Destinations Marathons Reviews

Dubai Marathon Trip – Emirates First Class (Part 10)

Written by Charlie

Welcome to Part 10 of my Dubai Marathon Trip review – Emirates First Class. This is one of the parts of the trip that I was REALLY looking forward to! I hope you enjoy it!

dubai marathon trip – introduction

dubai marathon trip – cathay pacific first class (part 1)

dubai marathon trip – cathay pacific business class (part 2)

dubai marathon trip – colombo airport / serenediva hotel (part 3)

dubai marathon trip – araliya lounge / qatar airways business class (part 4)

dubai marathon trip – doha premium terminal / qatar airways first class lounge (part 5)

dubai marathon trip – dubai (part 6)

dubai marathon trip – four points sheraton sheikh zayed road (part 7)

dubai marathon trip – the dubai marathon (part 8)


dubai marathon trip – emirates first class lounge (part 9)



Emirates First Class

Whenever I am heading home after a marathon, especially right after a marathon, I really like being able to stretch out a little bit. That is one of the reasons I would typically fly Delta domestically – I was almost always upgraded on my way home. Internationally, I have normally not had that opportunity. In fact, when I did my 5 marathons on 5 continents in 5 days, I was in coach the entire time! That was real agony!

[box style=”none”] Emirates # EK75

Dubai (DXB) – Paris (CDG)

Departure 3:00PM (GST) / Arrival 7:30PM  – 7 hours and 30 minutes(CET)

Plane – Airbus A380 / Seat – 1K[/box]

This time, I would be flying international first class and couldn’t wait! When I boarded the plane, I was met by a flight attendant who escorted me to my suite. She got me settled in and then came back after a few moments with my pre-departure drink and showed me the different features of my suite. Let me know tell you, I had seen photos of the Emirates A380 suites but it was really something else to experience it myself. If Cathay Pacific was elegant and muted then Emirates is flashy luxury. There were gold trimmings EVERYWHERE! Each seat had their own private minibar (which was kind of cool but not that useful since it was not chilled at all) as well as a personal snack basket (which they took away before departure). These were evidently little touches to try and just give you everything they could think of. Where other airlines offer you snacks from a basket, Emirates makes sure you get the whole thing to yourself!

Emirates First Class

A view of some of the first class suites

Emirates First Class

My little suite for the flight

Emirates First Class

A fish-eye view

Emirates First Class

Plenty of legroom – perfect for post-marathon!

Emirates First Class

Why do I feel like I’m NOT on a plane?

Emirates First Class

My nice little snack basket and pre-departure drink

After a little while, the purser came by and introduced herself and told me a little about the plane and crew. I tell you, it is a very different experience on a people level when you are flying first class vs economy. While most of the flight attendants I have had on coach are nice to you, they do not even attempt to connect to you on a personal level. In first class, the attendants try very hard to be sure that you know they are there for your every need (and want, pretty much) and to call you by name. It is a nice experience to have in addition to the fine food and comfortable surroundings. It is kind of difficult to remember about all of the people stuff in coach downstairs!

One of the amazing things about this plane too was the size of the video display – 23″! It is the largest TV I have ever had on a plane before! One of the nice touches with the screen was the cameras that were mounted around the exterior of the plane. My personal favorite was the tail mounted camera. It was really neat to switch around on them to catch different views during take-off and landing.

Emirates First Class

My 23″ TV monitor!

Shortly after take-off, the flight attendant came back around to inform me about their dining on demand program where I can eat whenever I want (so, no set mealtimes) and also ask if I wanted to use the shower at some point (if anyone else asked this question in any environment other than this, I would have thought they were trying to tell me something!). I told her that would be great and that I would like a shower after about 1/2 hour. Who cares that I just took one before I left the hotel? After running a marathon, two showers wouldn’t hurt, right? Not to mention, when else am I going to get to shower at 38,000 feet?

