This is our review of the new British Airways lounge and Concorde Bar in Dubai International Airport.
We flew back from Dubai on Monday on British Airways. And, as of last month, all British Airways flights depart from the new Concourse D.
The great news is that this is a bright and airy new terminal building. As it is connected by train to the check in area, you no longer have the long walks (and occasionally buggy rides, so long were the distances) that the old terminal required.
It feels more like a hotel lobby if you take a look at the way the seating is arranged:
It certainly bears no relation to the traditional rows of seats all bolted together. It is the first time I have seen a terminal laid out like this and it was impressive.
Take the escalator up a level and you come to a bank of airline lounges. The good news is that the new British Airways facility is immediately at the top. The second bit of good news is that BA has spent a lot of money on the fit out of the space.
The bad news is that there simply isn’t a lot of space there. If anything, it is a smaller lounge than the previous one. I took these photos as soon as we arrived – it got a lot busier later.
Politics always plays a part, of course. It is possible that this is the space that the airport gave to BA and that no discussion was possible. Give British Airways a duff lounge and you are more likely to fly Emirates next time ….
This is a communal seating area off to the side:
Here is the cold food offering:
And here is the bar:
There is also an area of seating by the windows – you can see it in the bar picture above – but I couldn’t photograph that easily because of the people who were there.
Small space or not, there is no excuse for what has been done with the Concorde Bar. This is a private room exclusively for ticketed First Class passengers only. It is, unfortunately, a mess.
This is the whole of the bar – out of shot to the right are two small tables, each seating two, and well as another three of the blue chairs you can see:
For a start, there is only one thing available which is not in the main lounge – Taittinger champagne. The main area has some prosecco so you aren’t gaining much.
This is the ‘premium’ drinks selection – which is about as premium as your average Pizza Hut drinks list (Johnnie Walker Black is about £23 a bottle in a UK supermarket and probably no more than £15 in a Middle East duty free):
There is NO additional food. In fact, there is less food – I was told if I wanted soup, the only hot item, I needed to go outside. This is the cold selection:
Whilst there were hot plates available:
…. no hot food arrived between 11.30am and 1pm when we were there.
It is also a very dark room, not helped by the blue mood lighting. As soon as you step out of the lounge you are hit by how bright the main room is by comparison.
One passenger had the right idea, sitting in the main area but just popping in every 20 minutes for another glass of champagne.
The good news is that it wouldn’t take much of an effort to get some decent hot food in there and to improve the drinks selection. At the moment, the Concorde Bar sends out the bizarre message that British Airways First Class isn’t really very special – and, true or not, that isn’t the message you want to give.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards.
Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)