When it comes to lounge access in Dubai, Emirates is particularly generous. Rather than granting entry only to Gold-grade flyers and above, year-round lounge perks start at the Skywards Silver level. In fact, even Qantas Club members get lounge privileges with Emirates in Dubai. One of several locations to choose from at Emirates’ home hub is the carrier’s Business Class Lounge in Terminal 3, Concourse C.

Dubai’s Terminal 3 is home to all Emirates flights. But the terminal is split across three distinct buildings. Concourse C is the oldest among them. For the trivia buffs, what’s now Concourse C used to be Terminal 1 in its own right. Yet, with Emirates’ network now so comprehensive – bringing the need for more gates – ‘Terminal 3’ was born, and the airport redesigned.

Certainly, the Business Class Lounge of Concourse C isn’t quite on-par with its newer counterparts elsewhere in the airport. But the space is well-maintained, and it’ll meet the needs of most travellers departing from the gates nearby. Let’s take a look.

Location and layout

Emirates has three lounges in Dubai’s Concourse C alone – a First Class Lounge, a combined class lounge, and this Business Class Lounge. If you’ve completed check-in at the usual place (Concourse B), follow the signs towards the ‘C’ gates. You’ll spot this lounge about half way along the concourse on the left-hand side. If in doubt, keep your eyes peeled for the bright green column.

I’ve been to this lounge many times before, but this visit, things look a little bit different. It’s pleasing to see that the space has had a subtle facelift. The chairs all look and feel new, and the dining area has been transformed with Emirates’ more modern lounge style.

In fact, a few updated touches help to divide the space. Speaking of that dining room, it’s split from the main seating area by some rather interesting snow-styled lighting. Perhaps, it’s rain rather than snow – but either way, it quickly catches my eye.

This is a two-storey space. The lower level likely offers everything you need, but upstairs has a few extra features. We’ll get to those soon. Much like Dubai Airport itself, this lounge is open and ready to welcome passengers 24/7.


Much of the seating in Emirates’ Concourse C Business Class Lounge is the same. The main level is a sea of personal armchairs – and that’s not a bad thing. Most are adjacent to a cocktail table. By extension, this means that power outlets are available in more locations than not. Usually, my strategy is to look for the lamps: but here, power is abundant so that old trick isn’t necessary.

Frequent travellers will know that most of Emirates’ lounges tend to look very similar. After all, they follow the airline’s signature design style and colour palette. This location blends ‘old’ and ‘new’ with a few extra touches. For instance, booth seating is wrapped around the glass elevator. It’s a handy place to wait for somebody who’s about to join you.

The main dining area is downstairs. It’s well-lit and distinct from the other zones in the space. There are small touches of greenery throughout the lounge. I always appreciate that splash of colour as it really adds some vibrance to the sand-toned furniture.

If you’re looking for somewhere quiet, turn right at reception and venture to the end. There, you’ll uncover a cosy little corner. It’s not formally a ‘quiet zone’ – but it’s implied from the design.

Food and beverage in the Emirates Business Class Lounge, Dubai T3, Concourse C

When it comes to eating and drinking, almost everything is served buffet-style. Drinks are self-pour, so help yourself to a glass of Moët & Chandon. On the food front, selections range from quick bites through to more substantial meals. You definitely won’t leave this lounge hungry.

In terms of ‘grab and go’ choices, enjoy a quick pre-made toasted sandwich or personal pizza bite. You’ll also find wraps and rolls assembled and sealed for freshness – another easy option if you’re pushed for time. But hopefully, you’ll have a chance to settle in. The salads are a fresh pick. You can either enjoy them pre-mixed or customise your own from a wide collection of ingredients. It’s always hard to go past hummus with pita too.

Hot food selections are vast with 14 separate offerings here in Emirates’ Concourse C Business Class Lounge. These range from vegetarian choices through to beef, chicken, fish, lamb, multiple rice bases, pastas… it’s comprehensive, to say the least.

For dessert, nibble on cheese, crackers and accompaniments. Or for something sweeter, you have a few options. There are various tarts, cakes and macarons at the ready. There’s also an ice cream cart with a web of flavours – just wave the staff down if you’d like a scoop.

This visit, I’m departing on a 3 am flight. For today, I’m being ‘boring’ and largely sticking to water. I appreciate having the choice between still or sparking, chilled or ambient, ice or no ice, garnishes of lemon or lime and so on. The philosophy seems very much that whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it here – and today, I do.

Amenities in the Emirates Business Class Lounge, Dubai Concourse C

There are a few other features to keep an eye out for. One that catches my eye is the abundance of red roses throughout Emirates’ Concourse C Business Class Lounge. We’re here, in the middle of the Arabian Desert – where it’s been 45°C outside – and yet, the space is a sea of roses. It’s become part of Emirates’ brand standards, but still, it’s a nice touch.

