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Qatar unveils three new airport lounges in Doha for Oneworld frequent flyers

July 9 2022
5 min read
Qatar unveils three new airport lounges in Doha for Oneworld frequent flyers
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Planning to spend some time in Doha, Qatar’s Hamad International Airport (DOH) soon?

Qatar Airways has revealed a trio of new lounges – named Platinum, Gold and Silver, specifically – that should probably be on your radar.

The new spaces were built in addition to three existing Qatar lounges in the airport: Al Safwa, catering to Qatar and Oneworld airlines first class passengers only; Al Mourjan, inviting Qatar and Oneworld business class passengers; and Oryx, which welcomes Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members.

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The development is perfectly timed ahead of this winter’s FIFA World Cup, when hundreds of thousands of fans, ambassadors and delegates will swarm the Gulf state to take in one of the biggest sporting events on earth.

There’s no doubt the extra space will be welcomed. But have any new goals been scored here?

First up: entry. The new Platinum, Gold and Silver lounges are open to both Privilege Club loyalty members and equivalent Oneworld status members.

This includes British Airways Executive Club members traveling on a Oneworld flight in economy, with the level of entry for each traveler depending on their frequent flyer status.

In Concourse A, the Platinum South Lounge boasts seating for 140 people, a bar, a restaurant for buffet or a la carte dining, showers, a quiet area and a prayer room.

Privilege Club Platinum Oneworld Emerald (Executive Club Gold) members can enter this lounge with their status.

Related: Is it better to redeem Avios through British Airways Executive Club or Qatar Airways Privilege Club?

The airline’s Gold Lounge South can seat 85 passengers and includes a bar, dining area plus buffet, showers — and no doubt the great service we’ve come to expect of Qatar Airlines.

Privilege Club Gold and Oneworld Sapphire (Executive Club Silver) members can enter this lounge with their status.

Lastly, in Concourse B you will find the Silver Lounge South, which opened in March.

It welcomes Qatar Airways Privilege Club Silver members.

There’s a capacity for 195 travelers who can enjoy buffet dining, meeting rooms, a family area and baggage storage facilities.

Unfortunately at this stage, it does not appear that the equivalent Executive Club members (Bronze) will be permitted entry.

Related: Avios vs. Tier Points: British Airways Executive Club status explained

The airline’s chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said the lounges demonstrated “the airline’s commitment to rewarding Privilege Club and Oneworld alliance members with coveted benefits that befit the service quality Qatar Airways is synonymous for.”

“We look forward to welcoming passengers to experience our sophisticated, modern and spacious lounges when transiting through the world’s best airport,” he added.

How will they measure up to other lounges at Doha? After all, the Al Safwa is one of the finest airport lounges in the world. And the Al Mourjan lounge blows most first class lounges out of the water, never mind its business-class rivals. This was always restricted to passengers traveling in first and business-class respectively, regardless of their Oneworld status level.

In fact, in many ways those lounges are too good, packing a level of luxe and indulgence that stretches beyond the norm. Any frequent flyer worth their points knows this pair are god-tier lounges worth booking a trip for alone.

TPG’s Zach Griff declared Al Safwa one of the most “visually appealing lounges” he had ever been to. “The extremely tall ceilings provided an open-air experience without letting in the noise from the terminal,” he said. And he added that thanks to its decor, "walking around the lounge felt more like browsing a museum than killing time in one of the busiest airports in the world.”

But that left a real gap in quality between these two and the other Qatar lounges such as the Oynx business-class lounge and Oneworld first lounge (currently closed), which have tended to look dated and very basic by comparison.

Our pre-pandemic review of the Oneworld business lounge found it was “worlds apart” from the likes of the Al Moujran and called it an “inferior product”.

Oneworld Emerald status members who are accustomed to swanning into first class lounges with an economy ticket in Oneworld hubs like Sydney and Hong Kong will likely be disappointed with their frequent flyer lounge choices in Doha.

If some of the reports from travelers who’ve already visited the newly opened Silver Lounge South are to be believed, it’s not the roomiest of spaces and can suffer from overcrowding. It isn't exactly bursting with world-class amenities, either.

You’ll have to either book tickets, or wait for our coming reviews of the Platinum, Gold and Silver lounges, to see whether they can make up some ground in relation to the airport’s most elite lounges, or will continue to be the runners-up.

Forgive us for not being bowled over in the meantime.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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