Review: The Emirates First Class Lounge – Dubai Terminal 3B, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Emirates First Class Lounge in Dubai, United Arab Emirates is one of the flagship lounges in the global Emirates Lounge network. Thanks to its consistent First Class Cabins across it’s fleet, and the ability to connect to many worldwide destinations through its hub in Dubai, Emirates is well poised to offer an upscale first class experience. We tested out their Emirates First Class Lounge in Dubai Terminal Three “B” Concourse prior to our Emirates First Class Dubai – Los Angeles flight.
This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines AAdvantage & Alaska Mileage Plan. 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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Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates via Emirates First Class, South African Airways Business Class and Qatar Airlines Business Class
- American Airlines First Class: Vancouver – Los Angeles
- American Airlines AAdmirals Club: Los Angeles
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge: Los Angeles
- Qatar Airways Business Class: Los Angeles – Doha
- The Westin Hotel and Spa, Doha, Qatar
- Souq Wahif, Doha, Qatar
- Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar
- Qatar Airways Business Class: Doha – Johannesburg
- The Slow Lounge, O.R. Tambo Domestic, Johannesburg, South Africa
- British Airways Club Class: Johannesburg – Cape Town
- The Westin Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
- Winelands of Paarl, South Africa
- Shark Diving at Gaansbai, South Africa
- The Hermanus Coastal Walk, Hermanus, South Africa
- Returning to Stellenbosch & Franschoek, South Africa
- A Repeat Visit to the Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
- Air Namibia: Cape Town – Windhoek
- Overland Travel: Driving to the Desert; Windhoek – Sesriem
- The Sossus Dune Lodge, Sesriem, Namibia
- The Majestic Sand Dunes of Sossusvlei, Namibia
- Overland Travel: Sesriem – Walvis Bay, Namibia
- The Pelican Point Lodge, Walvis Bay, Namibia
- Overland Travel: Walvis Bay – Spittskope – Windhoek, Namibia
- The Hilton Windhoek, Namibia
- Air Namibia Windhoek – Maun – Victoria Falls
- The Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Stopping Hippopotamus on a Zambezi River Cruise, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Feeling the Smoke that Thunders, a day at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- British Airways Club Business Class: Victoria Falls – Johannesburg
- The Hyatt Regency Johannesburg
- South African Airways Business Class: Johannesburg – Mauritius
- The St Regis Mauritius, Le Morne, Mauritius
- Emirates First Class: Mauritius – Dubai
- The Grosvenor House, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- The Heat of the Desert at Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
- Emirates First Class Lounge Terminal “B” Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Emirates First Class: Dubai – Los Angeles
- Alaska Airlines Board Room Lounge, Los Angeles
- Alaska Airlines First Class: Los Angeles – Seattle
- Delta Sky Club Lounge Seattle South Terminal
- Delta Airlines First Class: Seattle – Vancouver
Review: The Emirates First Class Lounge – Dubai Terminal 3B, Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates
“The Emirates First Class Lounge offered a quiet, if not austere, place to relax prior to your flight in stark contrast to the busy Dubai Terminal Concourse”
After a few days of enjoyable heat, Jumeriah Beach time and some exploring to Al Ain, it was time again to leave Dubai and start the journey back to Vancouver, Canada.
We took the complimentary limousine transfer from The Grosvenor House to the Dubai International Airport Terminal 3. The hotel offered a brand new white Ford Expedition today, presumably because they had heard that MrsWT73 had a lot of luggage. It was about 30 minutes up the road and we were at the airport.
Checking into Emirates First Class:
Emirates offers a dedicated check in area for First and Business Class passengers for our upcoming Emirates First Class Dubai – Los Angeles flight. It wasn’t a very first class or exclusive experience. It was quite reminiscent of a bus terminal with streams of people checking in and line ups for the First Class check in desk. There was no swish-ness or elegance here, since there were literally hundreds of people streaming through. They weren’t on top of you, but you were sharing the space with all their business class travellers. Since Emirates has a global hub in Dubai, this was a lot of travellers.
Our check in agent had some trouble with the on line passport information system linkage and it took about 10 minutes to get the check in fully processed. We were able to get our boarding cards and checked bags processed all the way through to Seattle, including our connecting Alaska Airlines First Class Los Angeles – Seattle flight. Our check in agent provided no instructions on how to access the lounge so we figured we would just find it on our own.
After the check in, we headed down the long corridor towards the general exit immigration check points. There was no fast track offering and we queued with every other Emirates business class passenger departing in the morning.
Locating the Emirates First Class Lounge:
Dubai International Airport – Terminal 3 B
It is worth noting that there are several Emirates First Class Lounges at the Dubai International Airport. Emirates First Class lounges exist in Terminal 3 at Concourses “A”, “B” and “C”. Today’s visit was to Emirates First Class Lounge in Concourse “B”.
