In the coming months, Qatar Airways will be opening a new business class lounge in Doha, and by all accounts it should be incredible. While there are a lot more questions than answers, we have some interesting clues as to what we can expect.
Basics of Qatar Airways’ new Al Mourjan Business Lounge
Just ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a massive extension opened to Doha Hamad International Airport. As part of this, we saw the opening of The Orchard, an impressive new indoor tropical garden (which looks a whole lot like The Jewel in Singapore).
While the public areas of the expanded terminal opened, and while a temporary new Al Mourjan Lounge opened (known as Al Mourjan North), we know that Qatar Airways will be opening a new flagship Al Mourjan Lounge for its business class passengers in the near future.
The lounge is expected to be around 100,000 square feet, and that’s an exciting development, as it means the existing Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Lounge (which is excellent) should become much less crowded. Business class passengers will have roughly double the lounge capacity compared to before, which will come in handy over peak periods.
The new lounge is expected to overlook The Orchard, so should have a great, open feel. On top of that, the lounge is expected to feature a gym, which you won’t otherwise find in many airport lounges.
As far as the lounge’s opening date goes, it’s expected that the lounge will open in the first half of the year. It seems most likely that the lounge could open just after Ramadan (in late April or early May).
The lounge will have two special, secret amenities
Head for Points got a tour of the new Al Mourjan Lounge, though he wasn’t allowed to take pictures, and isn’t allowed to share many details. Nonetheless he hints at two elements of the lounge that will be world firsts, and states that one of them “genuinely stunned” him. So, what can we expect?
- “Two of the biggest brands in the world will be opening brand extensions” in the lounge, and they’ll apparently be very high-end brands
- This won’t just be the first time we’ve seen something like this in an airport lounge, but the first time something like this has been done anywhere
- “Some people will rearrange their travel plans purely to travel through Hamad in order to visit one or both of these facilities,” and Head for Points notes that non-readers would be more likely to reroute their travels for this (in other words, it won’t just have appeal among avgeeks)
- Neither of these will be free, but rather “deep pockets will be required,” and it will be for those in “shopping mode”
As someone who loves a good guessing game, suffice it to say that my interest has been piqued. That being said, I don’t have a single decent theory:
- This will apparently be the first time something like this has been done anywhere, and not just in an airport lounge, so I suspect this won’t just be a branded spa or some high-end shopping from a retailer, since those things already exist
- “Deep pockets” being required suggests to me that we’re not talking about something that costs $100 (which just about anyone in business class could reasonably afford), but rather a lot more than that
- The belief that people would reroute their travels to visit one of these collaborations suggests it must really be something special
So obviously it has something to do with shopping, but what could be so unique that people would reroute their travels to visit this place? Will there be some exclusive collection of something available just in this lounge, or…?
Does anyone want to take a guess? I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop thinking about this until I figure it out, because this is so intriguing to me. What could it possibly be? Is it something involving a very high-end watch, car, or alcohol business? If so, what? I can’t wait to learn more!
The new Al Mourjan Business Lounge Doha should open in the coming months, overlooking The Orchard. This should roughly double the business class lounge capacity at the airport, which is exciting. Furthermore, the lounge will have some unique amenities, like a gym.
However, what I find most interesting is that there will allegedly be collaborations with two major luxury brands, which will offer something we’ve never seen before in or outside of an airport.
Anyone want to guess what the new Al Mourjan Lounge amenities will be?
"One of a kind" Indoor camel racing track with petting zoo for the kiddos!!
Hi, just went thru Doha a couple of weeks ago. Al Mourjan Lounge food was awful, the menu selections were obviously not cooked to order as I got my order in less than 10 mins with an overflowing lounge. Noisy, not very comforting lounge, although staff was very good including the ever vigilant managers and supervisors. Let them focus on the thefundamentals and not the gimmicks.
Absolutely agree. The lounge is a dump. Food was awful. Sleeping pods a disgrace.
I guess it may be like the CDG Extime concept, which was similarly described as groundbreaking and spectacular, even though I didn’t find it particularly impressive. I am highly skeptical of airport hype these days.
Botox treatment spa while the gents race a F1 track
Did head-for-points get money for that private walk? I mean ... Even if i d get a free hotel in DOH id make my thoughts to go there, let alone to spend lots on a blingy thing that probably is sheikh' son style.....
They are trying to create it as a destination for long stop overs.
There was no mention of the ubiquitous lounge programs such as Lounge Key, Priority Pass and Dragon Pass.
I would actually divert to Hamad if it has a Rolex boutique with actual stock :)
I expect it will be LVMH connected .... Louis Vuitton branded.
Qatar will have an F1 GP in October
Qatar being Qatar, you can bet it is something being over-hyped by His Grand Imperial Majesty and his Exulted Royal circle of minions, and will prove something of a fizzer to the vast majority of readers here.
We will see in due course.
If you have access to recent satellite photos, you can spot the race car track. It is not quite F1 standards (use the A380 for scale) but still very large and partially undercover
@ Mike -- Do you have a link to a photo like this?! I'm intrigued!
@ Creditcrunch -- Thanks! Am I missing something, or where is there a race track in the satellite image?
@Ben I was hoping the OP could identify the works because all I can see is some underground apron works in front of the new lounge, google earth image of the area look’s complete unless the op has other information.
@ Creditcrunch -- Thanks! Hopefully Mike can chime in with what we're missing...
I wish it could be an Airbus flight simulator. It'll probably have an experience involving automobiles with some opportunities for follow on sales.
Maybe one with a built-in paint de-peeler?
