This is the thought that I had in mind almost the entire time I was in the Emirates Lounge. Anything , from the hostess uniforms, to floors, to watches, to bathrooms, to the prayer room, the centerpieces, the armchairs, televisions, the buffet/restaurant room and then again with food and with the guests. There was nothing that did make me feel less than a king. Or better, like a sheik.
The morning started with the issue of passes and the boring safety checks, after which we entered the boarding area; there, a few steps from the duty-free shops, starts this staircase that leads directly to a wall covered with mahogany wood, with a gold inscription: “The Emirates Lounge” and a little before it two pots of red roses connected by a red ribbon with a bow at the center. Then the sliding doors open and… the luxury.
Reception with chocolates, marble floors and mahogany counter, two hostesses are behind it wearing the typical uniform of the company. And then this huge room full of luxury: 2.5 million euros worth, to be precise. The pictures speak for themselves, but I assure you that they can only in part render those magnificent 920 square meters. After a while gourmet refreshments began to arrive. My favorites? Bignès filled with a cream of cheese and truffle.
Also Italian VIPs were present.
Then came the moment of interventions. The first was Mohammed H. Mattar, Divisional Senior Vice President for Emirates’ Airport Services who spoke about the lounge, about the company and its fleet, and also about the flagship of it, which is the A380, the largest aircraft in the world.
“Our story began in Italy in Rome, when we have established our presence in 1992, and is the only Italian city where we fly with our representative A380. We have seen passenger numbers grow exponentially over the last five years. The need for an Emirates lounge has never been greater.” Mattar said, and added that the company soon will add a second A380 for the Rome- Dubai line.
After him spoke Lorenzo Lo Presti, CEO of ADR (Rome Airports) who pointed out that the partnership with Emirates is a further step towards excellence. Then Fabio Maria Lazzerini, Emirates Area Manager Italy, said: “We received a lot of positive feedback from Italian customers, and the A380, our flagship, continues to grow in popularity. This dual service will help us meet the growing demand of customers, giving to many more travelers the chance to experience our A380 aircraft, their characteristics and all of their comforts.”
Once cut the inauguration’s ribbon, was the moment of cutting the cake and of buffet lunch, more than we all could ever eat .. risotto cakes, eggplant rolls and pasta amatriciana (a typical Roman dish), salmon, veal fillet, mashed potatoes with cheese, side dishes, desserts and fruit.
Though the prices of Emirates’ flights are prohibitive for me, especially in First and Business class (to whom is reserved the lounge) I promised myself that sooner or later I will return to that stratospheric hall, to be spoiled and pampered as if I was the son of the most wealthy Sheikh, to enjoy the most relaxing flight there is.