If you’re settling in for a longer stay, venture upstairs. One end of the upper level is devoted to napping. You’ll find day beds in the quietest part of the lounge, and armchairs with large-sized leg rests facing the windows. If your gadget is running on empty and you didn’t pack the cable, juice it up at the charging station. You can even lock the door to keep it safe.

Fancy a little reading material? You’ll find a stack of magazines and newspapers close to the entrance and elevator. There are plenty of English titles among the broader language mix – remembering that Dubai Airport serves passengers from practically every corner of the world.

At the far-left corner of the main level, there’s also an Emirates Skywards service desk. It’s not always open – and on this visit, it’s shut given there’s barely anybody in the lounge. But when it’s available, staff can assist with frequent flyer account enquiries and the like. Tiered members of the program can also get custom baggage tags printed here.

High-speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the lounge. On this visit, downloads average 199Mbps with uploads even zippier at 253Mbps. Those speeds will be sufficient for everything from 4K streaming to cloud backups and updates.

Rounding out the offerings, part of the upper level is zoned as a smoking area – although there’s no shisha menu, which would bring a local element to the space. It’s worth noting that those sensitive to smoke – or who simply don’t want a whiff of it – should avoid sitting at the far-right end downstairs, as some of the scents can drift down.

Accessing the Emirates Business Class Lounge, Dubai Concourse C

There are plenty of ways to access Emirates’ Concourse C Business Class Lounge in Dubai. Here’s a rundown of how most Australian travellers would qualify – omitting those who’d instead be venturing to Emirates’ higher-tier First Class lounges.

  • By class of travel:
    • Emirates Business Class, including all QF codeshares, but excluding those booked on EK-coded Business Class Special fares.
    • flydubai Business Class, when departing from Terminal 3.
  • By elite status or paid lounge membership:
    • Emirates Skywards Silver, flying onwards with Emirates.
    • Emirates Skywards Gold, travelling with Emirates or flydubai (+1 guest).
    • Qantas Gold, travelling onwards with Emirates on an EK or QF flight number (+1 guest).
    • Qantas Club, prior to Emirates flights booked on a QF flight number only (+1 guest).
  • By paid entry:
    • Entry-level Skywards Blue members can pay the equivalent of US$157.50 (~AU$238) at the door, per person. This fee can also be paid by tiered Skywards members for a guest exceeding any complimentary guest allowance.
    • Non-Skywards members can pay the equivalent of US$183.75 (~AU$278). But as Skywards is free to join, signing up on the spot offers a noticeable saving.

While pricey, paid access is handy to keep in mind – and it’s available to all travellers on Emirates. For instance, it could sometimes be more cost effective to buy a Business Class Special fare and then pay for lounge access, compared to purchasing a higher-tier and all-inclusive Business Class ticket where lounge access is ‘free’.

For clarity, lounge access is included with all Emirates Business Class reward tickets. This applies to flights booked not only with Emirates Skywards miles, but also itineraries reserved through partner reward programs: Qantas Frequent Flyer, for instance.

Summing up

Emirates is an airline that caters to so many different markets. Travellers from Australia might expect certain types of foods, while those from Asia may seek other options. Middle Eastern locals will have their favourites, and so on. The vast array of meal choices in Emirates’ Concourse C Business Class Lounge reflects that. While I can’t speak for other cultures, Emirates does still appear to cover those wide range of tastes well.

It’s worth pointing out that this lounge can get quite busy. I happen to come past at a quiet time, but I’ve previously seen this lounge close to capacity. It looks like a lot of empty chairs in today’s photos – but they often get used. Don’t forget though, if you can get into this lounge, there are at least three others you’d qualify for in Dubai. Consider going for a walk if this space is too crowded and you’ll soon find an alternative.

Part of that crowding no doubt stems from Emirates’ generous lounge access policy. The airline allows its own Skywards Silver frequent flyers booked in Economy to use the same lounge as its full-fare Business Class passengers here in Dubai, a generosity not to be sniffed at. But when you have a spread of lounges across the airport, it’s workable – and it might just encourage some Silver members to push for Skywards Gold, extending that access to Emirates’ global network of lounges.

As for the Concourse C lounge, it doesn’t have the Moët & Chandon Champagne bar of Concourse B or direct boarding from the lounge to every gate as in Concourse A. But if you’re departing from Concourse C, this lounge still has a broad enough offering that unless you have a long layover, it’s worth staying put.

Also reviewed: Emirates Business Class Lounge, Dubai Terminal 3, Concourse A

Photography by Chris Chamberlin, who accessed the lounge courtesy of (earned) frequent flyer status while travelling as a guest of Emirates.

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Emirates Business Class Lounge, Dubai Terminal 3, Concourse C was last modified: June 21st, 2024 by Chris Chamberlin