I spent 10 full hours in the Oman Air First Class Lounge in Muscat prior to my Oman Air 787 First Class flight to London, having arrived in Muscat on an Emirates flight at around 4am and not departing for London until 2pm later that day.
To my delight, the First Class lounge was an absolutely grand place to pass the time, with interiors, dining, drinks, and amenities that hold a candle to some of the best First Class lounges in the world.
Oman Air First Class Lounge Muscat – Access
The Oman Air First Class Lounge is Oman Air’s dedicated section of their flagship lounge facility for First Class passengers, while the neighbouring business class lounge is a larger space for business class passengers.
After disembarking from my short Emirates First Class flight from Dubai, I went through the transit security checkpoint without having to enter Oman, and soon found myself taking the elevators up to Level 5 of Muscat Airport, where the lounges are.
Oman Air currently operates only one daily flight with First Class to London Heathrow, and there were a total of only three passengers on today’s flight, who wouldn’t show up until a few hours before boarding.
Therefore, I had the entire First Class Lounge virtually to myself for the next 10 hours or so.
The exterior of the lounge consists of jet-black walls behind the gold Oman Air logo, with a gold gated entrance inspired by local “Mashrabiya” cultural design – a traditional lattice-like architectural element seen in Arabic architecture.
Upon entering, you’ll find the reception desk against an illuminated backdrop of Oman’s mountain formations, where access is granted.
Oman Air First Class Lounge Muscat – Seating
The wide-ranging terrain of Oman has influenced much of the interior decor of the lounge. Details and designs are inspired by the rugged landscape of mountains and the beauty of the country’s desert.
There are two lounge entrances: the one on the right grants access to the First Class Lounge. Meanwhile, the entrance to the left leads to the business class lounge, and we’ll take a look at that space in the next installment.
Apparently, the First Class lounge can accommodate 100 occupants, which is very generous considering the limited First Class flights that Oman Air operates (even during non-pandemic times). Safe to say, you’ll never encounter overcrowding issues in this lounge.
The lounge is bright, spacious, and tranquil, with marble flooring and ample seating. Within the floor and walls are intersections of circles of different sizes.
The combination of simple geometric forms creates a fluid and dynamic space, and the gold partitions create privacy within the communal areas.
When entering the lounge through the hallway, you’ll immediately find some seating along the gold metal barriers. The seats in the lounge are a soft velvet grey.
As you move further into the lounge, high ceilings become apparent, and the space opens up with clusters of velvet wingback chairs and armchairs in groups of two, three, and four.
A bar and dining area sit at the back of the lounge, near the soaring multi-storey windows overlooking the tarmac.
The bar has a contrast of chromatic gold and white, an alluring reflection of the Omani desert. We’ll come back to the bar to spend some quality time here later on in the review.
The furniture finishes include chrome gold, matte black, and fine marbles – everything felt very luxurious.
Indeed, the detail placed into the lounge is certainly far from subtle, with gold incorporated into even the smallest items, such as the tissue boxes on each coffee table. However, I still found the decor to be more tasteful than, say, the bling factor that you’ll find with Emirates First Class.
Near the back of the lounge, there’s a lone workstation with an iMac computer for guests to use.
Further seating can be found alongside the windows across from the bar. The seating then transitions into the dining area, with marble tables pre-set for eating.
The Oman Air First Class Lounge is one of the most visually striking lounges I’ve ever been in, full of Omani and Middle Eastern design elements throughout.
Needless to say, it felt very large for just one person inside throughout most of my stay. Usually, there’d be more First Class passengers during non-pandemic times, but again, I don’t feel like it’d ever get very crowded in here.
Upon arriving at 4am, I sat down briefly to charge my devices and relax a bit, and the crew very proactively offered me some light snacks and any beverage of my choice.
I started with sparkling water and avoided liquor for now, since I still needed to sleep for a bit before waking up to have breakfast.
Oman Air First Class Lounge Muscat – Nap Rooms
Since I needed to take a nap, I thought I’d kick off my Oman Air First Class Lounge experience by trying out the nap rooms – but it didn’t quite go to plan.
The First Class Lounge has two nap rooms, named “Muscat” and “Salalah”. Pajamas and amenity kits are offered in the nap rooms, just like those onboard Oman Air First Class.
However, these rooms are quite disappointing: they’re very small, there are no power outlets inside, and the light on the ceiling cannot be turned off – which is beyond baffling for a nap room.
I asked the staff about it, and they shrugged and said, “Yes, it cannot be turned off, and you can use the eye shades to block out the light.”
That’s frankly a ridiculous suggestion for a nap room. Eventually, they suggested that I may use the nap rooms in the Oman Air business class lounge instead.
These turned out to be much better thought-out spaces: the lights could be turned off, a desk and power outlets were available, and the room was bigger too.
Overall, the nap room situation is quite poor in the Oman Air First Class Lounge, and seems to me like something that needs urgent fixing. Thankfully, this was the only major shortcoming I encountered during my stay in the lounge.
