The amazing new lounge at Qatar’s Hamad International

Hamad International, the new airport in Qatar, opened for business on May 1st after long delays.  Even then, though, the main Qatar Airways lounge complex was not ready.

It is now, though, having opened on August 6th.  And it certainly looks as though it was worth the wait.  Take a look at these pictures of what is officially called the Al Mourjan Business Lounge:

Qatar Hamad lounge 1

Qatar Hamad lounge 2

Qatar Hamad lounge 3

In total, the lounge covers 10,000 square metres, making it one of the largest airline lounges in the world.

This page of the Qatar Airways website describes it in more detail.

The amazing thing is that this is NOT the official First Class lounge.  That facility, to be called the Al Safwa First Class Lounge, is still under development.

An acquaintance of mine was in the Al Mourjan lounge over the weekend.  He said that they were offering Krug champagne in the restaurant (try asking for that in Galleries Club at Terminal 5 …..) and actually used the word ‘beautiful’ to describe the place.

In the old Qatar airport, premium Qatar Airways passengers used a different part of the terminal and the lounge was therefore only accessible to people flying on Qatar.  At Hamad International, the Al Mourjan lounge can be accessed by oneworld First and Business Class passengers plus, I think, oneworld elite status cardholders.

It is not clear if this will remain the case when the airport and the other lounge options are fully open.  At Heathrow Terminal 4, for example, Qatar economy passengers with status may not use the well regarded Premium Lounge at Heathrow and are instead asked to use the Skyteam lounge.

I have a Qatar Airways business class flight in the diary for October.  I look forward to reporting back first hand on the Al Mourjan lounge and, indeed, the Premium Lounge at Heathrow.

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Comments

  1. Almost a year ago I booked QR from GLA-LHR-BKK for late October on spec for their a380. Looks like I will be missing that. I doubt there will even be much wrong with aircraft, likely just Qatar flexing its muscles with airbus. From what you say it now looks like I will probably miss first class lounge too. I have been trying to change to a more convenient 1 stop itinerary as a result but so far nothing available.

    • @James67 my return flight on the 27th of October DOH-LHR was updated from a340 to A380 this week. I was on QR9; now on QR3. It just might stick this time …

      • Thanks, will check. I need to call for a seat assignment too, forgot to do that. Tbh though I expected more fro QR F on a380. Seems like Etihad should be airline of choice these days.

        • For the first time yesterday I was able to update a seat online and not have to call… was quite disappointed that the business seats on the 380 are mostly over the wing. Umming about paying to upgrade to F

      • I am QR3 in the first week of October … who knows if that will stick?! I have a 787 outbound which should be OK.

        • IMO Qatar are being too ambitious for timescale delivery-normal service when compared to what other airlines did. You might still be lucky Raffles but if I were Chris I would not part with hard cash uograding to F until he sees Qatar wkth the bird in the air. I wrongly bet on QR 1 and 2. Now myvonly hope is that they will receive and put both aircraft in service about same time. Key date for me is 29th October but I expect now November or December for 2nd a380.

    • Erico1875 says:

      Can you not fly via Edinburgh?

      • I booked the routing a year out only for chance of a380. Generally I try for shortest duratiin itineraries. EDI wasn’t launched at time of reservation, and even if it was I was afraid to fly 787 (although I am now satisfied the aircraft is safe enough and will fly it).

  2. I’m due to be going through here next weekend, but only have a fairly short connection (but will have a couple of hours in there on the way back the weekend after), so am very much looking forward to having a look at this.

  3. Oliver Bennett says:

    I have an 8 hour connection here next summer! Can smell the Krug already

    • Could be worth establishing in advance how they treat boozers ;-)

      Qatar not exactly known for showing any tolerance in this respect, with any luck being airside would mean not really being in Qatar itself. Used to work out of Doha and after taking off, the minute the green light went off the women would all troop to the loo to change into mini skirts and the men would immediately order something to give you a bit of backbone!

      • Here’s how to pronounce Qatar.

        You’ve probably heard a few people saying Hamas more or less right on TV (as in Gaza Strip conflict) with a bit of a Spanish ‘J’.

        Jota. Joder. Juan. That kind of thing. Huh with a big puff of air.

        It’s dead similar.

        So Qatar is correctly pronounced sort of ‘J’utur! with the J being the Spanish J.

    • The Krug might go when the First Class lounge opens!

  4. I was there two weeks ago waiting for the Y flight back to LHR having spent a week of work in the airport.
    I used my Cathay Pacific Gold card to get access (Thnaks Amex Plat)
    The place was virtually empty and is HUGE.
    I have photos but have not uploaded them yet.
    Biggest lounge I’ve ever been in.
    There’s a table service food area up those big steps which also has a bar with alcohol.
    At the exact opposite end is a dining area with chef on hand to cook food.
    There are several areas where self service breakfast was available and at least two dedicated smoking areas.

