See the amazing new Emirates First Class Suite ….. which you are very unlikely to fly

Emirates launched its new First Class product at the Dubai Airshow this weekend.  The airline is clearly unhappy with Etihad leading the way in First Class uber-comfort and has decided to come out fighting.

The product looks fantastic, let’s not beat around the bush.  Whilst you can quibble around the edges, it is on a par with what Etihad is offering on its A380 fleet and what Singapore Airlines is about to introduce on the A380.

There is a special Emirates website for the new seat here, which includes a video.

However …..

These premium products are often there for ‘positional’ value.  Emirates has always had an excellent reputation, driven by its existing First Class and Business Class products, but in Economy it went 10-abreast on a Boeing 777 years ago.  British Airways is only just beginning to drop to this level, but it is Emirates which has the glowing reputation.  The Etihad A380 First Class Apartment, which I reviewed here, serves a similar purpose.

This new Emirates product will only be introduced to NINE Boeing 777-300ER aircraft being delivered over the next year.

There are no plans yet to retrofit the A380 or existing Boeing 777 fleet.

With London, and most of the other Emirates UK routes, being exclusively A380, it is unlikely that we will be seeing this new seat here.  Brussels and Geneva will be the first two routes to get the new cabin from 1st December.  Don’t bother checking for any First Class award availability.

What you get in Emirates new First Class Suites

The entire product is billed as co-operation with Mercedes, with the suites ‘influenced’ by the design and materials used on the S-Class.  The chauffeur fleet for First Class passengers in the UAE will be switched to Mercedes S-Class cars.

The key stats are impressive:

1-1-1 layout, with just six suites in total (there are currently eight seats in First Class on a 777, so whilst this is a step up, the new suites are not Etihad-style huge as the pictures show)

‘floor to ceiling’ closing doors, allowing passengers to dress and undress in their suite in privacy

video phone communication with cabin crew

food and drink can be passed through a hatch into the suite if required (!)

a more contemporary, less blingy, colour palette than we have historically had from Emirates – I’d go so far as to say it looks very classy

the middle cabin will have the exterior view projected onto one wall to give the impression of having a window!

32 inch IFE screen with B&W noise cancelling headphones

Bulgari amenity kits

What you can’t do with the new layout is form a double bed with your partner.  If you travel with someone else, you will each be in your individual suites separated by your ‘floor to ceiling’ walls and door ….

The Boeing 777 fleet does not have an on-board bar or a shower – you will need to pick an A380 route if you want those.  (For comparison, my review of the Emirates A380 First Class seat and shower from earlier this year is here.   Do check out the in-shower action in the video …..)

Overall ….

This is a great product, you can’t deny that.  Putting it on just nine aircraft, on secondary routes (no New York, Paris, London etc) is a little odd, but I’m sure the respective mayors of Brussels and Geneva are delighted to finally have a good reason to encourage British bankers to move 🙂

If award seats open up, I will book myself in to give it a try.  Whilst the Emirates credit card may be dead, it remains an American Express Membership Rewards partner at 1:1.  A one-way First Class seat from Brussels to Dubai is 85,000 miles – although all availability has been wiped out for now.

You can find out more about the Emirates First Class product on the new 777 fleet on their website here.   There is also a video on that page.

Emirates is also rolling out a new Business Class seat on these new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which I will look at later this week.

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  1. If Emirates still operate their 5th freedom flights between Bangkok and Hong Kong it might provide opportunities in the future for some to try it out for a couple of hours at relatively low cost.

  2. Guys does the new 777 have massage seats?

    I remember the old shape 777 had them and it was excellent. Way more relaxing than the current style business A380 in my opinion!!

    • Ah massage seats! I’ve only ever had that once , can’t remember if was with Air India or Royal Brunei. It was definitely a 787-8 though. Forgot about that. What airlines have a massage facility in the seat?

  3. As a frequent Emirates F/J traveler from the UK to Dubai & beyond, I am more interesting to see if Emirates refresh the F & J cabins on the widely anticipated order for additional A380s at the Dubai Air Show later on today…

  4. I’d be well pissed off in the middle ‘cupboard’

    • Stuart_f says:

      If I was going to fly this (which I’m not) then I’d almost be tempted to pick the middle seat just to see what the virtual windows were all about.

