Qatar Airways Al Mourjan business class lounge, Doha Hamad Airport

Review: Qatar Airways Al Mourjan business class lounge, Doha Hamad Airport

Country:
Qatar
City:
Doha
Airport:
Doha
Cabin Class:
Business
Alliance:
oneworld
Airline:
QR (Qatar Airways)

location:

dining:

work:

overall:

What's Hot

  • Not one, but two restaurants
  • Extensive business amenities
  • Privacy a'plenty

What's Not

  • No separate wireless Internet network

X-Factor

  • Stunning water feature, staircase

Introduction

Featuring two distinct restaurants, a cocktail bar and even an infinity pool below an elaborate five-tier chandelier, Qatar Airways' Al Mourjan lounge at Doha's Hamad International Airport is easily one of the world's best.

With seating for up to 1,000 business class guests, there's no shortage of room here with high ceilings throughout and enough floor space to comfortably house 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Join Australian Business Traveller as we take you through Qatar Airways' flagship international business class lounge at its home hub of Doha, Qatar.

Location & Impressions

After clearing transit security for travellers flying onwards or passport control for those departing Qatar, look for the giant teddy bear sculpture... ... and if you're facing it from the same angle as in our photo, take a left and then the clearly-signed escalator up to the Al Mourjan lounge.

Inside, the first thing you'll notice is the sheer sense of space, with high ceilings throughout, privacy galore and a variety of zones tailored to different needs... ... not to mention an elaborate water feature and Q-shaped staircase leading up to one of the dining rooms: We wandered around for 20 minutes and still hadn't explored all the lounge had to offer, but maps are fortunately on-hand to help get your bearings.

The lounge's central location puts it in a great spot for all gates, but as travellers flying to Australia complete a second round of security screening at the gate, consider leaving the lounge a little earlier than usual when heading home.

Access

The Al Mourjan lounge opens its doors only to Qatar Airways business class and first class flyers, plus those of fellow Oneworld airlines British Airways, Royal Jordanian and SriLankan Airlines.

Frequent flyers stuck in economy are instead shipped to smaller, less extravagant lounges, but we're told that from time to time, Platinum and Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers are invited to use the Al Mourjan lounge when the separate Platinum frequent flyer lounge is full.

Qatar Airways and other Oneworld first class passengers may also visit the airline's newly-opened Al Safwa lounge.

Also read: Qatar Airways’ Doha lounge access explained

Dining

Travellers with time on their hands can ascend that Q staircase for the lounge's main dining room and a full a la carte meal service with nine dishes on the menu... ... from which we chose the prime beef fillet steak with roast potatoes, garden vegetables and a black peppercorn sauce – and weren't disappointed... ... nor were we with the 2009 Chateau Monbousquet Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, a Bordeaux red to pair with the dish. Travellers enjoying shorter stays can also select from a wide range of ready-made items from the nearby buffets, with one wing devoted to tasty light bites... ... and the other more substantial meals like Indian butter chicken, prawn biryani, penne pasta and more: Centred between them is a tended bar, where the staff can mix up cocktails... ... and pour your choice of bubbly, either the Philipponnat Rosé or the Laurent-Perrier Champagne. Prefer something more laidback? Head downstairs to the opposite end of the lounge where you'll find another dining space... ... in this case with a sandwich menu that heroes chicken, roast beef, smoked salmon and lamb, while still providing two options for vegetarians: Our pick of the lot? The deli roast lamb with cucumber, tomato, onion, lettuce and minted mayonnaise on olive loaf... ... while the roast beef on rye with gherkin, tomato, onion, lettuce and grainy mustard also holds its own. All in all, for a lounge purely catering to business class passengers, it's among the best in the world at chow time and gives travellers en route to Europe the ability to maximise their sleep in the air from Australia, before enjoying a nice meal while in transit.

Work

Business and corporate flyers are well and truly catered for here, beginning with an array of solo seats where you can work in privacy without being up close to anyone else... ... and if you need to plug in, you'll find both AC and USB power outlets near each lamp, which accept Australian, UK, European pins and many others without needing an adaptor. Duos and groups will also find appropriate seating for collaboration or catch-ups... ... and for any serious work, a separate business centre goes far beyond the odd chair and table, taking on a very office-like feel with meeting rooms, printing facilities and group tables... ... plus ample workstations for travellers not carrying their own tech:

The only downside is that Qatar Airways doesn't operate a separate, private WiFi network for its lounge guests, who can instead access the free terminal-wide wireless service provided by Hamad International Airport.