After the spa attendant (yes, there is one flight attendant who just takes care of the two bathrooms and the spa materials) made the bathroom ready for me, she let me know I could go in. This was by far the biggest bathroom I have ever seen on an airplane! It was huge! There were mirrors and nice lighting throughout as well as all the bathroom amenities you could ever imagine. You get 5 minutes of hot water (which it shows you on a dial in the shower), but you can start it and stop it and you have no time limit in the shower itself. I was surprised at the water pressure – it was pretty good!

Emirates First Class

A view of part of the bathroom

Emirates First Class

Nice airplane sink

Emirates First Class

This bathroom was HUGE

Emirates First Class

The seat in the shower – you know, if it gets turbulent

Emirates First Class

The shower itself

Back at my seat afterwards, I got settled in to do some work and had to explore some more of the functions around the seat. First of all, you have a thick, tablet-like device that is basically the remote control for your suite to control the various functions (seat, tv, cameras, lights, etc).

Emirates First Class

Control tablet

Emirates First Class

My “vanity” center

Emirates First Class

Tail mounted camera

After I was done, I put my bed down and had them make up the bed so I could get a little nap. One of the things you notice with the lights out was …

Emirates First Class

… yes, those are stars on the ceiling!

After my short nap, I ordered my dinner. They had a wonderful food selection.


Traditional local Arabic mezze
Marinated prawns
Saffron Chicken tikka
Seasonal salad


Corn and chili soup
Chicken and vegetable broth

Main Courses

Beef steak
Chicken shajahani
Lamb ouzi
Pasta bar
Salmon fillet
A la carte vegetables
Bread Basket
Cheese Board

Sweet Delights

Nectarine meringue tart
Fig and frangipane tart
Selected small deserts
Selection of fruits

I had the seasonal salad and the chicken broth. The broth was good but the salad was really good. I also had the bread basket which had some fairly fresh tasting bread. For the main course, I had the salmon fillet (I’m a big salmon lover). This is just my personal preference (because I prefer it with just some herbs on it and no butter or sauce) but it had quite a bit of the butter sauce on it. Overall, though, it was really, really good! I skipped on desert because I really was full from all of the food.

Emirates First Class

The salad and soup course

Emirates First Class

My main course of the salmon fillet

One of the other nice things about this plane was the amount of socializing space available for first class passengers, and even business class passengers. There was a bar at the back which was staffed with an attendant and the whole area was setup as a lounge area. There were leather couches around the area and made for a really wide-open atmosphere. I was too tired to do much in the area of socializing, but for people who enjoy the opportunity to do that on a place and not have to have the conversations take place near the lavs, this is a huge upgrade!

Emirates First Class

Part of the lounge area

Just in front of my seat, between the first class bathrooms, was another small drink area and the stairs leading to the economy cabin.

Emirates First Class

Forward drink area with waterfalls

Emirates First Class

Downstairs area

Yet another nice function of the plane was the internet availability. It is not common to find internet on international routes. I had not planned on using it, but I used the cheapest option to check on my next flight from Paris to London (a ticket on a different reservation) and saw that the flight had been canceled! I had to do a lot to figure out what to do as I didn’t want to miss the last flight of the day to London and then miss my morning flight out of London to JFK. Most important reason was that I really missed my family and the second was that I did not want to be stuck in London and lose my ticket home and lose my non-refundable hotel in London. Even though I couldn’t sort it out on the plane, I at least arrived in Paris better informed when I went to talk to them. So, the internet was helpful!


Overall, I considered my experience in Emirates First Class on the A380 to be special. It was very flaunting of the attempt to impress, but the many different touches along the way made it all seem very nice. Since these are actually suites with doors, it was nice to close my door when I slept and get some privacy. I did not feel claustrophobic at all. The seat was comfortable, the shower fantastic, the food delicious, the service attentive, and the technology exciting. All in all, I thought it was a fantastic in-flight experience. Would I do it again? Absolutely!




















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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

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