Review: Marhaba Lounge, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

On our United Airlines flights from Doha – Dubai – Washington Dulles, we had a brief stopover back in Dubai. We made the most of this by enjoying the contracted Marhaba Lounge in Dubai Terminal 1.

This post is one chapter in our trip to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and the Maldives on United Airlines and Etihad Airways. This trip was booked and credited to Aeroplan and Etihad Preferred Guest. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Marhaba Lounge, Dubai Terminal 1, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

On arrival in Dubai Terminal One, we tried to make the most of our stopover, we headed through security and right to the other end of the terminal to the Lufthansa Senator / Star Gold Lounge. Facing disappointment, we were again denied entry by the dragon: “It’s full”. I’m guessing that this was likely due to the delay of the United flight, in addition to several LH flights leaving at the same time. We were directed across the hall to the Marhaba Pay per use lounge to oversized castle doors that finally opened to us. Thanks to the Star Alliance being full, they were able to welcome us to this contract lounge.

Marhaba Lounge, Dubai Terminal 3

After a few phone calls to confirm we were in the right spot by the veiled Marhaba dragons, we were admitted. The lounge was also a member of the Priority Pass Program, so you may be able to get entry through a credit card.

Inside the Marhaba Lounge:

We were admitted to a lounge that was a strange cross between an Indian and Italian décor. Given the late hour, it had stacks of people sleeping in all sorts of positions.

Italian Arab Decor
A place like home

Food and Beverage:

There were small amounts of food on offer (curry and sandwiches) and a small wine / alcohol serving station. You’d probably guess I was an alcoholic with all the mention of the liquor throughout this report, but aside from the airline lounges, the resorts, and the Champs Bar in Male, we didn’t see a drop of liquor available for purchase on the whole trip. This situation was evident everywhere as you saw the Westerners getting one last drink as they got on their flights around the world, even here in the airport. 

Food and Beverage Station including Spirits


The Marhaba Lounge was the sort of place that you’d visit if you had nowhere else to be. The decor was a little strange – a cross between Italian and Arab influenced styles. As a result of many oddly timed flights, having access to a lounge in Dubai will certainly make your departure more comfortable. Thanks to being accessible through Priority Pass, it remains an option among many at Dubai Terminal 3.

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