We clocked upload and download speeds at around 1Mbps during our visit: certainly on the slower side, but which was still perfectly usable for tasks like sending and receiving emails and basic web browsing.

Relax

This is one of those lounges where a delayed flight almost becomes welcome news as you kick back and enjoy a cocktail, a freshly-made coffee... ... or even browse a magazine by the infinity pool with dancing water features. We know what you're thinking, but no, you can't take a dip. You can, however, freshen up in one of many private shower suites before retreating to a day bed for a snooze on longer layovers... ... to one of the 'family rooms' when travelling with children or even just a work group... ... to the centre of the lounge for a secluded space to await your flight in comfort... ... or to one of the many comfy and widely-spaced chairs nearby the windows if natural light is what you seek. Each of those seats also comes with its own fixed tablet, allowing you to check on your flight as boarding calls aren't made here, or to surf the Web for the latest news. Oh, there's also a foosball table, multiple Playstation consoles and an F1 racing simulator... ... and if that's not enough to keep you busy, a spread of newspapers and magazines also awaits, with many English language titles.

All that's missing is a day spa that you'd find in the business class lounges of Etihad, Thai Airways and Virgin Atlantic, but with so much to see, eat and explore, we spent five hours here without noticing its absence.

Also read: Qatar Airways to fly Airbus A380 to Sydney from September

Chris Chamberlin travelled to Doha as a guest of Qatar Airways.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

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!
 

19 comments

  • Jono

    Jono

    12 May, 2016 08:53 am

    Nice looking lounge, albeit a little big. I'm a little confused about your statement that it's open to '...Qatar Airways business class and first class flyers, plus those of fellow Oneworld airlines British Airways, Royal Jordanian and SriLankan Airlines'.

    Do you know what the situation for other OneWorld business class passengers is? (Perhaps I skipped something there). Is there still a lounge access rule in OneWorld that says if you have a business class ticket on a OneWorld carrier you can use any OneWorld lounge at that departing airport? 

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    12 May, 2016 09:27 am

    There is, but these are the only other Oneworld airlines currently serving Doha, so they were named in the article. :)

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  • banker

    banker

    12 May, 2016 10:31 am

    Great article! 

    From personal experience I can just add that it's worth to ask about champagne in upstairs restaurant. Last two time we got Krug served to the table. 

    Member who gave thanks

    iM

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    12 May, 2016 12:12 pm

    Hi Banker, we'd heard about this and asked the staff during our visit, but were advised that Krug is now only available in the Al Safwa lounge, as it was originally stocked in the Al Mourjan lounge for first class passengers (and those that knew to ask) before Al Safwa opened. :) How recently did you enjoy it in Al Mourjan?

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  • travs

    travs

    13 May, 2016 12:53 am

    There's a relatively big thread on Krug sightings in Al Moujan. Last I checked a month or so ago, it's: a) only available sometimes - they get an allotment and when they run out, it's gone until next allotment vs. Al Safwa which has it all the time and b) it's only available at the bar and by request. So, stroll up to a bartender and ask; you may get lucky.

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  • travs

    travs

    13 May, 2016 12:53 am

    Sorry, meant that the thread is on FT.

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  • eija

    eija

    12 May, 2016 03:00 pm

    Looking forward to this on Monday. Chris, I have Al Maha fast track through security. My transit time is 1hr 45min there & 3hrs back. Would like to spend max chill out time in here. Could you give me an idea of the scale of Hamad Airport. Can't seem to find a decent map of Hamad Airport.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    12 May, 2016 03:18 pm

    The Al Maha team will get you through the airport quickly – I had a booking with them also which meant no wait time at security. The teddy bear is basically your centre of the airport and is where you come out from transit security – from there you're about 1 minute away from the Al Mourjan, and 10 minutes from the furthest gate at a brisk pace. Your only delay will be if your flight arrives at a remote stand and you have to be bussed in, which can take 10-20 minutes of your transit time.

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  • mitchimus

    mitchimus

    12 May, 2016 03:14 pm

    Great article and i can certainly concur that this is one of the best lounge experiences I've had. The rack of lamb I had in the restaurant upstairs was excellent as was the breakfast I had in the less formal dining room on the main level of the lounge. Fantatsic staff who are helpful but unobtrusive as well.

    Member who gave thanks

    1 guest

  • BevanMcBevan

    BevanMcBevan

    13 May, 2016 03:40 pm

    Chris, Is there a review of the Al Safwa Lounge? And, could a One World Platinum flying in Qatar Business gain entry?

