Qatar Airways Has (Temporarily) Closed Their First Class Lounge!

Filed Under: Qatar

A little over five weeks ago, Qatar Airways finally opened the much anticipated Al Safwa First Class Lounge in Doha. The lounge’s opening was delayed by over a year, and delays on the lounge were “rolling,” which meant we never really knew when it would open.

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I had the good fortune of visiting the lounge a bit over a week ago, and found it impressive overall, even if some of the specific policies left me a bit puzzled (like them charging outrageous prices for spa treatments, while offering complimentary Krug and hotel-quality rooms.).

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I know a lot of people are going out of their way to transit Doha in hopes of visiting the Al Safwa Lounge. Well, unfortunately Qatar Airways has temporarily closed the Al Safwa Lounge, just a bit over a month after opening.

Apparently Doha had some pretty bad rain this past week, and it caused some leaking in the lounge. Construction in the region tends to be shoddy (even if the finishes are over-the-top), and it seems like the Al Safwa Lounge has some damage as a result of the rain.

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When will it re-open? There are several reports out there (including on FlyerTalk), suggesting it could take anywhere from a few days to 10 days from today. We can certainly hope the lounge reopens in the next week, though given Qatar’s track record of opening things punctually, I also wouldn’t be surprised if it takes them a month to re-open.

Anyone have an upcoming transit through Doha in first class, and bummed by the lounge closure? 

(Tip of the hat to @fotograaf)

  1. Yup! I transited through DOH yesterday solely to use the lounge only to be told it was closed for maintenance.

    Gutted! What a waste of time!

  2. I like how they’ve got that giant wide span bucket in the lounge to collect the stream of water leaking from the roof…

  3. I lived in Doha for 2 years working on a construction site. It’s a third world country with first world veneer.

  4. As a Qatar resident the whole country pretty much shut down last Wednesday. There are videos and pictures all over the internet of various floods and leaks including one p*ssing down in the airport!

    I had to climb the wall to get to my villa as the entrance to the compound was flooded and my wife had to walk through it waist deep with our 6 week old above her head! Was too deep for her to drive the Dodge Ram through!

    The most ironic thing is it didn’t even rain that much! Just a few hours of heavy rainfall! Was like a typical wet English summers day (apart from the flooding)

  5. “Construction in the region tends to be shoddy” ….

    I’ve worked in construction in the region and I can assure you it not only is not “shoddy”, but construction in the Middle East is just as good and as a matter of fact most times ahead of the US in terms of quality and technology. And let’s not get started on the difference in the finishes. Due to their virtually unlimited resources, they don’t cut corners in terms of quality in the Middle East, unlike the rest of the world.

    The reason why a building in Qatar may leak is no different than the reason why a building built for DC would crack in an earthquake in SF, or a building built for Quebec would have humidity/heat issues in the Maldives.

    It does not make economical sense to build a building that can withstand all types of weather and other nature conditions. We design buildings by looking at *average* weather conditions. Rain is not average in the region, and especially the amount of rainfall that occurred during the past few weeks. Besides, leaks in a brand new building is a very common phenomenon in the construction industry.

    I understand that sometimes you can get carried away and you may say things on the blog without giving them much thought, but please refrain yourself from the stereotypical ignorant-sounding biases. It decreases the quality of the blog.

  6. Does anyone know what you have to be flying / carrying to get in the First lounge, I’m BAEC GGL and will be flying Business on QR, does that get me access?

    Thanks all.

  7. Oh nooooo…having a transit in Doha coming up next Thursday :((( One of the reasons I bought 1st class ticket was to try the lounge -_-“

  8. AN . . . Dude (and you must be a “dude” if you’re a professional employed in country) you’re not going to win this argument; too many of us have been there. I’m guessing that you are involved in the “design” of the structures and not the actual “grunt” work of building. Are you going to tell me that the high rise apartments do not have plumbing and electrical problems, that the elevators are maintained and functioning, that the infrastructure is reliable? While I agree with you that one does not build a church (ahh maybe I’d better say mosque) based on Easter Sunday attendance, one is wise to build to acceptable standards such as roofs that do not leak.
    “No one is capable of predicting the future; but history and patterns of behavior are reliable guides.”

  9. @ VIstaro — You have to be ticketed in Qatar Airways first class. Being oneworld Emerald isn’t enough. In business class you’ll get access to the Al Mourjan Lounge.

  10. I am currently transiting at the airport in Doha, the first class lounge is open again since yesterday! :-)))

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