It has been a few years since I last visited the Al Maha arrivals lounge. Like American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa, Qatar Airways has two different arrivals lounges at Doha Hamad International Airport.
I had a chance to visit both Qatar Airways Premium Arrivals Lounge as well as Al Maha Arrivals Lounge and in this review, I will review the latter first as it was my first visit to this lounge and I’ve spent more time here than the Premium Arrivals Lounge.
About Al Maha Services
Did you know about Al Maha Airways? If not, I am sure you’ve at least heard or seen the term Al Maha Services on some of my blogs when I fly with Qatar Airways. Al Maha Services is a personalized Meet and Assist Service for customers arriving, departing, or transiting through Hamad International Airport.
Even if it is part of Qatar Airways Group, anyone, regardless of the airline you are using is eligible to book this service.
Al Maha also had its own exclusive fleet of four Airbus A320s colored in a green tail that was planned to operate to Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman but it never did. The reason behind this was the issue of obtaining an operating license and on top of this, the 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis made this subsidiary airline completely cease operation and its fleet was eventually merged with the current Qatar Airways fleet.
I had flown Al Maha Airways a couple of times to Dubai and Muscat before the crisis canceled the airline.
Getting To Al Maha Arrivals Lounge
Once you clear the custom and exit the customs area, proceed to the right-hand side of the exit lane. The lounge will be clearly visible on the right side with large glass windows and a reception desk behind it.
Al Maha Arrivals Lounge Operational Hours & Access Policy
The Al Maha Arrivals Lounge is operated 24 hours a day 365 days and is only available to those who pay for the Al Maha Arrival Services. The price for arrivals service costs as shown below:
- 325QAR (US$90) for Gold Arrivals
- 420QAR (US$116) for Platinum Arrivals
While only those who purchase the arrivals services are eligible to enter, from time to time when Qatar Airways’ own Arrivals lounge is not operational, passengers will be redirected to Al Maha Arrivals Lounge.
Al Maha Arrivals Lounge Layout and Seating
The main area of the lounge is located on the second floor. After the boarding pass check on the first floor, the lounge reception staff then will guide you toward the elevator that goes up.
My first impression of the arrivals lounge was I feel like I was on a huge floor with a minimalistic space. Walking past another reception on the second floor, on the right-hand side had a common area with seats.
The seats are similar to those I find at the Al Mourjan business class lounge paired with a lamp on top of a side table.
And on opposite the common area, a dining area with dining tables was placed. The lounge has a large space but it seems it is not being utilized that much given that each section of the lounge was widely dispersed.
Besides the common area, there are six semi-private cubicles with a lounge chair and a coffee table. These cubicles are great for private relaxation or even catching a short nap while waiting for your hotel check-in time early morning.
At the far end of the lounge, there was a large smoking room with chairs and tables. The smoking area is kept ventilated the whole time so it did not greatly affect the surrounding area with smells.
What I find out really impressive about this lounge are the business center and meeting room facilities. With the modern and bright design, the meeting rooms are an amazing place to follow up with work as they offered a door for a complete space of your own.
First of all, the business center is located right behind the smoking room. It has eight personal computers divided with low partitions. Somehow the business center looks like a call center kind of office space but is a great place to work before leaving the airport.
Then, along the hallway opposite the smoking room and business center, there are four conference rooms, each equipped either with small or large tables and doors for privacy.
Although the conference rooms are not 100% private since you can see through inside the room, it offers quietness. To be honest, the lounge is already quiet and private enough since I was the only customer in the afternoon so all the above privacy issues do not matter anyways.
Al Maha Arrivals Lounge Dining Area
The dining area is located beside the common area with a large oval dining table and a few round tables. The table is more family sized since Qataris or other Gulf families travel in a large groups.
On a buffet bar, there were no food or snacks but only drink options. The food options were served by requesting the lounge staff by checking at the menu stand placed on each seat in the common area.
The lounge offers an all-day dining service that is available from 11 AM through 3 AM the next day. Some salads, sandwiches and desserts. Currently, due to ongoing COVID-19 measures, the meals are served wrapped. nonetheless, the taste was okay and enough to fill up my empty stomach.
Al Maha Arrivals Lounge Restroom and Shower Facilities
The lounge has restrooms and shower rooms behind the business center. This is a great benefit for passengers who had a long flight to freshen up. Since I probably was the only guest in the afternoon, everything was so silent even in the restroom. It was the whole lounge was my home.
The shower rooms are located inside each restroom with a full private toilet and walk-in shower booth side by side.
The shower room was the same as the ones you find in the Al Mourjan Business Class lounge. The only difference was the amenities. It was still using the Rituals brand instead of Diptyque. I guess the remaining stock for Rituals shower amenities is moved to the arrivals lounge.
I have been to different airline arrivals lounges but Hamad International Airport has one of the best shower facilities.
I had a chance to visit the Al Maha Arrivals Lounge after my flight from Frankfurt. Since I had a long connection in Doha, I decided to exit the immigration and visit one of the two arrivals lounges at Hamad International Airport.
The Al Maha Arrivals service which includes the use of the arrivals lounge can be pre-purchased before the flight and it is great for those who land in Doha early morning and wait for their hotel check-in.
Note that the Al Maha lounge can be accessed only by paying for the services regardless of airline and travel classes while the other arrival lounge: Qatar Airways Arrivals Lounge which I will review soon, is accessed only for first and business-class ticket holders.