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Emirates Business Class Review B777-300ER Dubai DXB to Muscat Oman MCT

July 1, 2023
Osman Dadi
By all accounts, this booking was a last-minute scramble due to an earlier missed itinerary. This last-minute award availability delivered a memorable flight with full service on this short hop. All in all, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend such a short flight in Emirates business class. The B777 hard product on […]
From
Dubai DXB
To
Muscat MCT
Duration
1:10
Via
Emirates
Seat(s)
9K
Points Used
23,000
Cash Spent
$0

By all accounts, this booking was a last-minute scramble due to an earlier missed itinerary. This last-minute award availability delivered a memorable flight with full service on this short hop. All in all, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend such a short flight in Emirates business class. The B777 hard product on Emirates is definitely sub-par for a longer Emirates business class flight, but everything else was perfectly done!

Emirates Business Class on the B777
Emirates Business Class on the B777

Booking an Emirates Business Class Award

I ended up booking this itinerary as a result of an earlier mistake. I missed my first Emirates flight from CDG to DXB the day before. Originally I had this flight booked as part of that reservation. At that moment, I had to scramble with how to get to Dubai. The next flight would be Air France 662 at 13:30, which was a bit earlier than the Emirates 14:20 flight, and bookable using Delta miles.

However I still needed to get to Muscat, so I need to re-book the DXB-MCT leg, and I found Air Canada still had award availability for that flight. Upon my arrival at DXB, I immediately booked this itinerary on Air Canada. I chose the option to book for 23,900 points and zero dollars!

Dubai (DXB) Ground Experience

Terminal 3 at DXB is the Emirates Terminal, and gosh, it is absolutely massive! This space extends far below the entire airport itself and the terminal concourses, underground and into a large cavernous space. After getting off the Dubai metro, I went down into the Terminal area, then followed the signs to the terminal.

The massive expanse of DXB Terminal 3, this whole terminal is located below the airport itself.
The massive expanse of DXB Terminal 3, this whole terminal is located below the airport itself.

Uniquely the Business and First Class Check-In areas are in a completely different section of the terminal, which is a little bit further away, but also has its own security and immigration lines – which really speeds up the full process.

Emirates First & Emirates Business Class entrance is the same, totally separate from the Economy area.
Emirates First & Emirates, Business Class entrance, is the same, totally separate from the Economy area.

Check-in

Check-In took an unusually long time; the Emirates agent went on to check my onward flight within Oman on Salam Air and verify my reservation on that airline. I’m not sure why this is the process; perhaps Oman and UAE have a special diplomatic arrangement. It was the first time I experienced such a process for a self-transfer.

First are Check-In counters for Emirates First Class (Red)
First are Check-In counters for Emirates First Class (Red)

As an American, you can get a Tourist Visa On-Arrival at Muscat; instead, I would only be transferring to Salam Air within the airport, thus only using Muscat for transit.

The agent was very helpful and professional. Once I received my boarding pass, it was a long walk to, but a very fast process through immigration and security. Seriously, DXB is massive, but its saving grace is that at the same time, incredibly efficient!

Self Service Check-in machines are also available.
Self Service Check-in machines are also available.

Once you cross past immigration and security, you enter the Terminal train area, and I transferred to the A concourse. A series of escalators and elevators first brings you up from deep underground to the economy-class concourse. The Business and First Class concourses are one and two levels above. Furthermore, they have direct connections back to the gates from the Lounges, which is very unique to DXB.

After security, following the walkway to Gate A1 - A24.
After security, following the walkway to Gate A1 – A24.

The Emirates Business Class Lounge and Boarding

I spent about an hour and a half in the Emirates Lounge in Terminal A. I will keep this section short since I did a full review.

Entrance to the Emirates Business Class lounge in Dubai DXB
Entrance to the Emirates Business Class lounge in Dubai DXB

The standout feature of Emirates Lounges – all of them – is the direct gate connectivity offered to all passengers from the Lounges themselves. Emirates allows you to board your flights directly from the Business or First Class lounges.

Emirates Business Class lounge in Dubai DXB Foyer
Emirates Business Class Lounge entrance and facade.

The icing on the cake is that, in some cases, these connect directly to the second level of the A380, Emirates’ favorite aircraft.

The most unique part of the Emirates Business Class lounge - the Ice Cream cart! I was overjoyed to try this.
The most unique part of the Emirates Business Class lounge – the Ice Cream cart! I was overjoyed to try this.
Many different choices - the stand-out was the Arabic Coffee with Dates ice cream.
Many different choices – the stand-out was the Arabic Coffee with Dates ice cream.

Boarding

Boarding was scheduled to begin at 7:35 and end with a final call by 8 pm. Thinking I had plenty of time, I was taking my time in the lounge. However, suddenly, I glanced at the departure screen at 7:45 am, and I found that the final call was already happening!

