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Is the new Dubai Priority Pass lounge better than the British Airways one?

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I reviewed the new British Airways lounge in Dubai’s new Concourse D recently and was not hugely impressed.

Reader Alastair was in Dubai a week later and decided to visit the Marhaba lounge instead.  This is on the same level as the BA lounge and, as well as being the default Priority Pass and Lounge Club lounge in Concourse D, is also used by Virgin Atlantic.

As you can see, it is far bigger than the British Airways lounge:

Marhaba lounge Dubai 1

More importantly, it has a wide range of hot food.  The BA lounge has none for most of the day, including at lunch:

Marhaba lounge Dubai 2

The only downsides, says Alastair, are a poorer selection of alcohol and a slight leakage of smoke from the closed-off smokers room.

Marhaba lounge Dubai 3

All in all, though, it doesn’t look too bad as you would expect from a brand new facility.

Marhaba lounge Dubai 4

Remember that the free (for the first year) American Express Gold charge card (full review here) comes with two free Lounge Club passes which would get a couple into this lounge if leaving Dubai on BA or Virgin Atlantic.

Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2024)

Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit 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.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

Additional lounge visits are charged at £24.  You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.  

There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus.  Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass network.  Guests are charged at £24 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (34)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Chelseafi says:

    slightly O/T we are returning from Chicago to London in summer BA in Club, plus we also have Priority Passes what lounge is the best one to use, the BA one or the ones with PP? Thanks

  • Gareth Morgan says:

    How does the lounge compare to Emirates business?

  • Simon Schus says:

    OT: I can’t remember if it has been mentioned before, and it probably won’t have a huge impact on many readers. However, there is now a Priority Pass lounge available at Doncaster Airport Lounge. Back of the net.

    • Nick says:

      Sweet mother of god my local airport (15 mins) away and I can’t use it with my lounge club next month great

  • idrive says:

    OT: urgent help! I don not remember if Cancellation fees are the same/similar for an Avios/BA booking.
    I am going to book on, I got a pile there. I just want to make sure that if i cxl the award ticket 24hrs before departure, I will have all my avios back and pay a maximum of approx £35.
    I usually book with BA… Thanks, highly appreciated, need to book NOW!

  • harry says:

    OT BA pricing – has it hardened up after intro of Basic/ Plus/ CE in Europe?

    I’ve been having a look at how pricing is going for Easter 2017 – both out to Europe & back again. Most state schools will be using a holiday calendar close to Saturday 01 April – Monday 17 April [Easter Monday].

    As I’m expecting Easter Monday to be in very high demand for flying back to UK, as there isn’t much choice unless you are prepared to pinch a day or two at that end, naturally I am hoping to get 4 Avios redemptions but we’ll have to pay for 1 seat. (Max 4 Avios redemptions at this stage & we need the certainty.)

    Normally I could count of grabbing a £65 HBO seat, even in a peak pricing period. This time, peak pricing is exceptionally tough, with HBO seats coming out close to £150 @ T-355 days!

    My thinking will be to take the rough with the smooth, as 4 Avios redemptions + 1 x £150 still means we’ll all 5 be travelling reasonably cheaply (about £400 each way with Avios = 0.67p).

    But that IS about £80-85 more than I was expecting!

    Anybody else noticed price creep/ hardening for next year’s BA Europe flights?

    [I could murder a £50 off £150! Come on Amex!]

    Incidentally, redemptions for Monday 17th April 2017 should pop up @ midnight Wednesday.

    • harry says:

      Does this message on BA site actually mean they can book further ahead than 355 days?

      ‘The web site can only accept bookings up to 355 days in advance. Please contact your Executive Club Service Centre if you need to book for more than one year ahead.’

    • harry says:

      As I thought, people don’t really have much of a choice wrt dates in terms of flying back after Easter 2017 hols. Plenty people on my route seem to have decided to come back to UK on the Sunday (16th April) – starting flight prices are already Basic £150, Plus £180, CE £500 so that means a few seats have already been booked, ie dynamic pricing in action.

      I desperately need to get up at midnight to get the cheapest possible HBO seat + 4 Avios redemptions!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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