For enough $$$ they'll close the airport for an hour and let you tare up and down the runways in an F1 car?
Hermes boutique that carries Birkin bags. LOL!
I'm guessing it is a bespoke caviar and champagne experience..Petrossian/Dom ? Is that enough of an experience to reroute? Maybe! Or perhaps a luxury car brand at highly discounted price-points? similar to what European manufacturers do with European Delivery programs? Who knows!. Love Hamad anyway and happed to have flights thru there in May so looking forward to seeing....
Perhaps there will be a real flight simulator with instructors?
Louis Vuitton café is one of the brand extensions opening in the lounge. It will be the second in the world, after Tokyo.
That would be my guess… LV cafe, Dior or maybe even Cheval Blanc spa… keep it all in the LVMH family. They’re keen to build their ‘experiences’ business.
My guess is a high end spa. They have a lot of 9+ hour layovers there, and that would be perfect for a high-end day spa where you spend 3-4 hours of your layover. Some lounges have had mini spas before but I can't think of any that have offered a full-on day spa experience.
How about a Ferrari test range? For a nominal fee, you can take a spin around the apron in a top of the line racecar!
A bit like the Porsche experience at ATL???
Indoor camel racing track with petting zoo for the kids!!
Wonder if one of the concepts is a high end luxury hotel within the lounge offering rooms with private pools, cabanas, spa etc and maybe a restaurant with Michelin star aspirations.
Oh and I would definitely reroute if there was a casino in there!
I was thinking similar, maybe a Four Seasons or "Mandarin Oriental at Hamad International Airport". It would also fit with the idea that the Orchard area is being targeted at those in transit from long haul who might need a hotel whilst the original Al Mourjan and Al Safwa are then more targeted at those departing Doha or connecting within the Middle East etc. Or what about something like a lounge area operated by Soho...
I was thinking similar, maybe a Four Seasons or "Mandarin Oriental at Hamad International Airport". It would also fit with the idea that the Orchard area is being targeted at those in transit from long haul who might need a hotel whilst the original Al Mourjan and Al Safwa are then more targeted at those departing Doha or connecting within the Middle East etc. Or what about something like a lounge area operated by Soho House?
High-end shopping seems a bit uncreative when the lounge is already completely surrounded by luxury stores.
I was reminded that gambling is prohibited so that burst my balloon.
Someone here in the pub suggested a possible tie up with a brand that has never dabbled in hotels like Aston Martin/Rolls Royce/Boeing or Rolex/LV/Prada designed luxury penthouses with affiliated transfer from the lounge/hotel to the steps of the plane as part of the VIP Package.
Sounds like the watch store in the Etihad T3 lounge at AUH... but then it wouldn't be a first.
Maybe luxury cars?
Definitely a Harrods department store! Qatar sovereign wealth fund owns it and this makes collaboration seamless and it first the criteria of deep pockets and never before done (Heathrow and Hamad have small gift shops as opposed to full range departments)
Harrods isn't one of the biggest brands in the world.
Disney would be my guess.
Hasn't Disney been done to death elsewhere in the word already?
You don't think 'new and exciting' when you think Disney, do you.
The Harrods at Heathrow Terminal 5 isn't a 'small gift shop', it's 10,000 sq ft including several designer concessions such as Zegna and Ferragamo.
In the original article the writer talks about shopping: if you're starting your journey in Doha and you are not in shopping mode you may prefer to visit the original lounge. So it could be a partnership with some luxury brand (LV? Balenciaga?) to offer an exclusive fashion collection available for purchase only in the lounge.
Isn't The Loft at Brussels Airport a co-branded airport lounge with Brussels Airlines and Lexus. Therefore it's not the first time this sort of thing has been done as you claim.
First off, the 'first of its kind' is what anybody will say about anything, regardless of how first it actually is.
Secondly, while the lounge in Brussels certainly has a lot of the Lexus branding, I don't recall being able to purchase a Lexus in the lounge. (To be fair, I never asked about it)
But I don't think you can say it is the same if they have something you can actually purchase, especially if it is something exclusive to the lounge.
Headforpoints have a lot of promotion trips paid by the airlines/hotels, and agree to minimum word write ups and in some cases review by the airline/hotel before publication. I can’t blame them; Rob does it full time and employs a couple of staff and keeps a small office. But as this is clearly a pre-opening tour organized by Qatar I would keep this article in perspective and not get too excited by the hype, at least not until we have more details
Couldn’t agree more - HfP has largely become a collection of sponsored reviews and other promotional materials ordered by airlines and hotel chains.
The breathlessly superlative review of a luxury shopping mall in North-East Paris springs to mind, which apparently is now the best airport in the world..
Louis Vuitton @ Hamad :)
My guess would be something like a miniature theme park, like a little Disney section for kids with a couple of functioning rides, or possibly themed after one of Disney's other/subsidiary brands, i.e. a Star Wars or Marvel experience. You know how the bar on Disney cruise ships can now serve you that Star Wars cocktail for $1000, presented by "real" stormtroopers? Something like that.
Deep pockets…but not deep enough to fly first class?
Most of their aircraft doesn't have first class
But someone with “deep pockets” could likely fly emirates first wherever they’re traveling from/to
This is the kind of post that Lucky will continually update with a slow trickle of new "clues", but never make a distinction of what information is actually new.
LOL. So true. The one and only thing I loathe about this blog is opening a "new" article from 2007 and can't tell if anything is new. And what's the point of being given a tour of the lounge if you can't talk about it. It's a freaking airport lounge. No one is going out of their way to visit it.