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.)
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:
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:
…. 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 buffet restaurant
The restaurant was pretty rammed when I first arrived, as you can see here. It seemed particularly popular with families:
Fortunately, things calmed down by the time I had finished breakfast. I was sat by myself:
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:
A buffet was also available. The most substantial offering was a hot breakfast offering, for which there was quite a queue when I arrived:
Other options included yoghurts, fruit, hummus etc:
Plus a range of pastries and bread:
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:
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.
They’re a decent size, with shower and toilet cubicles separated with frosted glass:
Toiletries are provided by Diptyque – you can’t argue with that.
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:
The central section also features two bars serving water and soft drinks:
Some funky, gnarled wood partitions break up the space a bit:
Next to the showers you’ll also find the business centre. This is made up of a more casual part:
Plus a more officey area:
You’ll also find a games room here, although it looks startlingly barren and was empty when I had a peek:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
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 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.