After the security screening and check point, a confusing set up directing passengers to either Terminal A or Terminal B & C. We headed up to the B Gate area as our flight was departing from B14. The First Class and Business Class check in deposits you directly into the middle of the airport. The Emirates First Class Lounge access is located in the middle of the “B” Gates Concourse.
It was my first time in the Dubai International Airport “B” concourse and what a crowded sea of traveling humanity it was. It was very similar to passing through the Istanbul Ataturk and the crowding that seems to happen there. It didn’t make for a relaxing travel experience.
I had hoped to see the large Emirates First Class Lounge in Terminal “A” that was supposed to be the largest in the world. Unfortunately, through a gap in my research, I didn’t get the opportunity to research this in advance and had assumed on arrival at the airport that it would be obvious which one was their flagship lounge. I asked Emirates ground staff and airport staff where the largest First Class Lounge was but despite asking two sets of people, none of the Emirates staff knew which one was the biggest and best. Nor, did we get any consistent direction or information about the locations of the First Class lounges.
After being mis directed by a staffer over to Terminal C for 25 minutes walk there and back, we ended up back at Terminal B First Class lounge. All in all it was a bit disappointing not to get to see the largest First Class Lounge in the world, but the old First Class Lounge near the B Gates was a nice and pleasant, if not a super remarkable space.
Accessing the Emirates First Class Lounge:
Emirates offers access to its first class lounge on a limited basis.
Entry to the Emirates First Class is complimentary for First Class passengers and eligible Emirates Skywards customers.
Emirates most frequent fliers in the Emirates Skywards Platinum category are afforded access to the Emirates First Class lounge, with 1 guest and 2 children also permitted to accompany them.
Most recently, Emirates is allowing paid access to the Emirates First Class Lounge for $300 USD per passenger, or a more reasonable upgrade from the Emirates Business Class Lounge to the Emirates First Class Lounge for $150 USD per person. These upgrade charges are also subject to the United Arab Emirates 5% local tax.
We had some more minor challenges getting into the lounge as the boarding cards did not permit automatic entry, but with some comments of “Alaska” the lounge dragon agents were able to figure out their work around’s. There was a prior issue of Alaska Airline reward tickets not being recognized in the Emirates computer system to afford lounge access. The staff cleared up that issue and we were granted entry courtesy of the first class cabin of our departing ticket.
It’s worth noting that despite having priority services as premium passengers, it took us approximately 1 hr and 20 minutes to get from the car drop off, through check in, baggage bag drop, exit customs, security and a 25 minute mis-direct walk. We arrived to the airport at 3 hours before the departure time of our flight, but this really didn’t leave us a lot of lounging or exploring time to check out anywhere else.
Inside the Emirates First Class Lounge:
Getting inside the Emirates First Class Lounge, it was a nice space inside. There were lots of spaces to sit, as can be expected for a First Class Lounge. The lounge itself was the most serene and peaceful part of the Emirates Dubai departure experience as everywhere else was just crowded!
One of the nicest features of the Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai was the amount of available seating space. The lounge covered a large portion of the floor above the regular departure concourse and had a lot of room. I found the place a little austere and not super exciting; moreover it was a pleasant place to hang out with many quiet corners.
The lounge had lots of different spaces; some spacious and some more confined. Some were opulent, whereas others were more functional. The Emirates First Class Lounge stretched on for what felt like miles, making it one of the more empty First Class Lounges I’ve had the opportunity to visit.
The shape of the Dubai International Airport windows also offered plenty of natural daylight into the lounge through giant triangular shaped windows.
I had some challenges getting connected to the Wifi, which didn’t particularly work very well. I was never actually able to connect to it.
There was a very small area where you could board direct from the lounge, although it didn’t appear that any flights were actively using this feature.
The Emirates First Class Dining Room:
Once we had orientated ourselves inside, we went for a table service breakfast. There was an ample breakfast menu was offered. The table service was prompt and attentive. There was also a small buffet available (not pictured), but why have buffet eggs when you can have fresh ones?
I had soft poached eggs, a rarity on our Middle Eastern and African travels, paired with a cold glass of Moet and Chandon champagne. A fabulous bread basket was also offered. The ability to dine in the lounge with a proper breakfast has always been a terrific way to start a flight.
We enjoyed a great breakfast, which was probably the highlight of our lounge visit. In other food and beverage items, as we left, there were also some snack areas for the collection of fresh buffet styled food.
There was a small wine shop that was located inside the lounge. The prices were slightly better than street, but there were no great deals.
Given the distance between terminals, we were not able to get to any of the other lounges since they were about 20 minutes walk, or in some cases, 15 minutes away by train.
The Bottom Line: The Emirates First Class Lounge
All in all, Emirates First Class Terminal “B” was a mostly pleasant place to spend some time in, although there wasn’t much to do there. The lounge did feature lots of space, which was much nicer than the busier concourses below. Although I was really disappointed at the time for not getting to the flagship Emirates Terminal “A” First Class Lounge, the “B” lounge was pretty good, if not super memorable. If you’re through here, come for a pleasant breakfast and some quiet time before you head off around the world.