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    13 May, 2016 04:44 pm

    No review yet of Al Sawfa, and no, it's strictly first class passengers only regardless of Oneworld status. Your business class ticket would get you into Al Mourjan, so use that instead of Qatar's separate 'First Class Lounge' which is really a Oneworld Emerald lounge for economy travellers.

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  • Richard Wall

    QFFPlat

    13 May, 2016 04:15 pm

    Looks amazing Chris - i'm sure you could have spent much longer there !  I'll be travelling through Doha with my family in 6 weeks on our way to Barcelona.  We are all travelling on points in economy unfortunately.  Our lay over is 4.5 hous between flights - what is the chance of getting access as a Platinum, and if not what is the Platinum lounge like ?  i was expecting the Qatar lounge to be of a similar std to the Emirates in Dubai - but if they are excluding OneWorld Emerald FF from accessing their Business Lounge I'll make certain I route through Dubai in future.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    13 May, 2016 04:45 pm

    Zero chance unless the 'First Class Lounge' is full. We'll be running a review of it sooner or later, but it's much smaller with no hot food and a much more limited drink selection. There are still showers though, and as a family you might like to use the family room in the centre of the 'First Class Lounge', with lounge chairs tucked away behind a frosted glass door. :)

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  • Richard Wall

    QFFPlat

    13 May, 2016 04:59 pm

    Thanks for the quick response Chris.

    Sounds pretty ordinary by the competition stds.  The Emirates tie-in with Qantas gives us access to their first class lounge which I am sure you know is pretty special. I was expecting a similar std with Qatar and I am pretty surpised Qatar's First class lounge doesnt even have hot food !  Thy are no doubt competing as a Middle East Hub, but I certainly won't route through there by choice now.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    13 May, 2016 05:38 pm

    Yes, Qatar's true first class lounge is the Al Safwa lounge which is open only to passengers actually flying in first class, while the 'First Class Lounge' is really just a Oneworld Emerald lounge for guests booked in economy.

    (If you're flying Qatar Airways from Australia and you're Qantas Platinum you can still use the great Qantas First lounge before your flight, and you can use the same lounge as business class passengers in Barcelona). :)

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  • Richard Wall

    QFFPlat

    13 May, 2016 06:10 pm

    Flying via Hong Kong actually - Cathay allows Oneworld Emerald flyers accessto their Wing First class lounge as long as they are flying  on a Oneworld partner airline -  an enlightened view that Qatar should think about.

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  • James11

    James11

    21 May, 2016 01:55 am

    Just flew threw Doha and after our return, will probably never do it again.  The airport is amazing and so is the business lounge.  It is huge and that staircase is something to behold!

    Everything is perfect - understated elegance; however the bathrooms (or lack there of) let them down.  I was forth in que to us the bathroom at 5am,  My partner was told a 30min wait at 6am from the quiet showers behind the bistro and a seven person wait for the main showers - what new airport builds an undercapacity for the amenities?!?  The lounge is way ahead of the changai T3 J lounge, but neither of us have ever have to que to use the bathroom at SIN...

    And i did make several comments to my partner that the lounge disign was perfect.

     

    P.S. this was the best cheese ommlette I have ever had...

     

    Amenities let them down...

     

    #GROUNDQATARDISSAPOINTING

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  • BevanMcBevan

    BevanMcBevan

    1 May, 2017 12:13 pm

    Yes it's a great lounge and really hard to complain about. Krug? I asked, as a polite gent would, and was informed that it is no longer making an appearance - if only I was flying First home (DOH/SYD).

    On a side note. The Hamad Airport has a 'pay for spa' that really is very good. I wanted the swim (yes, it's 25m) and paid a little extra for just on an hour massage. Great quality too, knew his stuff. Then squeezed in my 30min swim session that I missed while away. Great shower, all cleaned up and spick and span!

    If you are swanning about in Hamad do this, it's well worth it.
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  • Peter  Quirk

    PQ666

    13 Jun, 2019 02:52 pm

    Like many other QR first time pax, I was looking forward to the lounge. The facilities are great, the lounge huge but I arrived at 0530 and traipses through the confusing and poorly sign posted airport. The staff on the ground are typical of Middle East guest workers, not helpful or say no rather than yes because it’s the safe option and they won’t get into trouble. Once in the Al Mourjan lounge, the shower queues were 45 minutes and the lines for the gentlemen’s toilet snaked out the door. For a huge lounge, QR has hopelessly underestimated the number of showers and toilets. Next time I’m back to flying Etihad. Abu Dhabi Business first and business lounge leaves Doha lounges for dead in the basic necessities of going to the bathroom!
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Guest

18 Jul, 2019 05:28 pm

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