The Middle East is known for lavish, luxurious and opulent structures and that definitely extends to airline lounges. The ME3 (Emirates, Etihad and Qatar) all are known for their onboard products especially their First Class cabins, but what about their lounges?

Emirates First lounges are pretty impressive with a sushi bar, massage facilities, and many restaurants but to me, they don’t have a ‘wow’ factor. Etihad’s First lounge in Abu Dhabi is quite new and features an a la carte menu (which recently got halved), a six scenes spa and gym but to me, it no longer amazes me thanks to the evident cost-cutting.

But what about Qatar? well, they’re on a whole different level…

Qatar Al Safwa First Class Lounge

I’ve previously reviewed Qatar’s Al Safwa lounge but I didn’t get to spend much time in there until yesterday. I had an 8-hour layover from Singapore onto Sydney and decided I would get a little bit more familiar with the lounge.

Let’s first talk about the sleeping rooms and the policy behind it. As I was transiting for more than 6 hours, I had access to the sleeping rooms but ONLY for 6 hours. I asked if I could extend the time in there even with a fee and was told NO. It’s nice to have access but to have a limited time in a sleeping room and no chance to extend that? to me, that’s a little strange.

Qatar Airways Al Safwa Beds

Possibly the most over the top part of the lounge would have to be the spa facility, more so the Jacuzzi. Now, as a First Class passenger, you’d think you can use a Jacuzzi or Shower for free right? Nope. Below are the prices for the ‘Shower Room’

No, you didn’t read it wrong, it costs 200 QAR which is $73 AUD to use the showers or Jacuzzi. $#!t!

Qatar Airways Al Safwa Jacuzzi

That’s a hell of a lot for some hot or cold water. It’s also quite interesting intriguing to note that Qatar do provide you with a pair of disposable pants and underwear which I thought was ‘unique’

What are your thoughts on the lounge, are the policies quite strange or warranted considering the cool facilities?