    • Edit
      I was in there on 30th July…

    • According to Business Traveller:
      “Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald travellers who normally enjoy business and first class lounge access – including Gold and Platinum members of Qantas Frequent Flyer – can’t visit either the Al Mourjan or the Al Safwa lounges if travelling in economy with Qatar or a Oneworld airline.
      Instead, Emerald members can visit the ‘Qatar Airways First Class Lounge’ at Hamad International Airport, while both Emerald and Sapphire travellers can make use of the ‘Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge’ and the Oryx Lounge.
      That mirrors the access rules at Qatar Airways’ lounge at London Heathrow Airport (pictured below), where economy-class travellers are instead shepherded to the SkyTeam lounge at the other end of the terminal.”

    • Hi, can you tell me if there is anywhere to ‘lie-down’ in the new biz lounge. We have a 6 hour transit here in Sept, arriving at midnight. Your pics are lovely but only show un comfy looking seats.
      Thanks

      • I walked the entire lounge and did not see any cabanas or such like where one can lie down.

  5. Glad to see this finally open to the public. I’ve been in there multiple times but always had a hard hat on! The entire airport is truly amazing. Curious to see the reviews and what people think of the really low level lighting throughout the main terminal areas. It’s so unlike most airports (it doesn’t have bright fluorescent lighting) and it really makes it feel more ‘special’ I guess.

    • What’s with the giant Teddy bear :)

      • It’s ungodly isn’t it?? It’s some famous French artist (not famous to me obviously, because I forgot his name!) and that’s what he came up with. It was created in France (I think it was France), broken down, shipped, and then put back together. It’s a total non-sequitor within the airport and I think it looks stupid, but hey, it’s unique! And cost over 10 million gbp.

  6. DeltaCharlie says:

    Any more rumours as to when the Al Safwa First lounge is to open? (not that I need a great deal more from a lounge!) Departing late November, BA First.

  7. Currently sat in the Escape Lounge as we will be in upper on VA today. What a disappointment. It’s about time offered their UC passengers a choice of this or the V room for Manchester departures. Glad I didn’t pay cash for ithe Qatar lounge looks fantastic.

  8. Thywillbedone says:

    Trust this means that the interminable bus transfers around Doha airport are a thing of the past! Pass through late last year and although the premium terminal was great (if a little busy) the 20 minute bus journeys from plane to terminal were ridiculous especially when the driver forgot to turn on the aircon!

    • You sure you weren’t on a BA arrival into T3? LOL. The transfer is just as bad and never with aircon

    • Dubai transfers can be just as bad, even with the new concourse. The worst one was when they redirected all transfer passengers along a different route from the signage, which meant walking from the new terminal (where the bus dropped us) down to the old terminal to then clear security, before then walking back up to the new terminal for connecting flight.

  9. 80K Avios + Taxes seems a lot to me to go return in J, or am I just being stingy? I do like QR a lot but never need to stay in DOH.

  10. I’m sat there now – wasn’t sure as my flight was still via DOH rather than HIA.

    It’s quite a change since I was last here a couple of months ago and yes it’s certainly impressive.

    Running the risk of a TR in the comments:

    The lack of a bus transfer is a big win!
    I can confirm the Krug reports.
    F1 machine was doesn’t seem to be working (lucky there’s no kids around then…)
    Seems to be slightly less good options then the old lounge. There’s a separate restaurant upstairs but annoyingly they brought me a glass of champagne and pointed me in the direction of the buffet before coming to the table with the a la carte menu, by which time I had a plate of food (don’t worry, managed both). It was also harder to find a drink than before, until I was in the restaurant.
    The infinity pool is nice (and big!)

    All in all, a positive experience for a 3 hour layover.

    • Wrote this while waiting for the main to come from the kitchen.

      Was glad if had some buffet as typically small portions. Had fillet steak and scallops. Steak slightly overlooked for my liking, but certainly better than anything I’ve ever had in the air!

    • Oh and no wine list. Was offered wines based on colour and country – didn’t get as far as grape or year, but didn’t push it as was still enjoying the Krug!

    • Wifi keeps dropping out every 10 mins and need to re-accept t&cs.

      Also amusing (as I left) to see lots of confused-first-time-visitor faces, not quite sure how everything worked, as I’m sure mine was 2 hours ago!

  11. Wondered if anyone could help me out. I am flying EDI – DOH and booked into economy. Can I use my Avios to upgrade to Business if there is availability? As I don’t think there is WTP or equivalent on the 787, does it count as a single class upgrade and what would the cost be?
    Many thanks