Boarding thru Gate A19 - which is actually a mobile boarding station.
Boarding thru Gate A19 – which is actually a mobile boarding station.

I quickly rushed to the gate, where they told me to hurry; as it turns out, we had a mobile boarding gate and would be taken by bus to the plane.

Boarding thru Gate A19 – which is actually a mobile boarding station.

Because this was a mobile boarding, the elevator took me down to the ground level and to a bus transfer gate. There were two different buses, the first one for economy class (which was packed). The other was for business class. Which had much better seats and were more comfortable and spacious, in addition to having far fewer passengers.

Congestion for the Economy bus, I was soon escorted to the Business Class bus…
Congestion for the Economy bus, I was soon escorted to the Business Class bus…

We wound up going around the entire south side of the airport, and I understood why, to find our plane on the far south side by the Dubai UAE Royal Air Wing terminal. This was pretty much the furthest South “mobile gate,” which explains why the boarding was so rushed.

Virtually Empty Business Class bus
Virtually Empty Business Class bus
View from the transfer shuttle to Emirates B777-300ER for flight 862 - with a mobile boarding stair.
View from the transfer shuttle to Emirates B777-300ER for flight 862 – with a mobile boarding stair.

The Emirates Business Class Cabin and Seats

Being in a little rush, I didn’t get the opportunity to take lots of photos of the cabin. Mind you being an old product; you are not missing much. The Business Class seat on Emirates B777s is woefully out of date for long flights.

Emirates Business Class seats
Emirates Business Class seats

For this short one-hour flight (40min in flight) from Dubai to Muscat, it was awesome – the seats are very spacious!

Emirates Business Class seats

I had 9K this time, which is a window seat just ahead of the engine. This one is far enough away that you can still see the turbine blades. However, I would prefer row 8 for the best view of the engine.

Some more views of the center Row 9. The Business Class cabin was only partially full.
Some more views of the center Row 9. The Business Class cabin was only partially full.

Each Business Class seat has about three windows dedicated to it.

So much leg room and multiple storage on the left for shoes and other belongings.
So much leg room and multiple storage on the left for shoes and other belongings.

Features:

  • Small cubby on the left side with a power port, two USB ports, and a set of headphones wrapped in pink plastic.
  • The display to the left was removable and could also be used for controls.
  • There was a small tray for drinks on the left side
  • Much larger fold-away tray on the left side for food service. This split in two, and I did not find it to be level (straight) nor very stable.
  • Electronic windows – I did not find them operable at either take-off or landing.
IFE control on the left side of my seat and a headphone jack.

Small drinks table, and a larger folding table for dining.

Emirates Business Class Amenity Kit & IFE & Wifi

I did not try the WiFi. Generally, though, I have found Emirates WiFi to be excellent. I didn’t have any need to try it on this short flight. Unsurprisingly there was no amenity kit offered for this short flight.

Large screens for the B777 IFE - the placement of the storage beneath the screen is a bit distracting.
Large screens for the B777 IFE – the placement of the storage beneath the screen is a bit distracting.

The IFE system for Emirates is generally excellent, and today was no exception. I love the multiple camera views for plane and travel nerds, allowing you to view in front and also down below the plane, plus all the information about the plane and flight itself. The screen also showed the plane overlayed on a satellite map of Dubai, which was cool to see (although out of scale).

The Flight 

Prior to take-off, the FA came by and gave each of the Business Class passengers a wine list. I have a feeling this is just standard practice on Emirates. Considering it was both 8 am on a Saturday and also a short flight of around 40 minutes! There was hardly enough time to enjoy wine, but it was nice that it was there for us. I found the seat has a convenient side table for drinks, out of the way of the main table.

I Utilized the folding table for the preflight “vitality boost” juice drink.
I Utilized the folding table for the preflight “vitality boost” juice drink.

The crew quickly served Emirate’s “Vitality Boost” juice concoction, which is a custom drink that Emirates created. It’s refreshing and nutrient-rich with no sugar or preservatives, and gluten-free as well as vegan to boot. I cannot remember what was served on our flight, but it was delicious. There was also a choice of Orange Juice, Water, and Champagne.

The takeoff over Dubai was fun and interesting. The B777 GE90s made various noises as the aircraft cycled through various power levels on takeoff.

Window view from Seat 9K before take off.
Window view from Seat 9K before take off.

Emirates Business Class Breakfast Service

Although the flight was a mere forty minutes, the service on this flight was spectacular. I was curious how Emirates would manage to serve the entire business class cabin within 20 to 30 minutes since we’d only be in the air for about 40 minutes total.

