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

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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.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (August 2022)

As a reminder, here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a credit card:

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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 Plaza Premium, Delta and Eurostar lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

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

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

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

Additional lounge visits are charged at £20.  You get two 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

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

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network.  Guests are charged at £20 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.

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

Comments (62)

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

  • John T says:

    It’s an excellent lounge.

    It’s worth noting business class tickets booked with Avios have access to this lounge

  • MJ says:

    There are more showers in the lounge. Just different location

  • polly says:

    Good point John. It really has superb facilities. Showers etc.
    Also if you don’t qualify for the free hotel with an 8 hr+ transit, you got the bendy beds section. (The 8 hr + transit can catch people out. If there was a more expensive shorter transit timed flight, then you are excluded from the hotel benefit) Which are quite comfy for a few hours stretch out. They bring you blankets, pillows, drinks whatever. We have done a 6 hr stint on those before.
    Food choice is brilliant. Might have to queue for a table in the nice restaurant area, where they can serve you breakfast too.
    Desperate waiting for a decent ex eu qr J sale. Got to decide soon between a double TP run or chance waiting for a QR sale, to retain Silver. Choices, choices, 1st world problems….
    But, it can feel quite enormous at times, compared to HKG ones.

    • JDB says:

      @polly – just wondering if there is any basis for expecting a QR sale, or just hoping? I have a two week pink ticket to go to Oz next Apr/May so I’ve been researching QR and even with flexible departure/arrival points, not worried about aircraft type, a lot of the flights already either look relatively busy or they haven’t released many seats C/D/I/R yet so annoyingly expensive.

      • Phillip says:

        I think the pressure from the grounded A350 fleet is reflected in the pricing which even just before Covid had been on the rise.

  • Froggee says:

    I was never a fan of this lounge although I haven’t been since 2019. I found it soulless and uncomfortable. I rarely saw the toilets without having a large queue (I was always on connecting flights to/from Asia). And whilst the food offering was impressive, I have little desire to stuff my face between long haul flights.

    It was my least favourite part of the Qatar experience although I was lucky in that I never suffered from a cancelled or delayed flight so didn’t have to deal with their ground services in any significant way.

    Compared to SQ, CX I found it really poor and would actually choose BA’s lounges at Heathrow over this! (And I’m not a huge fan of BA’s lounges at Heathrow).

    • Rashad says:

      You’d choose BA lounges over Qatar?! You ok sweets?

      • TimP says:

        I also am not a fan. As far as the seating is concerned I have found to be design before comfort. A few quiet areas with comfy sofas would be nice.

      • Froggee says:

        It reflects how much I dislike this lounge. Please don’t think of it as an endorsement of BA. I’d choose KLM/Air France over Galleries and Finnair’s top tier lounge over Galleries First. Qatar is down there with Lufthansa.

        The Qatar lounge is a miserable cavernous echo chamber. In terms of being a space to relax between long haul flights, I hated it. Perhaps if your objective is to get sloshed and eat loads of food then it ticks the boxes.

        Maybe it has changed since 2019, but it also always had a whiff of cigarette smoke courtesy of the smoking rooms. I can’t even remember if they were in the lounge or just the terminal but it smelled. The hard surfaces everywhere give it the ambience of a shopping mall.

        The rigmarole where if you wanted to make peepee or poopoo, you’d have to stand in line and before it was your turn wait for the crack cleaning squad to make the floor of the toilet cubicle wet was a nonsense.

        The seats look good but are uncomfortable.

        On more than one occasion at Doha, I’ve just gone straight to gate and found a quiet corner in preference to sitting in the Qatar lounge.

        Yes I really think it’s that awful.

        It’s like a bunch of designers who don’t travel thought of everything they believed an airport lounge should have and then implemented it really badly.

        Thanks for asking after me though.

        • Craig says:

          boom lol!

          A lovely contrasting view provided there, very much to the point to – love it!

        • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

          This is pretty much my view, expressed with more verve than I’d manage. It’s just too busy for what it primarily is (a hub lounge to facilitate freshening up between connections). It’s quite common to have to choose to commit to one of 1)using a toilet, 2)using a shower, 3)waiting for a dining area seat to then order food. And even when committed, one still might not manage any of the above. The regular use of bus gates at Doha also raises the stakes in terms of how long you can push hanging around the lounge. I do wonder if they purposely over-stuff this lounge to upsell to the (excellent) first lounge.

        • JDB says:

          I think the lounge is OK but, like you, my wife thought it was really very poor. It’s impressive to look at for its sheer size, high ceilings etc, and I don’t mind it being soulless as airline lounges (even the ones people rave about) just are. It’s a shame it has no natural light. The food offering is remarkably basic and the à la carte consists mainly sandwiches with low quality ingredients like industrial mozzarella. The wine is worse than even BA Galleries but better than the current terrible BA J inflight wines. It’s a functional space but nothing to write home about.

          • JK says:

            Exactly. It’s classic form over function. Impressive space the first time you see it. However when you’ve seen it before, you’re transiting and just want a toilet, shower and snack, this lounge will drive you mad. For so much space there is just not enough seating, toilets or bathrooms in the peak hours. You have to get your name on a waiting list for a shower, but the process is so haphazard that you can’t go eat because you need to stay close by for when it’s your turn. It has so much potential but fails at the basics of what anyone needs in a lounge.

            You can also have a huge journey to get to your gate, after which you’ll be on a bus. For a relatively new airport in the middle of the desert it’s actually not that nice to use. Would have been better to adopt the HKG approach of multiple smaller lounges located throughout the gates.

