Emirates — known for being the world’s largest operator of A380s and top first class cabins — has revealed some pretty stunning photos for its new bar and lounge area that will eventually be found on its many A380s. The new bar area is keeping with its old horseshoe-shape, but undergoing a new sleeker look and offering more space along with new seating arrangements and a few new features.
The inspiration for the changes
Speaking on the source of the inspiration for the new changes, Emirates president Tim Clark stated that, [i]n our latest revamp, we have taken inspiration from private yacht cabins, and we have increased the seating space, and also made it more intimate and conducive for our passengers to socialize or enjoy our lounge service.”
Judging from the photographs, it looks like they accomplished the spacious feel they were going for. Everything from the tables to the open windows look like they’ll create a more open look to the lounge area that will likely foster a more sociable atmosphere.
An entirely new look?
Emirates is known for it’s “bling.” That is, bright, flashy cabins full of golden extravagance that has always been a bit too much if you ask me. I much prefer the more subdued look of luxury offered by Etihad or even Singapore when it comes to first class cabins.
However, Emirates is now going with a new look that I think myself and many others will appreciate more. The lounge features a lighter champagne color, along with a darker wood trim for “an airier look and feel.”
The new look will also include soundproof curtains to partition the lounge area from the other cabins, soft ambiance lighting options, new window blinds with LED mood lighting, and subwoofers for surround sound that will feature a 55-inch LCD screen with live TV capabilities. In short, expect the bar area to still be tricked out. This is still Emirates, after all.
One of the best things about these bar areas on planes is that they create an area to interact with other passengers and from the looks and sounds of it, this new layout will be perfect for that. The lounge will be able to accommodate up to 26 passengers at a time, including eight that can seated (4 in two different seating areas).
Bars like Emirates also serve up fine wines, signature cocktails, limited edition fine spirits, and gourmet appetizers, so I’m sure that will continue and perhaps involve the introduction of some new beverages.
Will this be the best bar in the sky?
Many people already think Emirates has one of the best bars in the sky, but it seems like the favorite is Qatar’s bar due to its design and spacious layout. Other airlines also offer in-flight bars for first class or business class passengers including Etihad, Korean Air, and Virgin Atlantic. Personally, I haven’t tried all of these but I recently tried out “The Lobby” on board Etihad and it was okay, but nothing too exciting, as it’s not a true bar area.
The debut… and perhaps more to come?
The new bar area is set to makes its operational debut in July of 2017 but will be officially unveiled at the travel trade show ITB Berlin in just a couple of weeks. This is really exciting because it’s rumored that Emirates might be unveiling its new first class cabin as well. It makes sense that with an overhauled bar design, a new cabin design will follow. We can only wait and see.
For now, check out the short teaser provided by Emirates.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC.