DUBAI: You no longer need to be a business class traveller or have card privileges to access an airport lounge in Dubai, as Dubai International’s first private luxury lounge, which anyone can enter for a fee, opened on Monday.
Located on the upper level of the departure gates at Concourse A in Terminal 3, the Plaza Premium Lounge can be accessed by all passengers, irrespective of the class they travel in. Spread over 1,260 square metres, it is the only airport lounge to provide private family suites, with a multi-lingual butler service and an accompanying kid’s playroom.
You can make a booking through www.plazapremiumlounge.com or walk in too.
Speaking to Gulf News at the launch, Eugene Barry, Executive Vice-President, Commercial, Dubai Airports, said, “This is the first third-party lounge being set up at Dubai International to help meet the growing demand from connecting travellers for spaces to relax, do work or spend time with family.” The launch of this premium lounge has taken the total number of lounges at DXB to 23.
Song Hoi-see, Founder and CEO of the Plaza Premium Group said the idea behind the typically non-airline linked lounge concept was to give the large majority of economy travellers a lounge experience. “Eighty five per cent of people who fly do not get to enjoy premium lounge services. We wanted to change that and dispel the stigma that lounges are only meant for what the airline industry calls “CIPs or commercially important persons”.
Besides the family suites and kids’ playroom, the lounge, which can accommodate up to 300 people at any point, also features seven honeycomb cubicles which travellers can use for working, eight closed door napping spaces, separate prayer rooms for males and females, five shower rooms with amenities, beverage and cigar bars and a live, “glocal” cooking station covering Arabic, Asian and international cuisines.
Hoi-see said Dubai’s Terminal 3 was a natural choice to set up the first premium private lounge, given the profile of passengers originating from India, Saudi Arabia, China, England and Oman where Premium Plaza lounges already exist.
He said Dubai International connects travellers to more than 220 destinations. With Plaza Premium currently having 160 lounges in 46 international airports all over the world, its vast network of 16 million passengers can now avail its departure-transit-arrival lounge experience in Dubai.
Briton David Holland, an Emirates passenger headed to Birmingham, said, “I have a Plaza Premium priority pass card (which gives me a discount). I use these lounges because they are relaxing. I have just come out of a cruise ship and need this kind of relaxation before flying out to Birmingham.”
Another passenger David Lewis using the lounge on the opening day said, “My wife Helen and I are transiting through Dubai on our way to Colombo from Toronto. It’s pretty nice to be here as its very spacious.”
A Russian family headed to St. Peterburg made the most of the kids’ playroom. “My daughter Mariia, 2, loved it,” said Kseniia Skachovak, who was with her three children and a senior relative.
The lounge can be accessed through select travel passes and credit cards too.
Individual lounge access rates begin at $53 (Dh194.67) including VAT for three hours.