At the 2017 Dubai Air Show, Emirates just revealed its new first class cabins that will first be installed in its new 777s beginning December 1, 2017. These new suites look phenomenal and also come with some exciting new features and functions that other first class suites don’t have. Here’s a look at the new first class suites.
The new suites were heavily influenced by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, according to Emirates’ President, Sit Tim Clark.
On the airline’s new First Class product, Sir Tim said:
“Emirates pioneered the First Class private suite concept back in 2003, and today it’s the industry benchmark when it comes to first class travel. Over the years we have continually improved on our private suites, adding thoughtful refinements and features. We are very excited about our new fully-enclosed suite which is a real game-changer in terms of privacy, comfort, and thoughtful luxury. This is the first time an Emirates product has been so influenced by another luxury brand, but it is a natural fit as both Emirates and Mercedes-Benz have the same unwavering commitment to fine detail, uncompromising quality, and a drive to push the boundaries.”
Photos of the new Emirates first class cabins
Based on the images of the new Emirates in-flight bars, we had a pretty good idea that Emirates would be going with a less “blinged-out” look with their new cabins. And in my opinion, it looks like Emirates nailed the less gaudy approach while still producing a product that’s visually stunning.
Just take a look at the details in the image of the first class cabin below. There’s something dazzling yet relaxing about the lighting and decor of the cabin, which is a combination that’s not easy to achieve. The tree imagery seen repeatedly in the design is the “Ghaf Tree,” the national tree of the UAE.
The suites will have floor to ceiling walls and a sliding door (which I believe is a first). This means you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing you when you need to change in your suite. It also allows for passengers to fully customize the temperature and lighting in their suite. I’m still baffled that many other suites don’t have basic temperature controls, so this is great to see from Emirates.
The interior of the suite looks as stunning as the outside. The lighting, curtains, and color scheme all look extremely well executed. Again, I was not a huge fan of the overly flashy first class cabins but this new look is fantastic. It maintains a high level of luxury but in a much more elegant way with its use of the new color palette consisting of soft greys, cream and champagne. It also looks incredibly cozy.
The suite space will be about 40 square feet which is about square feet less than the new Singapore Suites. So these new suites don’t pack the same amount of real estate as Singapore’s new suites and most notably, don’t allow you to share space with a travel partner.
Still, they look less confining than the old Emirates first class product and with such tall ceilings there’s a good chance that you’ll feel like you have much more space.
Interestingly, you can slide the seat closer to the window when it’s made into a bed to give you more room. That little bit of extra space is probably very convenient when trying to change in and out of your “Hydra Active moisturizing” pajamas.
I don’t want to compare Singapore’s new first class product to the new Emirates first class since I haven’t had the chance to experience either yet. However, I have to admit that I was hoping Singapore would have captured more elegance in their new suites the way Emirates did. I’m just really, really impressed with the design of these new suites.
If you want to see more, here’s a video walk through of the new cabin.
- The new cabins will allow you to video chat with the cabin crew to place your orders for food and drinks. On top of that, the items such as drinks and canape can then be delivered through a hatch in the wall of your suite so you don’t have to be bothered.
- The suites will be in a 1-1-1 layout. Window suites will have access to binoculars while the interior suites will have “virtual windows” which will be views of either side of the plane based on real time camera footage. The coolest part about this feature is that you can choose which view you want to experience.
- Each passenger will receive Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones created exclusively for Emirates and will have a 32 inch LCD HD screen (the same size as the new Singapore Suites).
- Passengers will receive a Bulgari amenity kit but will also receive an “inspiration kit” which includes Byredo facial toner, eye cream, sleep oil and pillow mist along with a leather-bound notebook.
- The personal mini bar for drinks and snacks within each suite will be updated
- Each suite will have wireless controls to adjust seating positions, as well as to navigate Emirates’ inflight entertainment system.
- Emirates First Class passengers arriving or departing in the UAE will enjoy a seamless journey from aircraft to home, and vice versa, in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class car.
- The soft leather seat reclines into a fully flat bed and can be placed in a “zero-gravity” position inspired by NASA technology, giving a feeling of relaxation and weightlessness.
- There is ample storage within the suite including a cleverly designed overhead compartment, and a full length cupboard for hanging clothes
- The first Emirates 777 aircraft with these new features will enter commercial service on 1 December, servicing flights between Dubai and Geneva and Brussels. Emirates also mentioned Chicago, Brisbane and Perth as possible candidates for the new cabins in 2018
I think Emirates nailed their new first class suites. While they haven’t revolutionized the real estate the same way Etihad and Singapore have, they’ve mastered the privacy of the single suite with floor to ceiling walls and thy ditched the flashy golds for something that looks and feels more modern, luxurious, and comfortable. It will probably be a couple of years before these new suites are widely available but I’m very impressed by them and excited to try them out when that day comes.
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.