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. This 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.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (May 2021)
As a reminder, here are the three options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit or charge card:
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £20. You get two more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £20 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.