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