Emirates Business Class Food Menu and Wine menu
Emirates Business Class Food Menu and Wine menu

The food was fast and very efficient! Within five minutes of take-off, the flight attendant came and asked us if we wanted breakfast. Two minutes later, a ready-made tray with everything on it was promptly served. It shows good planning and attention to detail that Emirates has these pre-prepared. A few minutes later, the flight attendant hand-delivered fresh coffee and fresh orange juice.

Emirates Business Class Food Menu  menu
Emirates Business Class Food Menu menu

Having already eaten in the lounge and with such a short flight, I didn’t have enough time to finish my food in fifteen minutes.

Emirates Business Class wine menu

Breakfast Menu on EK862:

  • Sliced roasted chicken with tomato, red Leicester, cheddar, labneh with mint, and muhammara with heirloom tomatoes, kalamata olives, and walnuts.
  • Pita bread and fresh croissants.
  • Fresh fruits and yogurt and an array of condiments.
  • I opted for fresh coffee, which was served later.
Full breakfast service tray in presentation – nicely done! The table was crooked and very unstable.

Every food item was fresh and tasty. I appreciate that even with just ten or fifteen minutes to eat food, there were still so many different offerings. I still couldn’t finish, given the short flight time – there was that much food!

Sliced roasted chicken with tomato, red Leicester, cheddar, labneh with mint and muhammara with heirloom tomatoes, kalamata olives and walnuts; eggs.
Sliced roasted chicken with tomato, red Leicester, cheddar, labneh with mint, and muhammara with heirloom tomatoes, kalamata olives, and walnuts; eggs.

The flight attendant waited until the last possible moment to take my plate away when we were already at around 8,000 feet and descending, with less than ten minutes of flight time left.

Fresh pita bread and croissant.
Fresh pita bread and croissant.

I appreciate them giving me the time to eat as much as I could, and if for no other reason is why I really enjoyed the flight.

 Fresh fruits and yogurt, and an array of condiments.
 Fresh fruits and yogurt, and an array of condiments.

In the future, I would be thrilled to try out a full Emirates service course.

Coffee mug and a glass of water – the FA soon came by to fill up coffee and came every five minutes to check on us.

Arrival in Muscat MCT

The descent into Muscat MCT began 19 minutes before the scheduled arrival time. The crew announced 15,000 feet, and food was taken away approximately ten minutes before touch-down at 8,000 feet. We landed smoothly, and the descent featured some stunning views of the ocean.

I was able to capture the gulf of Oman before landing
I was able to capture the gulf of Oman before landing

My next flight would be on Salam Air to Phuket, and I was pleasantly surprised to find the transfer process in Oman to be incredibly easy. Upon arriving in MCT, you are let out into the lower level of the main airport wings (there are three wings, and the upper level is for departures) and follow moving walkways to the junction of all three wings.

Some welcome ads upon entry to MCT airport - I love the desert themed Architecture.
Some welcome ads upon entry to MCT airport – I love the desert themed Architecture.

Here you find Immigration Control in a large hall area – plus a small separate wing for transfers. I found transfer desks for all airlines, but only two were staffed – Emirates and Salam Air.

Passing thru the hallway of Muscat Airport with some beautiful desert and lighting accents.
Passing through the hallway of Muscat Airport with some beautiful desert and lighting accents.

This journey continues onwards, with my flight on Salam Air 485 from Muscat to Phuket, Thailand, in Luban Business Class, and the Majan Lounge in Muscat airport.

The terminal in Muscat MCT is simply stunning
The terminal in Muscat MCT is simply stunning

Final Thoughts

All in all, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend such a short flight than with Emirates. The B777 hard product on Emirates is definitely sub-par for a longer Business Class flight, but everything else was perfectly done!

Check-In was, for the most part, seamless and very efficient. Security and Immigration were easy to clear quickly in the separate areas of Terminal 3. The Business Class lounge was full of amenities and great food. The B777 seat was comfortable for this short flight, and the full service was amazing in just 40 minutes of flight time. All of this, last minute, for 23.3k Aeroplan points which is about as good a value as it gets.

I would definitely fly this route with Emirates again on the B777, however, I would be hesitant to try this plane on an Emirates route longer than ~2-3 hours.

The Pros:

  • Easy Check-In with no waits.
  • Easy Security and Immigration in DXB’s Business and First Concourses
  • Great Lounge experience with shower and amazing food.
  • Comfortable seat for a short one-hour flight.
  • Full Breakfast meal with an array of UAE food.
  • Even at forty minutes long, service on this flight was spectacular.

 The Neutral:

  • The Emirates B777 seat is definitely out of date for a longer flight – this was perfect for a short hop from Dubai to Muscat.

The Cons:

  • The tray table for this seat design is exceptionally poor and sagged down the middle. For any kind of work function (laptops etc), this would be extremely inconvenient. I was also worried about it while eating my breakfast.