  5. I find that Emirates does a fantastic job at marketing it’s products. My colleagues all swear by Emirates Business Class despite it being 7 across with 3 prisoner seats in each aisle (2 Windows and the middle seat). People get blinded by the slick marketing and the bling that awaits them on-board and it skews their view of what they are actually receiving.

    Me personally? I stick to Qatar, with a good chance of getting the Super Diamond J seat on its A380s/A350s/787s. It hands down beats the Emirates J experience.

    • no. a lot of people just domt see those seats as “prisoner seats”

      • Then a lot of people have obviously never flown more spacious business class.

        Carrier / Plane / Pitch / Seat Width

        Emirates A380 – 48/18.5
        Emirates 777 – 60/20.5
        Etihad A380 – 73/20
        Etihad 777 – 73/20
        Etihad 797/9 – 73/22
        EVA 777 – 81/26
        Finnair A350 – 78/21
        Oman Air 787/9 – 80/22.8
        Singapore Airlines A380 – 55/30 (or 34)
        Qatar A380 – 80/22
        Qatar A350 – 80/22
        Qatar 787/8 – 80/22

    • Completely agree. The J seats are, arguably, worse than those on BA by some measures. I flew QSuites for the first time on the weekend and Emirates aren’t even in the same league. I’m not even sure they’re playing the same game. Even compared to Qatar’s A380 J product and Etihad’s J seats, they’re significantly behind the best.

  6. “food and drink can be passed through a hatch into the suite if required”

    This made me laugh! The only time I’ve ever seen that is when someone is in solitary confinement in prison on a TV show.

    • Stuart_f says:

      It might be amusing to Westerners but if you were a Muslim woman and wanted to remove your hijab/ niqab/ burka /al-amira/ shayla for comfort while in the suite, the hatch provides a method of obtaining food and drink while maintaining modesty.

      Seems like a good idea to me.

  7. Rob- you forgot to add that F pax receive in-suite bincoulars!

    I wonder who convinced the Emirates team to add that to the amenities. Hats off…

    • Yes that one’s interesting. Important to use them with caution as some duel civil/military airports take a tough stance on aviation spotters.

  8. Good to see them getting rid of that ghastly wooden veneer and gaudy interior.

  9. The recent announcements from both Singapore AND Emirates this month just confirm to me that Qatar is the world’s best airline. As long as they continue doing endless cheap ex-EU J sale fares I have no need to reach for these new so called ‘aspirational’ products.

    There are some benefits in having an obscure gulf country with more money than it knows what to do with, desperate to put themselves on the map and be a global player. Happy days.

  10. bigglesgirl says:

    Checked this morning and there were a smattering of F award seats available in Sept/Oct

  11. This is a great overview of the suite from Sam Chui a regular trip report poster on youtube

  12. I guess the middle suite should be less curved on one side which might make it better.

    If they did the video-phone thing between passengers then you could overcome not being able to communicate with your travel partner.

  13. With these suits in place I can see mile-high membership numbers soaring, so to speak…

  14. Not being able to enjoy the meal service with a traveling companion is a big miss, in my opinion. On a 14+hour flight, we prefer the Etihad concept of sitting across one another and dining together….call me old-fashioned, but having dinner “around the table” (even in the sky) is still important!

  15. What you can’t do with the new layout is form a double bed with your partner

    If its a rocking.. its probably due to turbulence

  16. Why have they use Clarkson on the video, he is a long way from First class, he is awful !

    • For those without a sub, article is called “First-class flying makes way for business travel”

      • the real harry1 says:

        I don’t think Sir Tim’s watch has a particularly long life expectancy! 🙂 how old is he now? more to the point: is the strategy working?

        can’t see the point of F myself, Business is luxurious enough if you’re using real money/ company money

        more to the point, if Business is more profitable than F, simply why do F at all? I don’t reckon it is particularly positive for load factors nor aspirational in the sense that you might respect/ trust/ admire that airline more if it offers F – even though the most you can normally hope for is Business

        could it be the the ME3 like doing it because they are owned by the super-rich who are just looking after their own interests (pampered comfort in flight)?

        • Are you flying on China this week in F 🙂

        • the real harry1 says:

          if you can get it on points, feel free to indulge

          there’s a reason UK trains just offer 1st & 2nd…(& not ‘super rich’)

        • The_real_a says:

          I flew F on air china last week. Was the only person in the cabin. They made up the bed in the next seat So much attention it was awkward!