By way of introducing my recent trip overseas to Dubai and Australia, I invite you inside my experience flying with Emirates Airline, particularly their Business Class Lounges in New York’s JFK International Airport, Dubai International Airport, and Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine). I flew the non-traditional route from the United States with a stopover in Dubai to and from Australia. Dubai International is the main hub for Emirates Airline, which operates flights to and from over 150 cities in 80 countries across six continents.
This was not only my first time flying with Emirates, it was also my first flying through Dubai and to Australia. During my air travels, I had the opportunity to visit the exclusive Emirates Business Class Lounges in New York, Dubai, and Melbourne. Each lounge was luxurious and with their own distinctive cultural elements that reflect that particular country or region, particularly with the culinary offerings and reading selection at hand. Their signature treat, found in every lounge, was their pitted Medjool date, some stuffed with a candied orange peel, coconut or a nut variety. Find the dates close to the espresso machines.
In each terminal, the lounge is private though easy to find. In New York JFK’s Terminal 4, for example, head up one level and turn left. In Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3, the lounge is a world in of itself, in fact it is its own terminal. Terminal 3 has multiple separate lounges. I had the opportunity to experience the lounges in both concourse A and B.
If you are already familiar with the perks of airport lounges, there’s a reason why Emirates Business Class Lounge is so legendary. Reeling from its size, amenities, and the immense of array of food and drinks, I arrived to the airport four hours early purposely so I could tour, relax, and gain the full Emirates experience. Upon arrival to both New York and Dubai’s lounge, I went straight for the showers, which provide washcloths, hand towels, personal toiletries such as shavers, tooth brushes, and a shower cap, shampoo, conditioner, soap, and a hair dryer. Having the opportunity to shower before and or during a layover is heaven on earth. I felt so refreshed afterward that I went straight for a cappuccino, and a spot of breakfast.
In New York, there is a wide selection of hot and cold breakfast dishes available buffet style, such as omelets, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, cereal, fresh fruit, breads, pastries, and so much more. Freshly brewed coffee, tea, juices, Voss water, Moët & Chandon champagne, liqueur, wine, beer, soda, and more are available to drink. I had the pleasure of enjoying a small eggs benedict, fresh fruit, water, tea, and a croissant for breakfast before my flight to Dubai.
In addition to the spacious dining section, there is a lounge section with comfortable chairs and easy viewing of the flights taxiing and taking off, in addition to large screen televisions, a separate bar space, and an office space with desktop computers. Complimentary WiFi access is available in all lounges and the convenience of a charging station for phones, tablets, and more.
In Dubai, when I was flying to Melbourne, the lounge in concourse A was not as busy, verses when I was flying home where there were at least quadruple the amount of guests. This is where my recommendation of going straight for the showers is strongly advised. Not only will you feel immediately refreshed and relaxed, you will have the opportunity to tour the lounge and have the full experience without feeling rushed. Though drinks (opened or not) are not permitted onboard your flight, take the time to enjoy the wide variety of options available to you while in the lounge.
The cuisine is a blend of western and middle eastern cuisine and is all halal. For lunch and dinner, enjoy a selection of pastas, freshly prepared salads with olives and avocado, a selection of rolls, breads, muffins, cheeses, chicken and beef dishes, vegetarian and vegan options, fresh hummus and Muhammara dips, fattoush, stews, sandwiches, soups, and so much more.
For dessert, enjoy a selection of miniature cheesecakes, cookies, fruit tarts, and traditional middle eastern pastries such as Ma’amoul, baklava, basbousa, Kunefe, and Aish Al Saraya. There was even an ice cream cart with hand scooped ice cream. I chose Pistachio Ice Cream, one of their more traditional and popular flavors.
Unique highlights include The Health Hub, the Moët & Chandon Champagne lounge, a Costa Coffee bar, a children’s play room, international cuisine stations, plenty of seating space, a quiet lounge, and Timeless Spa.
In select concourses in Dubai, you may be able to board your flight directly from the lounge. Concourse A offered this option. In concourse B, it was a less than one minute walk to my gate after I exited the lounge.
Melbourne‘s lounge also offers an array of delicious middle eastern and western cuisine. Dishes included Beef Carpaccio, soup of the day, feta cheese salads, pasta, grilled aubergines, vegetable Jaipuri, chicken parmesan, poached salmon, beef brochettes, and more. Two drink, self pour wine, beer, Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon champagne, and spirits are available, in addition to a self-serve coffee and tea bar, juices, soft drinks, and Voss Sparkling and Still Water.
For children, the Young Explorer’s menu is available upon request. Desserts in Melbourne included chocolate crème brûlée, chocolate profiteroles, lemon meringue cake, and a cheese selection.
Staff were consistently on hand to bring and or take away plates or food items in each lounge. Everyone I encountered was gracious and attentive.
At Dubai International airport, there are seven Emirates lounges across Concourses A, B and C. To enjoy paid lounge access in Dubai, you and your guests must be traveling on the same Emirates or Qantas codeshare flights.
Click here to learn more about lounge access in Dubai and how you could also experience these same benefits. Check out East End Taste’s Instagram page within the next week for a full video recap, focusing on the lounges’ food and drink selection and a little taste of my business class flight from Dubai to Melbourne, on IGTV.