Oman Air First Class Lounge Muscat – Dining
Upon waking up, I stumbled back to the First Class Lounge and opted to have breakfast. Since I was the only passenger for the morning, the First Class Lounge staff were almost falling over themselves to invite me to take a seat and ask me what I’d like to eat.
Without consulting a menu, I asked if they could prepare me some scrambled eggs, Arabic mezze, and a fruit plate, along with coffee, juice, and sparkling water. The staff were happy to oblige.
Everything was tasty and well-executed, and the service was polished and professional.
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I loved the presentation of the dishes too. It’s awesome when airlines put on a unique design motif for their flagship First Class products, like Oman Air’s plating here.
Now, the First Class lounge does have a dedicated à la carte menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with orders taken by the wait staff. Meanwhile, the business class lounge next door only offers a buffet spread.
Later on, I had lunch just before I headed to board the plane. I ordered the roasted tomato soup and the king prawn makdous, both of which were top-notch, generously portioned, and laden with flavour.
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The presentation was once again superb, arguably some of the best-presented food I’ve ever seen in a First Class lounge – for example, with the metal dome over the makdous.
Oman Air First Class Lounge Muscat – Bar
The lounge has an absolutely gorgeous bar, which is the highlight of the space. Again, it was one of the most visually beautiful lounge bars at which I’ve ever had the pleasure of sipping drinks.
Not only did I sip drinks, but I arguably went a little overboard, starting with a whiskey tasting and then moving on to the lounge’s Lanson Black Label Brut champagne.
I asked about their most expensive whiskey, and was shocked that they were serving US$1,000/bottle Glenmorangie 25! That’s the most expensive whiskey I’ve ever encountered at an airport lounge anywhere in the world, and I think it’ll take a lot to top this.
They did say they were down to their last half-bottle and would have to wait several months for their next order, so try to make it to this lounge sooner rather than later if you’d like to catch what’s left of the bottle.
The lounge was also carrying Hennessy Paradis cognac, a staple of the Emirates First Class drink list that retails for US$800/bottle.
I also got to chat with the bar staff, who took great interest in my photography and videography work. The main bartender had been working with Oman Air for 20+ years and had never taken a single flight before – he much prefers to serve guests a memorable ground experience instead.
The service was incredibly attentive throughout my stay in the lounge, primarily because I was the only passenger for a long stretch. The staff were basically happy every time they had something to do, as otherwise they’d just be standing around.
Oman Air First Class Lounge Muscat – Spa
There’s a spa on the second floor that’s shared between First Class and business class passengers. First Class passengers get a complimentary 15-minute treatment.
I didn’t feel like a full massage, so I opted for a session on the hydrotherapy table, which was an interesting sensation, though certainly relaxing.
I went for a tour of the spa facilities too, which include several treatment rooms and a steam room.
Oman Air First Class Lounge Muscat – Showers
As part of the restrooms, the First Class lounge has a fairly well-appointed shower room with Amouage-branded hand soap and amenities.
Amouage is a luxury Omani fragrances brand, whose items are also part of the Oman Air First Class onboard experience.
Both the restroom and shower are beautifully designed, in keeping with the rest of the lounge. The restrooms feature long golden mirrors that extend to the ceiling and detached sinks that extend to the floor, along with a continuation of intersecting geometric patterns within the details.
There’s only one shower room, but that ought to be enough given the limited traffic that the lounge gets.
Oman Air First Class Lounge Muscat – Private Escort
After polishing off my king prawn makdous and a glass of Lanson champagne for lunch, it was time to board.
I’d note that I had indicated a preference to board earlier rather than later, but perhaps because I had taken my sweet time with lunch (and the lounge staff dind’t want to rush me), I ended up being among the last passengers to board virtually just before takeoff.
As I bid farewell to the beautiful Oman Air First Class Lounge, an Oman Air staff member escorted me to the gate, walking alongside me through the Muscat International Airport concourse until we reached our gate.
There didn’t seem to be much of an added purpose to this, though I assume the staff member would’ve been willing to help with carrying luggage should I have required it.
The Oman Air First Class Lounge is a memorable ground experience that ranks up there among the world’s leading First Class lounges.
The bar, dining, and spa facilities are excellent, with the top-shelf liquor selection deserving a shout-out as one particular highlight that left me extremely impressed.
Plus, the sheer exclusivity of the Oman Air First Class cabin means that there’ll never be too many guests in here at any given time, so the service will always be swift, attentive, and friendly.
The one very notable drawback is the nap rooms, which don’t make any sense to me at all. Oman Air should make the ceiling light dimmable and add some power outlets to urgently improve the nap rooms to an acceptable standard, rather than making passengers go use the business class lounge nap rooms instead.
But on the whole, I’d say that the Oman Air First Class Lounge experience is one of the hidden gems of luxury travel that you can now unlock with Aeroplan points by redeeming points for Oman Air First Class.
I look forward to wining and dining once again in the Oman Air First Class Lounge on a future journey.