Terminal 1, Hamad International Airport, Doha
Based on Visit: 20 March 2022 at 05:30
This is a review of the Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge in Doha’s Hamad International Airport.
This was an interesting visit, I had heard great things about Doha’s Business Class lounge, and it is pretty big – so I was excited to see what was in store.
Officially, entry is guaranteed to those flying Business Class with either Qatar Airways or other OneWorld carriers, and also open to OneWorld Sapphire and Emerald members.
I say “officially” because I was refused access to Al Safwa, Qatar’s First Class Lounge – despite First Class Lounges supposedly bring accessible to OneWorld Emerald Members. So, there is a possibility if you’re not flying Business Class, but have OneWorld status – the goalposts may be moved!
How to Get There
Slightly surprisingly, this wasn’t quite as straightforward at the Priority/Al Maha Lounge at Doha to find! But it’s not too hard!
Find the big yellow teddy and stand in front of it.
Then take a left, under the mezzanine.
Then you’ll see some large escalators, go up those, and you’ll find yourself at the desk!
Often, Qatar Airways have attendants at the bottom of the escalators, so you’ll probably be checked in before you go up.
I don’t know if this is the biggest Airline Lounge in the world – quite possibly!
But there are a HUGE number of areas and places to go in this lounge.
Firstly, once checked in, a walk behind the reception desk takes you to the ‘general lounge’ area. Here you’ll see a whole host of seating, coffee stations, water stations, etc.
Take left from behind Reception, and walk all the way to the end of this huge area (towards the glass wall), you will find the a la carte restaurant/deli.
If you walk straightish from Reception through the large seating area, you’ll find more of a Quiet Area – which also has coffee and water stations. The quiet area has some really nice ‘pods’ with beds which are great for sleeping/relaxing in.
Through the Quiet Area, you will find the Business Centre. This is a hugely impressive area, it is almost an office in itself with numerous computers – it really is impressive, and perfect if you’re working during layovers!
Alternatively, if you turn right from Reception, you’ll see a more lounge seating. You’ll then come to the huge black water feature, and above it is more dining – up the spiral stair case.
Aside from these key areas, there are many other ‘sub-areas’ such as a Children’s Play Area and a Smoking Room.
The layout is undeniably premium and exceptional in quality. However, even at 5:30am which was my visit, it was extremely busy!
Food and Drink
A La Carte Restaurant/Deli
The a la carte restaurant or deli is ‘downstairs’, on the same floor you check in on. This was a sit-down affair, with table service food and drink – and seemingly a 24-hour menu of variety of sandwiches, salads and deserts.
The a la carte restaurant was not very busy at all during the time I was there, but I didn’t eat in it.
Up the spiral staircase (or the elevator), and you’ll find a buffet-style restaurant.
The restaurant has a bar, and two food stations. One of the food stations is a served buffet. At the time I visited, it was breakfast being served – which had a variety of the usual breakfast items, and also a bread cart. The other food station is a self-service station, with a variety of dishes.
Because I don’t ‘do breakfast’, I grabbed some cheese from the self-service buffet and some bread from the bread cart. The food, did seem of good quality – but it was by no means excellent.
Curiously, on the tables was a menu with a QR code. This brought up the daily menu, which spanned breakfast, lunch and dinner – which was presumably items available from the buffet at certain times.
I have to be honest, it wasn’t easy finding a seat in the buffet restaurant – as I left, there was a large queue forming at the bottom of the spiral staircase, despite the fact it was only 6am!
There is a bar within the buffet restaurant, which served alcoholic and on-alcoholic drinks.
Throughout the Lounge there are multiple tea/coffee/soft drinks stations which are self-service – but seemingly if you want something a little strong you’ll need to attend a bar.
As I’ve written before, unless I did something very wrong, Wifi seemed to be accessed throughout the airport by phone number, boarding pass or WhatsApp. This appeared to be generic throughout all lounges and all areas of the airport.
The Wifi seemed pretty good, I managed to get into my emails, etc. However, I didn’t download or upload anything too heavy.
I am afraid that this is what was in my view unacceptable. At around 6:30am, there was a long queue for showers, and those using them seemed oblivious to the queues behind them – despite having waited a good 30 minutes for them!
Every so-often someone would show up with a flight “boarding soon”, which seemingly got them to the front of the queue!
Like the rest of the lounge, the showers were of excellent quality. But for such a big lounge to have so few showers is in my view a massive stalling point – especially when seemingly the majority of airline traffic through Doha is connections, as opposed to final destinations.
Frankly, the way the shower situation was handled was poor to say the least – for example, I’ve been to airports where you get a buzzer to tell you when your shower is ready. Making people line up outside for 30 minutes just wasn’t acceptable for a lounge/airline that strives to offer a premium service.
This lounge is undoubtably excellent in terms of quality, size and impressiveness. The Business Centre, for example, is absolutely excellent for those needing to work during a layover.
The staff, as Qatar Airlines naturally were, were excellent; polite, friendly, helpful, etc.
However, I was very underwhelmed with (a) the overcrowding/ability to find a seat; (b) the food and beverage; and (c) the shower situation.
Accordingly, whilst this is possibly one of the biggest airline lounges in the world – there is a lot of work for Qatar Airlines to do in order to make it the best!