving at/departing from Concourse B, I just take the train to Concourse A and snag a day bed in the quiet zone in the farthest corner, snooze a bit and catch the train back to B to board. My experiences have been that unpleasant that I prefer catching the train to A! Sheesh. I may sound way too complainy considering it's a premium lounge and all but these are my honest thoughts after dozens of experiences at B.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    24 Jan, 2018 04:21 pm

    The 'empty' photos were taken before the lounge opened to the public following the refurbishments. The lounge was very busy during my visit, so had to revert to using these earlier 'empty' photos of the same space as it was too busy to photograph in places.
    No member give thanks

  • bl812

    bl812

    24 Jan, 2018 07:51 pm

    Why this is a business class lounge when anybody can get in if they pay?Every time I was there had to wait in line for the loos,a pathetic zoo nothing else,since than only fly via Singapore EK business class sux anyway specially the 777
    No member give thanks

  • Ric OSHEA

    holden

    24 Jan, 2018 08:04 pm

    I was there in April on my way to the UK. It was the concourse B lounge and as many have mentioned, finding a place to sit was an issue. The toilets were even worse with the queue extending to 20 people and like a previous poster I went downstairs. To say i was underwhelmed would be putting it mildly. The food was mediocre and my cup of tea was served with lukewarm water. It was my first impression of Dubai and based on that I am in no hurry to go back.
    No member give thanks

  • Dr Al

    Dr Al

    26 Jan, 2018 07:40 pm

    I really do not like this lounge. I'ts busier every time I pass through there. Why anyone would pay to get in is beyond me! The toilets, as commented on already are too few and there is always a line up for them. One can not criticise their cleanliness though, I've had the mop swishing at my heels as I walked out! The showers also are too few for the number of patrons through the lounge. I have been fortunate on my last 4 visits to have access to the first lounge, which to my eyes offers the same product, only with fewer people. In terms of business lounge supremacy in the Gulf, I have to say Doha wins hands down.
    No member give thanks

  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    28 Jan, 2018 06:57 pm

    The lounge at the A concourse is my usual place to stop by and I do find it far quieter than the others. I may be in minority but I don't mind at all the QF stop in Dubai and certainly enjoy the visit to the Emirates lounge. The QF Singapore lounge is fine but have got used DXB now.
    No member give thanks

  • Mr Mink

    Mr Mink

    6 Feb, 2018 10:33 pm

    I do not go via DXB that often, but the lack of snooze chaise longues, as in pic was noticeable after the rebuild. Just nowhere actually quiet you could have a snooze in between flights (as not in J, merely QF gold). If you want good wine, you really must try the AKL EK lounge, my fave. The relatively rare never seen in bottle shops Kiwi chardys and pinot etc change there relatively often and I actually look forward to a visit - as against QF lounges with their bulk buy same the world over wines - boring!
    No member give thanks

Guest

16 Aug, 2018 01:08 am

×
×

Forgot Password

If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.

×