News in brief:
The new Emirates Premium Economy cabin will soon be bookable
Emirates has announced that its new Premium Economy cabin will be bookable from 1st June.
The roll-out of the new cabin is going to take some time, of course, with 67 A380s and 53 Boeing 777s due to be refitted from November 2022. The final batch of A380 deliveries came with Premium Economy installed from scratch, however, which allows Emirates to begin offering it for booking now.
From 1st June, it will be bookable on:
- London, Paris and Sydney for travel from 1st August
- Christchurch for travel from December (exact date TBC)
It isn’t clear if you will be able to mix and match cabins if you are flying from London to a destination beyond Dubai, or if the Emirates website will only be able to sell tickets in the same cabin throughout. You cannot, at the moment, mix and match Economy and Business class on the same journey.
What is Emirates Premium Economy like?
The A380s will feature 56 premium economy seats in a 2-4-2 layout at the front of the lower deck. The cabin has three dedicated toilets.
The seats themselves feature up to 40″ pitch and 19.5″ width, with an 8″ recline. You’ll get a six-way adjustable headrest, calfrest and footrest as well as a wide dining table and small side table.
Emirates has chosen the Recaro PL3530 premium economy seat. If it looks familiar, this is the seat that British Airways has been installing on refurbished aircraft and new arrivals in recent years.
Emirates’ premium economy looks classy. It introduces a more modern, slightly less nouveau riche design to the cabin. Faux walnut and gold trim has gone, replaced by some darker woods and ‘champagne’ colours.
Jumeirah Hotels opens an arrivals lounge at Dubai Airport
The Jumeirah hotel group, which has most of the best positioned beach resorts in Dubai due to its State ownership, has opened its own arrivals lounge in Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport.
The 250 sq m lounge is open to anyone who is using hotel-arranged transport from the airport. It appears that you do not need to book a transfer in advance to get access.
The lounge offers food and drink as well as two shower rooms, which could be useful if you are arriving early and are unlikely to get immediate access to your hotel room.
Jumeirah will also allow you to leave your luggage in the arrivals lounge for separate transfer to your hotel, allowing you to head into Dubai immediately. This is particularly interesting for business travellers who may not want to carry their luggage into business meetings.
Anyone booked into a suite at a Jumeirah hotel can also use the lounge on departure, although you would need to leave enough time to clear security and passport control.
You can find out more on the Jumeirah website here.
Accor to manage the Queen Elizabeth II floating hotel
Those of you with long memories may remember that the Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship was sold to Dubai, via the Dubai World holding company, back in 2008. Her final voyage ended in Dubai and the liner was handed over.
The timing, of course, was terrible. The financial crisis hit Dubai very hard and plans to turn her into a floating hotel hit the buffers. For many years the ship sat in the port, still requiring a full-time crew of 40 to keep it operational.
The market finally turned and conversion work began. In 2018, the QE2 finally reopened as a floating hotel in Port Rashid.
Since then, the hotel has had a very low profile and has fallen off the radar of many people, myself included. A random search for 25th May showed rooms being sold for just £75 including all taxes and service charges.
Accor has now taken over management of the hotel and, after some refurbishment and upgrades, it will become part of the MGallery brand.
You can find out more about the hotel on the QE2 website here. It is not yet bookable on the Accor website.