Update On The Etihad First Class Lounge Opening Date

Filed Under: Etihad

Etihad’s new first class lounge in Abu Dhabi has seemingly been under construction for eons, and perhaps worst of all is that they’ve refused to officially provide an opening date. Many of us are really excited to check it out, as I suspect it’ll be spectacular, but it’s hard to plan around its opening if they don’t provide a date.

Last May I shared an update on the opening of the new Etihad lounge. I was told that the lounge should open in the second quarter of 2015, though shortly thereafter was told the opening was delayed until October. Then last August we received an update that the new lounge was supposed to open in early 2016. Then last November we received an update that the new lounge will supposedly open in mid to late 2016 at the earliest.

We finally had some good news this February, when Etihad announced that the first class lounge is scheduled to open in May 2016. They even shared a picture of the entrance to the new lounge on Instagram:

Etihad-First-Class-LoungeEtihad’s first class lounge Abu Dhabi

Then Etihad claimed that the lounge could open on May 1, though I was skeptical of that.

Anyway, for several months now the official line from Etihad has been that the lounge will open in May, and more specifically, “at the end of May.” While no date has been provided, at least something has been consistent.

Well, a friend passed through Abu Dhabi Airport yesterday and asked several lounge staff (and a couple of managers) about the opening date, and apparently they all had the same answer. The new Etihad first class lounge Abu Dhabi is scheduled to open on May 30.

Etihad won’t publicly say that, but then again they have said it will be opened “at the end of May,” so with that statement they can at most be off by a day. 😉

Based on what I’ve heard from the people who have had a preview of it, the new lounge is top notch, so here’s to hoping it’s worth the wait.

Do keep in mind that Ramadan starts on June 5, just a week after the lounge is scheduled to open. During Ramadan, Etihad doesn’t serve alcohol in their lounge during daylight hours.

Anyone traveling through Abu Dhabi in Etihad first class on or shortly after May 30?

  1. I too will be there on June 2 trying to kill a 14 hour layover. If his new lounge is open, it will definitely help.

  2. hey um, i think you meant may instead of day, towards the end of the post, thanks for the update

  3. Will spend a day in AUH on June 5th, didn’t realize it was the start of Ramadan :/ Fingers crossed for the lounge as well

  4. End of June for me. I’m curious, does anyone know if there is an arrivals lounge in JFK for Etihad First pax?

  5. Uhhh, I was travelling out of AUH on the 17th of May and the lounge escort told me the lounge would open on the 22nd of May. June 2nd sounds like another opening date that will not happen (especially since Ramadan is a couple of days afterwards).

  6. @Lucky – If you travel on Etihad first to AUH and then carry on to DOH on Qatar First, can I still use the Etihad First Lounge?

  7. @Craig – there is not. I passed through JFK (7 hour layover) after traveling in the First Apartments from AUH and JFK is not an arrivals lounge – they said they wouldn’t have enough catering to accommodate arrivals. You might be able to work out something in advance, but it is definitely not standard protocal. There are a couple priority pass lounge options – I did that for awhile then went to Admirals club. It’s a shame that they don’t allow arriving First passengers in the JFK lounge, a definite let down after the AUH lounges and traveling in the apartment.

  8. Any idea what time we are looking at for the opening? I have an AUH layover that spans the evening of May 29 and the early morning hours of May 30…

  9. So you’ve heard from reliable sources that have actually seen this lounge? I have to be honest, at times I have had my doubts that this lounge even exists. It seems clear now that when the “2Q 2015” date was being discussed last May, work had probably not even begun on the lounge.

  10. I’m traveling in first from JFK to AUH on June 18th and staying there for the night before traveling next day to Phuket. Will etihad let me go in to check it out when I arrive?

  11. What are access rules for the first lounge? I’ll be leaving AUH in F on 5/28 so will miss it, but then connect through AUH (arriving in F, departing in J) on 6/5. If the lounge is open by 6/5, should I be able to access it?

  12. We used the AUH lounge yesterday while transiting from London to Mumbai (First Apartment) and the staff refused to comment on it. They all insisted we should follow the news about the opening on EY social media.

  13. Anybody who has been following the Etihad First Lounge relaunch since the old one went out of service, is well aware that any date offerred up by Etihad needs to be treated with upmost scepticism (extremely poor history of reliability on such announcements)

    In a nutshell – the Etihad First Lounge will open when it opens, otherwise don’t read anything into it (you are likely to be disappointed otherwise).

  14. I’ll be there in the evening of May 31st…will be excited to check it out if it’s open

  15. The Ramadan article you link to is from 2015. This years dates are June 5- July 6th. I am in the process of booking a trip that has a long layover in AUH and I almost booked differently as I would have spent 8 hours in a lounge with no drinks.

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