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June 20, 2016 / oneworld82

Etihad Premium Lounge in Abu Dhabi

One of the reasons why I chose May to travel on Etihad’s A380 was because I was hoping that the new First Class lounge would be open by then, as announced back in January. This project has been plagued by delays, and when they announced it for May, it turned out they meant  May 30th. So, unfortunately, I missed the grand opening only by 9 days. One more reason to fly Etihad First Class again. 😉

After picking up my boarding pass at the transfer desk, I made my way to the Premium Lounge at T3.

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This lounge – probably destined to become the business class lounge once the First class one opens up – is a very nice lounge by all means, but it’s not comparable to Al Safwa. What they did to separate First Class customers from the others was to fence off a seating area and dedicate it to First Class customers; the most distinctive feature, from what I could tell, was that waitresses went around taking drinks orders.

First CLass Section

First CLass Section

There are various seating areas in the lounge, including some more private “cubicles” with a tv. There is a spa and a salon, and first class passengers get a free treatment at either one. The spa has also showers.

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The lounge itself is quite big, but during the night peak time can get busy. There are two separate dining areas, and two separate buffets, but the content is the same.

The spread was very good, and it ranged from hummus, to perch, to pasta, to fruit. A dedicated area for desserts is also offered.

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I had a sampler, and as you can see everything looked great – it also tasted so. J


I had a glass of Montepulciano with my first plate, then I relaxed a bit in the first class section, before heading to the salon to get one of the complimentary treatments for first class customers.

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I really wanted a wet shave – nothing can beat the feeling of smooth skin after a proper razor shave – and Hassan, my Moroccan barber – did an excellent job with it.


As I had three more hours to kill, what do you think I did? But I ate some more, of course! Like I mentioned, I am a sucker for middle eastern food, so I could not pass the chance here. I had it with a glass of champagne –  I forgot the brand, but was some boutique (in this case, read cheap) maison.

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After that, I napped for about a hour and half, by which point it was time to go through immigration.

Abu Dhabi has US pre-clearance, which I find (here) to be very efficient and fast. In fact, in less than 20 minutes I was done. I was therefore ready to board the A380 – the true highlight of this trip.

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