          • John says:

            No natural light isn’t really a big deal. I’ve been in there once out of 10 or so times when the sun was up.

        • numpty says:

          Completely agree with comments. After first visit I never looked forward to this lounge (or the experience) again. When you are transferring at 2 am or 4 am on the morning from one 7 hour flight to another 7 hour flight this isn’t the experience I want (or need). I want a shower, a quick bite to eat (the food is much better on the plane) and a comfy seat to relax in (i.e. I want to ‘lounge’) – all of which requires queuing or waiting. So I get bored in this lounge, have a wander round the shops and then head off to the gate which is usually quiet. Similar feelings towards the Emirates Lounge (entire floor) at DXB.

          Its also a question of how they chose to use the space, that water feature is for pure show, it doesn’t benefit travellers other than a quick ‘that looks nice’ – do a BA and get rid of it and stick some more seats and coffee stations in! (and get some rattley trolleys for the staff to push around)

          • Chrisasaurus says:

            Water feature does worse than nothing – it doubles the walk to the exit (or from the entrance) to half the lounge, making you cross the raised seated area. It’s massive and it’s poorly signed and I spent some time there without really knowing what it actually offered because it’s a very well kept secret (vis comment in this review about the buffet being packed and the still pretty poor a la carts section being empty.)

            FWIW, even in the a la carte section it’s sterile and very little attention from staff.

            It’s pretty mediocre, it’s just big.

          • Yan says:

            Concur with the comments on form and size over function. It’s not a bad lounge, just below the standard to be held for Qatar Airways.

            The worst thing you want to hear after entering a transit lounge is having to queue for a shower. I preferred to first visit the Arrival Lounge which was almost always quiet and had no queue for anything, then head back airside for Al Mourjan if I really needed more substantial food/drinks (not worth it if coming off/on QR J)

      • polly says:

        Rashad,
        You comment had me laughing so hard… loved it!

      • polly says:

        Rashad, am still laughing like a drain at your comment, really great, hit the spot!

        @JDB. No realistic expectations of a QR J ex eu sale, but we live in hope. Thought they might follow on after AY, CX, Etihad recent good offers.
        We have actually booked QR J ex Dublin to HKT Jan feb 23, c 600 and 300k avios total for 2 pax, better than ex U.K. fees . So, will visit sibs before and after, so that justifies the positioning factor. Then MH J down to Bali. But, if a QR sale comes along, we will cancel and book asap on QR. This my dilemma do we go for double TPs or chance waiting for QR…???

  • AdamG says:

    Pretty sure they charge $10 for the showers, or they did.. my last visit here was Christmas 2019 flying Qatar BKK to LHR.

  • Chris Cannon says:

    From memory there are two blocks of showers. One in the middle and one down the end by the restaurant where the sleeping pods are

    • Lux says:

      Agreed, although I often found those sleeping pods were not conducive to sleep given the number of families chatting around there.

    • Andrew J says:

      Correct. A much larger bank of showers is at the other end, if you walk through the “a la carte restaurant” as Rhys describes it, but that’s actually the deli restaurant and only serves a menu of toasted sandwiches (although these are a la carte). This is the main bank of showers and like the others operates an appointment waiting list system, not just turn up and grab a spare one as you did.

  • Dev says:

    Granted, I have not been here since before covid, but I remember the food options to be distinctly average (except the made to order toasted sandwiches in refractory).

    I much prefer the QR outstation Premium Lounges (London, Paris, Bangkok, etc) than this one.

    • Phillip says:

      I have to say I was very happy to receive the e-mail from Qatar yesterday confirming the return to T4 on 14th June!

    • Rob says:

      When it opened they served Krug here – search for my very old review.

      • Thegasman says:

        Incredibly rare to even see Krug in Al-Mourjan these days!

        • Thegasman says:

          General standard of booze has nose dived over last few years as well. I used to keep the onboard wine lists as they were so impressive. There was always a decent 7-10 year old claret, premier cru white burgundy plus some interesting new world stuff whereas now it’s almost at the BA <£10 bottle level.

          • JDB says:

            It’s the one area where BA excels – the wine in F and in CCR, is usually better than any other airline. QR wine is now very much supermarket variety but they have gone for quaffable wines – ie ones with a few spoons of added sugar, unlike BA J descaling whites and hard reds.

        • Thegasman says:

          I meant Al-safwa…

      • Nick G says:

        I remember our first time here and I had glass of Krug served at the table, with a freshly cooked fantastic chicken biryani by staff at a well set up table who seemed genuinely pleased to see you.

        I agree though it’s choice of booze has gone down hill (a bit), space to sit and eat is a bit like when the music stops in musical chairs, and the overall bussiness of the lounge isn’t as quiet and calm as it once was over the past few years. The staff are now rushed off their feet if you can catch one of them, the food is generally buffet and quality lacking. Last time just before lockdown at the business check in desk they refused to the point of arguing to check our bags on to Heathrow as we flew to Frankfurt before a few hours onward to Heathrow with BA in CE. Right pain in the arse clearing customs collecting bags rechecking in luggage. Put us off the Qatar premium experience for now.

  • Mark says:

    At this lounge just over a week ago for an extended stop over – and WOW!

    Absolutely fantastic. Simple!

    • polly says:

      Must admit, we do enjoy,our quickest visits. Mainly my OH needs to smoke somewhere… fast!
      But having eaten well before and after, we just don’t bother with the food any more. It’s been 2020 since last there, when we were racing ahead of lockdown to get home from `Bali, then HKT.

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