After arriving in Doha, I had a 20-hour layover before my connecting flight to Singapore. I’d deliberately planned it this way to give me plenty of time to check out the brand new Al Mourjan Garden Lounge.
But first, I needed to take care of the 3 S’s: shower, shave and, um, selectively replying to emails. That led me to the Qatar Airways Premium Arrivals Lounge, a great little facility for those actually terminating their journeys in Doha.
|🍸 tl;dr: Qatar Airways Premium Arrivals Lounge|
|The Qatar Airways Premium Arrivals Lounge offers everything you need to hit the ground running- except perhaps a decent meal.|
|👍 The Good||👎 The Bad|
|👑 Monarchy in the UK|
Prelude: Immigration Lounge
Before you even reach the Arrivals Lounge proper, you’ll pass through the Immigration Lounge. This offers dedicated clearance counters for First and Business Class passengers travelling on Qatar Airways (and only Qatar Airways).
This is a relatively simple lounge, with reading materials and a buffet counter offering fruits, yoghurt, muffins and assorted drinks. While it’s a pleasant enough space, I don’t think you’ll spend more than five minutes here- the main event is landside!
Just saunter up to the immigration counter when you’re ready, collect your bags, then head on to the arrivals hall. Turn left and you’ll see the entrance to the Arrivals Lounge.
Access and Operating Hours
The Qatar Airways Premium Arrivals Lounge in Doha is open 24 hours a day.
Access is restricted to First and Business Class passengers arriving on a Qatar Airways flight. There is no access for oneworld elites in Premium Economy and Economy, nor First and Business Class passengers travelling on other oneworld carriers. Passengers are technically restricted to a six-hour stay, though I doubt there’d be reason to test the limits.
After scanning your boarding pass, you’ll be escorted to an elevator which brings you to the second floor where the lounge is.
While Qatar Airways is a major global airline, it carries mostly transit traffic. A relative minority of its passengers terminate their journeys in Doha, and consequently, the Arrivals Lounge sees very light usage. The whole time I was there, I only saw one other passenger. He left shortly afterwards, which meant I had the entire facility to myself.
Near the lift exit was a seating area featuring Qatar’s signature purple sofas and blue/red armchairs.
There was also a partitioned-off quiet area with three rest pods, intended for passengers to get some sleep. They could have easily placed slumberettes here, but instead have gone with wingback chairs and an ottoman- a strange design decision to say the least. Two of these are single units, while one is a double. Each pod has its own television set.
A nearby room had a communal television area, though it’s kept off when not in use.
Further into the lounge was the dining area, with four three-seater tables and additional seating along the wall (which looked rather uncomfortable- you don’t really sit on a sofa to dine!).
At the rear of the dining area was a passageway leading to the business centre. This was exposed to the main arrivals concourse, which is actually rather refreshing- an opportunity for natural light and some greenery.
The business centre offered a space to catch up on work, send some emails or take some calls before heading out.
In addition to a communal work desk with iMac desktops…
…there were also four semi-private workstations, each with two iMacs and a printer. The chairs in the business centre are much more suited to work, with proper back support and adjustable height.
The business centre also had two meetings rooms with presentation facilities, each with seating for up to eight people.
Finally, the lounge also had a smoking room, for those of you into that sort of thing. This is disconcertingly close to the dining area, and I do wish they’d built it behind double doors to minimise seepage.
Food & Beverage
Qatar Airways isn’t known to skimp on the catering, which is why the food in the Arrivals Lounge seemed rather underwhelming.
Prior to COVID, customers could order from a small menu of made-to-order sandwiches. Now, what you see is what you get. It appears the items are all brought in from elsewhere in the airport, and the spread was predominantly cold items like fruits, cheese, cereals, yoghurt, and breads (with no toaster). There were only two hot items: foul mudammas and porridge.
Here’s a full listing of the breakfast selection for your reference.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, there’s no alcohol served here. The purpose of this lounge is to help you hit the ground running, not to knock you out!
The drinks on offer were juice, sodas, still and sparkling water (it’s kind of weird how Qatar Airways spends big on the sparkling water with San Pellegrino, then offers cheap unbranded still water).
Wi-Fi & Power
The Arrival Lounge’s Wi-Fi network clocked in at a blazing 290 Mbps down and 428 Mbps up, which was probably also a reflection of how low the occupancy was.
Power outlets were predominantly located in the sitting area, together with the wireless charging pads that Qatar has introduced to all its lounges.
Toilets & Showers
The Arrivals Lounge has male and female toilets, as well as six shower rooms- three each for men and women. All facilities were absolutely spotless, and there was no wait for a shower.
Shower rooms had an open wardrobe, luggage storage rack, and a chair for wearing your shoes.
Each room had an attached toilet and shower cubicle with Diptyque bath amenities. Water pressure was strong and refreshing, just what you need after a long-haul flight.
The Qatar Airways Premium Arrivals Lounge offers almost everything you need to hit the ground running, except perhaps a solid meal. While I appreciated the showers, the quiet areas and the well-equipped business centre, it was slightly disappointing not to have a better selection of F&B, especially since the airline is more than capable of pulling it off in its other lounges.
That said, not many airlines offer arrivals lounges in the first place, so this is an excellent amenity to have. I’d love to see Singapore Airlines doing something similar, but I doubt that’ll be possible at least until Terminal 5 rolls round.