Lounge Bargain – Review of the Dubai International Hotel Ahlan First Class Lounge

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Concourse D is the newest terminal of Dubai Airport and dedicated to all airlines other than Emirates. There is a range of airline lounges, including Lufthansa Business and Senator Lounges, Skyteam and British Airways lounges. For passengers traveling in Economy without any status, there are also various paid options, including lounges operated by the Dubai International Airport Hotel. They operate both a Business and First Class lounge. The former is part of Priority Pass while the latter is accessible through Loungebuddy or by booking direct. On a visit to Dubai, I had the chance to visit the Ahlan First Class Lounge.

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Ahlan First Class Lounge Facilities

Upon entering, a hostess welcomed me into the lounge and escorted me to the main room. I was immediately offered a cold towel and slip with the wifi access code. The host also listed all facilities in the lounge. Apart from the Timeless Spa and some premium alcohol, everything is included. The lounge has a nice size and consists of a restaurant, bar and multiple sitting- and relaxation areas. Also, there is a business center and separate kids-room.

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Immediately after entering there is a wall with various magazines and a nice flight information display with Flightradar24. On the right are the restrooms and multiple shower rooms. Because I spent the entire day in the Dubai Summer heat, a shower was my first priority.

The standard amenities are provided. While the shower itself with a rain-head was good, the shower was not spotlessly clean.

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Restaurant and Bar

After taking a shower, it was time for a bite and a drink. The Ahlan First Class lounge offers both an extensive buffet as à la carte selection. I took a seat in the restaurant and was immediately approached by a server with the menu and was asked for my drink order. Also, the bar has a full range of drinks, as I got to choose from three gins for my G&T. Very nice if you’re used to the expensive alcohol in Dubai.

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I toured the buffet and it was also very elaborate. There were various hot dishes, salads, bread, etc. Pre-packaged (fruit)salads and desserts were also available. There was a fridge with soft drinks and a coffee machine, but the staff were very attentive and regularly came by to see if you would want anything else to drink.

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In spite of the evening rush-hour, the lounge was very quiet with at most 10 other passengers. Airlines such as Air France use the lounge for their First Class passengers, which makes it otherwise very exclusive. While the buffet looked decent, I opted for some Asian bites from the menu. In terms of à la carte dishes, there were Western, Indian and Asian dishes.

In the meantime, I connected to the free wifi. The connection was fast, as even the regular network at Dubai is legitimately high speed.

The dishes I ordered tasted fine but were nothing extraordinary. It is certainly possible to have a full meal in the lounge if you don’t want to eat on the plane or if you haven’t had time to eat before going to the airport.

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As said before, there were hardly any other passengers in the lounge. Next to the restaurant is a small seating area and past the bar is the largest room. There are also a couple massage chairs. The only negative was the lack of power plugs.

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Access to the lounge is provided to First Class passengers on Air France and premium passengers from Royal Jordanian, Singapore Airlines, and Oman Air.

It is also possible to book a stay, regardless of airline or travel class, directly with the Dubai International Hotel for 200 AED (~£40) online. A better idea is to book Lounge access through Loungebuddy, where you can book online or via the app. Prices start at £27 for 4 hours. This makes a visit to the lounge very attractive if you have a couple of hours to spend at the airport. Between the full bar, buffet, and restaurant, and a quiet space to work, relax or freshen up, the value is excellent and I can certainly recommend this location. The lounge is open 24/7, but during the night there is no buffet offered.

Disclaimer: Access was provided by the Dubai International Hotel. The opinions provided are solely from the author. 


Good Points

- Large, quiet lounge with plenty of seating options
- Attentive staff
- Extensive bar, buffet and menu
- Price for access very reasonable

Bad Points

- Shower not very clean
- Lack of plugs





Food and Beverage

Overall Rating


An excellent in Concourse D of Dubai Airport with a modern and fancy decor. The Ahlan First Class lounge offers a quite place to relax or work, solid catering and great staff. Access through Loungebuddy is certainly an attractive deal. All in all I can definitely recommend that lounge if you have a couple of hours to spare before your flight.



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