Pay to use Emirates business class, first class lounges at Dubai

Pay to use Emirates business class, first class lounges at Dubai

UPDATE 2019 | Emirates will now let weary travellers pay their way into its airport lounges in Dubai and around the world, regardless of their frequent flyer status or class of travel.

The Gulf airline and Qantas partner is charging Skywards members without lounge access US$105 (A$150) for four hours' access to its business class lounges, and US$210 (A$300) for the first class lounges. Business class travellers can also pay their way into the first class lounge for US$105.

If you're hanging out at the Dubai Concourse B business class lounge, we suggest you make a beeline for the Moët & Chandon champagne bar and the selection of canapés created to complement each champagne.

(Travelling on holidays with your kids? Children aged 2-12 years pay half the above rate, while infants under two years get into the lounge free.)

If you happen to stay more than four hours, even due to "flight disruptions and delays", Emirates reserves the right to hit you up for an additional US$100 (for the business class lounge) or $200 (in the first class lounge) to cover a further four hours.

Skywards Gold and Silver members, who already enjoy access to Emirates’ business class lounges at Dubai, can also plonk down US$105 to be upgraded to the airport's sprawling first class lounges and tuck into their extensive food and drink selection.

Non-Skywards members can purchase access in Dubai only at higher rates – that's US$130 (A$186) for business class lounges and US$250 (A$$357) for the first class lounges. If you're not planning on attaching another airline's frequent flyer number to your Emirates booking, then it's highly advisable to sign up for Skywards Blue and link that to your booking to save up to $57 on lounge access without any other work.

For selected Emirates lounges around the rest of the world, such as Sydney, Perth and Melbourne, Skywards Silver and Blue passengers can part ways with US$100 (A$143) for access, while Gold, Platinum, business and first class guests can pay the same to bring in extra guests above their entitlement. You'll need to be travelling on an Emirates flight, as the terms & conditions make no exception even for the flights of Emirates' partner Qantas.

Note that you'll need to be an entry-level or Blue member of the airline's Skywards frequent flyer scheme to buy your way into these worldwide lounges.

(Fortunately, you can sign up for Skywards online, and there's no cost – but this shouldn't be something you do while you're at the airport).

Naturally, the pay-to-enter lounge access is "subject to capacity restrictions", so a series of delayed flights – as can happen during the UAE's winter fogs – could see some would-be lounge lizards stuck on the wrong side of the door.

Additional reporting by Brandon Loo

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • Matt J


    13 Jan, 2017 10:22 pm

    Did they get something from VA's books that we don't know of yet?
    No member give thanks

  • Mal


    13 Jan, 2017 10:57 pm

    Hmmm. I can see that for up to four hours between flights such as a transit, US$100 would be worth it for many people if you could take a shower and enjoy a good meal and a few drinks and find a comfortable place to sit, recharge your iPad etc. US$200 for first class a bit harder to justify even though the food and drink is much better. Not sure how Emirates will be able to police that four hour rule, are they going to have staff randomly checking guests?
    No member give thanks

  • Doubleplatinum


    14 Jan, 2017 03:04 pm

    Who would want to spend more than 4 hours in a lounge?
    No member give thanks

  • Mal


    14 Jan, 2017 03:39 pm

    Somebody who has a transit time of longer than four hours between flights, like QF1 to anything, and also many EK services to destinations served by just one or two flights a day. Or somebody stuck in the lounge for longer than planned owing to delay or cancellation of their EK flight, as the article mentions.
    No member give thanks

  • Ryan Stephen


    16 Jan, 2017 09:58 pm

    Maybe they'll give guests a card or something that starts the clock when you enter the lounge. It would be connected to your FF number and all details and maybe GPS so you don't runaway with it to avoid the fee
    No member give thanks

  • SMM


    18 Jan, 2017 05:00 pm

    Not sure you would even get a shower. Recent trip to LHR with a Dubai Stopover and access to the First Class lounge when trying to get a shower booking - no luck. All booked and the lounge mostly empty. Good luck with extra guests.
    No member give thanks

  • Looking


    14 Jan, 2017 12:02 am

    Comes back to the theme of business travel in economy - how you can have the best experience. With the $100 claimable then this is another win for economy on business. Air France allows paid for access to ivory level Flying Blue members already as an FYI.
    No member give thanks

  • worldwanderer


    14 Jan, 2017 12:17 am

    The EK Dubai lounge for all it's glitz and glamour and huge size has a woeful shortage of showers. Unless you have a long layover the waiting list us usually so long you will be boarding before your turn is available.

    I would be mightily pee'd off if I paid $100 and couldn't have a shower.
    Member who gave thanks


  • p182


    15 Jan, 2017 12:22 am

    I couldn't agree more! I've had eight 2-3 hour stops in Dubai over the last couple of years and I've never been able to get a shower in the business lounge. No such problem in Singapore, Hong Kong etc. And the queuing system is rather chaotic. Your name gets added to a list and they say they will find you but you have to sit nearby and there's not many places to sit nearby. Why they can't give you a pager like other lounges is a mystery to me.
    No member give thanks

  • simon drakeley


    15 Jan, 2017 06:58 am

    Why can't they install more showers? Ridiculous queue system after 14hr flight from oz onto Europe of course people want a shower! Install more emi
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0


    14 Jan, 2017 09:08 am

    Jeez what a rip...i once paid AU$40 for 8hrs in AKL airnz lounge which was far better value
    No member give thanks

  • Chris


    17 Jan, 2017 12:31 pm

    "on an Emirates flight" does this mean with an EK flight number or on EK metal or both?
    No member give thanks

  • Mal


    17 Jan, 2017 12:54 pm

    According to "This benefit of paid lounge access is available only at Emirates Lounges at Dubai International Airport and only in case onward travel is on an Emirates flight." It isn't any more specific so if you're thinking of using this feature maybe contact Emirates for clarification.
    No member give thanks

  • sgb


    17 Jan, 2017 01:53 pm

    Hope this doesn't create a less than Business or less than First appearance or feeling. I think EK are very brave allowing punters to buy their way into First in particular.
    No member give thanks

  • Dave


    17 Jan, 2017 05:27 pm

    Ill be sure to wear my best pair of thongs and singlet
    Member who gave thanks


  • bl812


    19 Jan, 2017 12:18 pm

    don't have any idea when this pics were taken but if you've ever been in the business class lounges in Dubai -it's always overcrowded-now the 'plebs' can buy their way in-can't believe it that emirates is so desperate to grab the cash-business class lounges should be only available who purchase a business class ticket after all  we pay at least 2-3 times more for the privilege,the first class lounge is exactly the same  on the lesser terminalB minus the crowd but to pay an extra 133AS it"s ridiculous for already flying business class people.Probably will fly via Doha with Qatar in the future
    No member give thanks


19 Jul, 2019 02:08 am


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