Emirates raises passenger pampering to new levels with first class suites

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Emirates President Tim Clark makes the announcement on the brand new cabins for the Dubai carrier’s Boeing 777 fleet. (Arab News)
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Above, passengers can experience zero gravity position at Emirates’ first class section. (Courtesy Emirates)
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The new Boeing 777 First Class suite with virtual windows and an inspiration kit. (Courtesy Emirates)
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Above, the business class cabin inside Emirates’s Boeing 777 aircraft. Each business class cabin seat has a pitch of 72 inches and moves into a fully-flat sleeping position. (Courtesy Emirates)
Updated 12 November 2017

Emirates raises passenger pampering to new levels with first class suites

DUBAI: Emirates today revealed its new first class private suites packed with features aimed at raising the pampering of premium passengers to new levels.
Helped by designs from Mercedes-Benz and an advertising campaigned fronted by motoring guru Jeremy Clarkson, the Dubai-based carrier aimed to steal a march on regional rivals struggling with subdued demand in the premium cabins.
The refreshed interiors of the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft offer seats that recline into what the airline describes as a zero gravity position inspired by NASA and giving the feeling of weightlessness.
Passengers sitting on inside rows have virtual windows with the option of looking to the left or right using high definition camera technology.
The new 777 aircraft will have six private suites with port hole-style windows allowing the crew to look inside.
Asked by one reporter if the suite beds were big enough for two, airline president Tim Clark replied that he didn’t think they were.
“People generally behave,” he said.
The suites come with restaurant-style hatches where passengers are served drinks and canapes undisturbed – and they can also order “room service” using a video call function.
And for star-gazing passengers, binoculars are provided.
“Emirates pioneered the first class private suite concept back in 2003, and today it’s the industry benchmark when it comes to first class travels,” said Clark.
He added that Jeremy Clarkson was a natural face for the new designs while conceding that some people do “find him irritating.”
The upgraded premium cabins come despite a global slump in first and business class – including the Gulf region where prolonged oil price weakness has led to mass job cuts and has also hit travel budgets.
“Premium traffic is very much linked to the performance of the oil sector and so while the oil price has been low, demand for premium travel has been hit,” said John Strickland, a UK-based aviation analyst.


Jubilant cheers as Dubai begins one-year countdown to Expo 2020

Updated 20 October 2019

Jubilant cheers as Dubai begins one-year countdown to Expo 2020

  • Dubai prepares for eye-catching countdown on Burj Khalifa
  • Live performances from singer Mariah Carey and acclaimed Emirati singer and Expo 2020 ambassador Hussain Al-Jassmi

DUBAI: Crowds gathered at different locations in the UAE on Sunday night to mark its one-year countdown to Expo 2020 in October next year, with host emirates Dubai staging a spectacular concert, topped by a light projection on the iconic Burj Khalifa.

American superstar Mariah Carey was the star of the night, which also saw performances from regional artists including Khalifa, Shamma Hamdan, Abri and Funk Radius, Showcase and Jaysus Zain. The audience also grooved to a few Arabic tunes from Emirati singer Hussain Al-Jassmi.

A make-shift stage was set up at the Burj Park in Dubai’s downtown area to host the performances, while people also enjoyed a good view of the tallest building in the world. The countdown was facilitated by Emirati social media sensation Khalid Al-Ameri and Bollywood actress Shraddah Kapoor. 

A 3-minute firework display lit up the skies of Dubai as the crowd eagerly waited for Carey to appear on stage.

The 49-year-old singer sang her all-time favorite songs, including “Emotion,” “We Belong Together,” and a revival of the Motown classic “I’ll Be There,” to an enthusiastic audience who didn’t mind the heat and humidity at the outdoor venue.

The other six emirates also marked the occasion with free-for-all activities in venues such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, Ajman Museum, Umm Al Quwain Corniche, Al Qawasim Corniche in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah Fort.

The events, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Expo 2020 Director-General Reem Al-Hashimy said, will “offer a window into the once-in-a-lifetime celebration that awaits from October 20, 2020.”

“The next 12 months will see us put the finishing touches to ensure an exceptional World Expo,” she added, in a report by state-run WAM.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi featured YouTube sensation Sandra Sahi, as well as singers Stephon Lemar, Layla Kardan, the Emirati Trio.

Indian band ROOH, singer and pianist Clarita de Quiroz, Egyptian oud player Rami Zaki and other regional artists were celebrating the count down at Sharjah’s Al Marjaz waterfront.

While the Ajman Museum hosted Arabic fusion band, pop-rock musician Hydyy, Emirati soul singer Chakram, poet Storm Fernandes, artist Humaira Hussain and MC Mohammed Enaba.

The 6-month Expo 2020, to be held at a vast new site in the south of Dubai, will officially open on Oct. 20 next year, with organizers expecting an estimate of 25 million visitors.