Taryn and I had fun in Dubai… but we were *extremely* excited about heading to the Maldives! We booked our flights to Dubai and to the Maldives in Emirates business class but using Alaska Airlines frequent flyer miles, so arranging the two-day stopover in Dubai was super easy.
We flew the Airbus A380 aircraft for our flight from Washington to Dubai, but on this flight, we flew on a Boeing 777. We had lower expectations (no onboard bar 😢), but we were once again blown away by the Emirates experience.
Arrival/Business Class Lounge
Right from the start, Emirates makes its business and first class passengers feel extra special. While most airlines have a dedicated counter for premium class passengers check-in, Emirates offers a dedicated airport entrance. I’m talking a sign along the road to the airport that says “Business/First Class Passengers Turn Here.” We were met at the curb by an Emirates porter who grabbed our bags and brought us straight to the check-in counter. There were a couple dozen counters staffed with Emirates agents, so no business or first class passengers would have to wait at all.
And most airlines give expedited access to the security line… but once again, Emirates isn’t most airlines. Since its a completely separate entrance to the airport, business and first class passengers also have their own dedicated airport security checkpoints. We were checked-in and through security within 10 minutes of arriving at the airport. Dubai Airport: 1, TSA: 0.
We had roughly four hours to burn until our 4:35am flight to the Maldives, so we went straight to the Emirates Business Class Lounge.
I knew this place was big, but I had no idea just how big. The directory at the front of the lounge gave us a preview of what to expect.
There was also a menu to describe the different dining options available in the lounge. You can see a general map of the lounge below the menu. This place is HUGE.
The lounge occupies the second-level space above the rest of the terminal. As you can see here, the lounge is on both sides of the terminal, and this picture captures about 1/4 of the lounge itself.
We were craving some munchies after midnight but didn’t want to gorge ourselves, so we went to the Voss Health Hub first. I vaguely remember those Voss water bottles costing something like $8 each in Las Vegas, but (of course) they were complimentary in the lounge. Besides special water, they also had healthy foods such as fruits, veggies, dips, yogurt, etc.
We walked past the Quiet Lounge, which had lots of loungers for people who wanted some shut eye. It was the middle of the night, but we were too excited to sleep. So we explored some more.
We meandered to what we assumed was the only food area in the lounge. And HO-LY. COW. I had high expectations, but Emirates once again impressed.
This buffet was HUGE. And came with a full bar. And a nice selection of desserts. Easily the best selection I’ve ever seen in a lounge.
Then I realized that this was only one of about four separate buffet areas. They had additional buffets which featured the different menus that we saw at the entrance. So there was an Asian buffet, Mediterranean buffet, separate dessert bar, etc. I seriously couldn’t believe how much the lounge had to offer. Mind = blown 🤯
The lounge also featured a separate Moet Chandon champagne bar. Apparently nobody was popping bottles at 2:00am.
And a complimentary Costa Coffee bar.
THIS LOUNGE WAS INSANE! I couldn’t help myself and probably ate more than is healthy. Walking on sand dunes burns a lot of calories, right?
We (sadly) had to leave the swanky business class lounge around 3:30am and headed to our gate. We were invited to board around 3:45am. Like our previous flight, they had a separate jetway for business class passengers. We had essentially been up all night, so were happy to settle into our business class seat.
Overall, the seats had a similar motif to the business class seats on the Airbus A380. The seats on the 777 were arranged in a 2-3-2 pattern in business class, while the A380 were 1-2-1. So our seats were still very and nice spacious, but not quite as private. We sat in two seats next to the window, which also featured a privacy screen that I felt the need play with.
Usually I’m stuck in the middle seat which entails Taryn dozing off on my shoulder, so I was happy to see I could cut her off if need be.
The flight attendant rolled her eyes at my antics and dropped off two glasses of champagne. The seats had the normal-sized tray table that folded out over the seat, and it also had a nifty side table that folded down from the arm rest. Perfect size for a drink, phone, snack, etc.
The seat was adjustable by buttons in the armrest, and had a nice “cruise” setting that included a leg rest. And like the Airbus A380, the TV screens were huge.
Once again, I had to push all the buttons and explore all the features of the seat. The seats were fully lie flat at the touch of a button. It kind of felt like you’re going to sink into the bowels of the aircraft as the seat slowly goes horizontal, but I can attest that its safe.
The flight was only about 4 hours to the Maldives, so the crew quickly served breakfast to allow passengers maximum time for sleeping.
Like our previous Emirates flight, the flight attendant placed a white table cloth on our tray table and the food tray also had a white cloth. The meal was simple and nothing too fancy, but still great. The breakfast included fresh fruit, yogurt, eggs, potatoes, beans, and a bread roll. It’s not like you can get too luxurious with breakfast, right? I already ate lots of food in the lounge so wasn’t super hungry at this point anyway.
After breakfast, it was time for an hour or two of shuteye before we landed in the Maldives. We knew we’d be exhausted after pulling an all-nighter in our thirties, but we figured we’d have plenty of time to sleep on the beach.
A fun feature on Emirates aircraft is the the lighting. After the crew wrapped up cleaning the cabin after breakfast, they dimmed the lights, and the ceiling lighting had a “starry night” design.
I woke up around 45 minutes before landing as the crew prepared the cabin for arrival. It was a little cloudy, but we had great views of all the small islands of the Maldives as we approached the airport in Male.
As the plane approached the Male airport, I switched the TV to the plane’s camera, which gave an awesome view of the approach.
We touched down on time and headed over to customs. Now to find the seaplane to our resort!
Overall, the Emirates business class flight from Dubai to the Maldives was great. But it was the overall experience at the Dubai airport that really blew us away. From the moment we arrived at the airport, Emirates made sure we felt like we were being taken care of. And that lounge though…
Want to start your own credit cards points journey? Check out Points for Beginners to learn the basics, and follow our blog for more tips on how to make your dream vacation a reality.