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Setting The Bar High With Emirates

David Cawley puts his feet up then takes a stroll to the local on their A380-800 Business Class service between Manchester and Dubai

Written by . Published on March 4th 2012.

Setting The Bar High With Emirates

PRIOR to boarding, it’s first a maiden journey to the Emirates Lounge. Moet is on tap by the ice-bucket and surrounded by a well considered bar that includes the sexiest bottles of water you’re ever likely to see. The hot and cold buffet features British and Middle Eastern favourites served in a dining area flanked either side by two larger lounges all decorated in art-deco fixtures, vivid Mancunian impressionist art-work and a floor to ceiling panorama of Terminal 1’s apron.

Staff are plentiful, genuinely genial all fussing about the place keeping it tidy. Those with work to do get a fully equipped business centre with complimentary broadband and wireless LAN. All a far cry from some of the dour, unkempt lounges where the best you can hope for is a small packet of cheesy snacks and a fridge.

Once priority boarded on to the aircraft, row 17, seat D in the centre section is to be home for the next seven hours. One of the first things to strike is that Business Class seats come laid out in a staggered formation, so that no one is sat directly behind the person in front and everyone gets direct access to the aisles.

1. Emirates Business - The Fully Flat Beds Available In Business Class. Image Courtesy Of EmiratesThe fully flat beds  available in Business Class

Another of the Emirates A380 jewels is the fully flat bed option.  Controlled by either wireless tablet or by switches near the head rest, the extension takes legs on a journey into the alcove beneath the side table of the seat in front. When sat upright the base of this alcove is fitted with a cushion which when raised reveals a storage space for shoes and laptops. To the side of the seat is a private mini bar; storage room, shelf space aplenty and home for the well proportioned fold out dining/work table.

For entertainment, there’s a mind boggling 1,200 channels accessible on the wide screen TV’s, courtesy of Emirates “ice” system and controlled both by touch screen or said tablet. Beneath the screen is a socket for the BOSE noise cancelling headphones, a pair of USB sockets for connecting laptops, phones and camera’s plus a power point. The aircraft is Wi-Fi enabled and also comes with the ability to SMS and telephone anyone on planet earth below or someone sat just a few feet away.

A380 Super JumboA380 Super Jumbo prepares for take-off

Business class is on the upper deck and divided into seating two cabins, separated by bulkhead lockers for passenger coats. Joyously to the rear is a third cabin hosting a bar and very welcome area to stretch legs, share drinks on its sofa, nibble on crisps and canapés and generally pass the time zones away. Obviously not a new idea but a splendid addition to travelling at 38,000 feet and a nod to plane travel of yesteryear when men and women lived in a grainy, washed-out celluloid world, smoked incessantly and always did their flying in woollen suits and hats.

Back at 17D, the meal service featured a prepared to order menu that on this flight included smoked tuna with guacamole timbale followed by seared fillet of beef flanked by chive coulis and chervil potatoes, washed down with wine from a list that included a 2002 Veuve Clicquot Gold Label, a Florian Mollet 2010 Sancerre and a 2003 Sarget de Gruaud Larose.

2. Emirates Business - The Business Class Bar On The Top Deck Of Emeirates A380. Image Courtesy Of EmiratesThe Business Class bar on the top deck Of Emirates A380

Tips for top deck seat selection on this configuration of  A380 include opting for the forward cabin to avoid any potential noise from the bar at the rear of the deck. Those travelling with loved ones or wanting to privately discuss business should consider opting for seats on the E and F line of the centre section. These are more intimate and next to each other as opposed to the D and G’s which are have the seats separated by the individual shelving and storage making personal conversations quite tricky (unless using the seat-to-seat phone service).

If flying solo best options are seats on either A or K which come by the window and further from the aisle, so offering a little more privacy.  Seat pitch is 48 inches, but tall people might want to note that while bed length is generous, seats A, E, F and K extend to 79 inches as opposed 70 inches in the rest of the class.

There are three flights daily to Dubai from Manchester, with the A380 employed for the lunchtime departure. However word on the streets of Dubai is that a second of these aircraft may be added to the Manchester route to cope with the increasing demand for seats on Emirates to Dubai and beyond.


Emirates fly three times daily from Manchester to Dubai with the A380 departing at 13.30 and returning at 11.45. For further information telephone 0844 800 2777; or visit www.emirates.com. Look out for occasional special price promotions on their website.

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