Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge at Doha Hamad International Airport

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This is our review of the Qatar Airways business class lounge, Al Mourjan, in Doha’s Hamad International Airport.

It is the penultimate review from my trip to Qatar with Qatar Airways, with my review of Qatar’s brand new business class seat on the Boeing 787-9 to follow tomorrow. The trip was arranged by the airline to promote your new ability to transfer Avios to Qatar Privilege Club and redeem for Qatar Airways flights at new, lower, rates.

(Australia, for example, is just 180,000 Avios plus £600 return in Business Class when you fly with Qatar Airways, compared to 300,000 Avios plus almost £1,000 return on a peak day with British Airways. Qatar Airways also flies to multiple cities in Australia and New Zealand, whilst BA only flies to Sydney.)

Doha Airport bear

Where is the Al Mourjan lounge?

I had a 9am flight from Doha, which is just after a huge bank of aircraft leave, which meant the lounge was busy when I arrived but quiet when I left.

The Qatar Airways business class lounge is almost directly above the gigantic sad-looking teddy bear sculpture at the centre of the terminal.

It is very conveniently located – it’s also the floor above the transit security area, so ideally located for anyone with a few hours to kill on a connection.

Access is via an escalator or lift that takes you up to the second mezzanine floor. Check in is at the large white welcome desk:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha welcome desk

Inside the Qatar Airways business class lounge in Doha

The first thing you notice about the Al Mourjan lounge in Doha is the sheer size of it all. Spread over 10,000 square meters, it feels less like a lounge and more like an entire terminal building. (For comparison, the large split-level Qantas London lounge at Heathrow is 1,200 square meters…)

This is what you see when you first enter:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha entrance

…. and that is probably less than a third of the total lounge! The ‘bridge’ floor is the main buffet restaurant, which is where I went first as I hadn’t had breakfast yet. A spiral staircase and chandelier make for an impressive entrance:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha chandelier

Al Mourjan buffet restaurant

The restaurant was pretty rammed when I first arrived, as you can see here. It seemed particularly popular with families:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha buffet restaurant

Fortunately, things calmed down by the time I had finished breakfast. I was sat by myself:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha table

There is an a la carte menu accessible via a QR code, but I struggled to connect to the wifi. It was only later that I realised that the wifi and my VPN were clashing. However, the staff kindly relayed the to-order menu and I went for my standard eggs royale:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha eggs royale

A buffet was also available. The most substantial offering was a hot breakfast offering, for which there was quite a queue when I arrived:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha hot buffet

Other options included yoghurts, fruit, hummus etc:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha buffet

Plus a range of pastries and bread:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha buffet pastries

Teas, coffees and fresh juices were available to drink. Joseph Perrier Champagne was also out, and I imagine there is a larger alcohol selection for lunch and dinner.

A la carte restaurant

After breakfast I decided to explore the lounge a bit more, and discovered that there is another, much quieter a la carte restaurant at the opposite end of the lounge. This is what it looks like:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha a la carte restaurant

In hindsight, I would have started here – it looked a lot brighter and much calmer, with far fewer families around. It is much less advertised than the buffet restaurant, which is also right next to the lounge entrance.

Al Mourjan lounge showers

The showers are located next to the lounge bathrooms and are separated by gender. There are four showers in the men’s section, which suggests there are just eight in total across the whole complex – which seems like remarkably few given how busy the lounge can get during peak times.

There was no attendant there when I went, so I just walked through and found myself an empty shower that (by the looks of it) was ready to use.

Al Mourjan lounge Doha shower 3

They’re a decent size, with shower and toilet cubicles separated with frosted glass:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha shower 2

Toiletries are provided by Diptyque – you can’t argue with that.

Al Mourjan lounge Doha shower

All in all the showers are very nice, although they don’t quite pip the showers in the Cathay Pacific lounge at Heathrow.

Exploring the rest of the lounge

The rest of Al Mourjan is made up of mostly casual seating in the main lounge area. There is a slightly raised central section with funky blue arm chairs on either side:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha table raised section

The central section also features two bars serving water and soft drinks:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha bar

Some funky, gnarled wood partitions break up the space a bit:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha booths

and

Al Mourjan lounge Doha raised area

Next to the showers you’ll also find the business centre. This is made up of a more casual part:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha business centre casual

Plus a more officey area:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha business centre

You’ll also find a games room here, although it looks startlingly barren and was empty when I had a peek:

Al Mourjan lounge Doha games room

Who can use the Al Mourjan lounge?

This bit is important!

Qatar Airways isn’t as lenient with its lounges as some other airlines are with theirs.

The Al Mourjan lounge is only for passengers flying business class on Qatar Airways or another oneworld airline.

Even then, and this is key, travellers on a Business Lite ticket, Qatar’s unbundled business class fare, are excluded.

If you are flying in Economy but have oneworld status, such as a British Airways Silver or Gold card, you are sent to the Oryx lounge. This is a substantially lesser experience.

(To be clear, Business Lite ticket holders without status do not get to use the Oryx lounge – these ticket holders are not allowed in anywhere!)

It is, however, possible to pay for entry to the Al Mourjan lounge if you are flying in Economy or Business Lite. A personalised offer will appear in ‘Manage My Booking’ on the Qatar Airways website. I have seen both QAR 450 (£100) and QAR 350 (£77) quoted.

Conclusion

The scale of the Al Mourjan business class lounge never fails to impress – it has got to be one of the biggest individual lounges in the world. The designers had fun and definitely made the most of the scale of the space, with the large buffet restaurant spanning across a reflecting pool featuring occasional, artistic drips.

The quality of the food is great too – far higher than you can find in British Airways lounges – although I’d like to try the a la carte restaurant next time I’m there.

The only downside to having such a mega-lounge is that it lacks the sort of cosy, cocooning ambience you can find at smaller lounges. It also means that it feels far less exclusive than, for example, the Cathay First wing at Heathrow, particularly during peak times. It might make you think twice about leaving your bag unattended whilst you grab a drink or a bite to eat.

You can find out more about the Al Mourjan business class lounge on the Qatar Airways website here.

Comments (62)

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Any decent lounges in that airport that can be entered with an Amex plat?

  • Alan says:

    Anyone knows if we travel on a Business Lite ticket, but have oneworld status, such as a BA Gold / OW Emerald, can we access the Al Mourjan lounge or still only the Oryx lounge? Thank you.

    • patrick says:

      Yes. I did exactly this and access is granted on status.

      • steve says:

        It’s status at the moment because not all lounges are open. I expect at some point it will revert to Biz (not lite) only.

  • David Holden says:

    Been through six times since February and economy or business lite, my GGL Status on BA has given me entry….

  • steve says:

    Never liked this lounge, just too vast when you enter and now with so many folks being allowed (closures of other lounges) it’s worse. That said, when you can get seated, the food is pretty good. Not for me a relaxing place.

  • CB says:

    I had an 8 hour overlay in this lounge. Whilst the architecture and fit-out are impressive, it’s style over substance: large, vacuous wasted spaces, not enough showers or seats during busy periods, food just ok and generally quite noisy/echoey. Good for short periods only.

  • James Harper says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the Al Mourjan lounge has all the attraction and atmosphere of sitting in an aircraft hanger? I hate the place.

    • Rob says:

      As Rhys says, the problem is that it’s too big and therefore a lot of the benefits of being in a lounge – eg you feel happy leaving all your stuff unattended whilst wandering off to find food – don’t apply.

      It was difficult to complain back in the days when they’d crack open a bottle of ice cold Krug for you on request though …..

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.