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Qatar Airways Gold Lounge – South at Hamad International Airport in Doha [Review]

Keri Stooksbury's image
Keri Stooksbury
Keri Stooksbury's image

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

35 Published Articles 3236 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...
Edited by: Michael Y. Park
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Michael Y. Park

Editor

19 Published Articles 183 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 60+U.S. States Visited: 50

Michael Y. Park is a journalist living in New York City. He’s traveled through Afghanistan disguised as a Hazara Shi’ite, slept with polar bears on the Canadian tundra, picnicked with the king and que...

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While I was traveling with a friend from our home in Doha, Qatar, to Nairobi, Kenya, she graciously invited me as her guest to the Qatar Airways Gold Lounge – South. As this lounge is generally reserved for Oneworld elites, which I am not, I jumped at the opportunity to check out a new lounge in my home airport.

Learn more about how to find and access this lounge and some of the amenities you can expect.

Qatar Airways Gold Lounge – South Location

The Gold Lounge – South opened in June 2022 and is in Duty Free Plaza South toward Concourse A. If you are departing from Hamad International Airport (DOH), descend the escalators after immigration and security and turn left toward Concourse A.

Hamad International Airport lamp bear signage
Turn left toward Concourse A when descending the escalator.

If you are connecting through Doha, aim for Untitled Lamp Bear and follow the signage for Concourse A.

Hamad International Airport Concourse A
Follow signage for Concourse A.

When you enter Concourse A, the lounge is immediately on the right, just ahead of gate A1.

Map Concourse A Hamad
The lounge is immediately on your right after entering Concourse A. Image Credit: Hamad International Airport

Gaining Entry to the Qatar Airways Gold Lounge – South

The lounge is open 24 hours daily. Entry is granted to Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold and Platinum members and Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members and their eligible guests. Higher-tier Privilege Club Platinum and Oneworld Emerald members will likely be directed upstairs 1 level from the Gold Lounge to the Platinum Lounge.

First class and business class (Elite, Comfort, or Classic fare, excluding Business Lite) passengers also have access, though we’d recommend the Al Safwa First Class Lounge or Al Mourjan Business Lounge – South for a superior experience.

Unfortunately, the lounge is not well-marked with exterior signage, so blink and you may miss the entrance. Look for the roped queue and a small white sign with a lounge icon. The entrance is ahead of the first set of moving sidewalks on the right before gate A1.

Hamad International Airport lounge entrance
Look for the small white lounge icon.

Upon entering the lounge, we had our passports and tickets verified in the queue by a staff member, and we completed check-in at one of the mirrored desks.

DOH Gold Lounge South check in desks
Check-in for the Platinum and Gold Lounges is at the same location.

This area serves as the check-in area for both the Platinum and Gold Lounges. Privilege Club Gold and Oneworld Sapphire members continue on to the Gold Lounge at the same level, while Privilege Club Platinum members and Oneworld Emerald members take an elevator or stairs up 1 level to the Platinum Lounge.

DOH Gold Lounge South elevator stairs
The Gold Lounge is at the concourse level, and the Platinum Lounge is up 1 level.

First Impressions

Compared to the Al Maha Lounge, accessible with Priority Pass, this lounge immediately exuded openness and calmness. No need to hunt for a seat, no rush of people at the buffet … it was very chill.

Though my lounge visit was just ahead of sunset during Ramadan, a month when Muslims abstain from eating or drinking from dawn to sunset, food and beverages were readily available for all passengers.

Seating

The lounge had a walkway that stretched the length of the lounge, with seating to the left and restrooms and the food buffet to the right. The leather armchairs in the area with wood flooring were comfortable, and each had its own side table.

DOH Gold Lounge South seating
All seating is to the left upon entering.

Against the window were pairs of leather and fabric armchairs.

DOH Gold Lounge South seating from private area
Small clusters of seats flanked the windows.

The seats toward the back of the lounge had the best views of the apron.

DOH Gold Lounge South seat pair
AvGeeks will enjoy the apron views.

There was a more private area partially walled off toward the left of the bar. I’m not sure what the functionality of this space was for other than privacy.

DOH Gold Lounge South private area
A small private area is to the left of the bar.

The side tables had Type G and USB-A outlets, as well as QR codes for a beverage menu and newspapers and magazines (which redirected to the ORYX ONE app).

DOH Gold Lounge South outlets QR codes
Seats feature Type G outlets and USB-A outlets.

The bar area was toward the rear of the lounge and featured dining tables with seating for 2 and a large workspace with barstools and outlets.

DOH Gold Lounge South bar seating
The bar area had group seating.

A highchair was available for guests with children. The Hamad International Airport website indicates that this lounge has a “dedicated area for families,” but unlike in the Al Maha Lounge, I did not notice any specific family room.

DOH Gold Lounge South highchair
A highchair was available.

Overall, the lounge has seating for 85 people.

Food and Beverage

Buffet

The buffet offered a variety of self-serve hot and cold options — certainly enough to make a hearty preflight meal. The offerings started with various breads and jams.

DOH Gold Lounge South breads
Various breads and jams.

The hot entrées were chicken biryani and penne pasta with chunky tomato sauce, feta cheese, and fried basil.

DOH Gold Lounge South rice pasta
Chicken biryani and penne pasta.

Carrot-and-ginger soup and chicken-and-sweet-corn soup were available.

DOH Gold Lounge South soup
Soups.

Mezze and salads, which were nearly identical to Al Maha Lounge’s typical fare, included small cups of chickpeas and hummus, tabbouleh, potato and kalamata olive vinaigrette, and chicken Caesar salad.

DOH Gold Lounge South mezze
Mezze and salads.

Staff steadily replenished the carrot cake, date-and-walnut cake, Arabic sweets like baklava, and Qinwan dates.

DOH Gold Lounge South desserts dates
Cakes, Arabic sweets, and dates.

Desserts included mango cheesecake with passion fruit glaze, assorted fruits (papaya, honeydew, and watermelon), and double chocolate mousse. These desserts in a cup are a mainstay of Qatar Airways economy class meals from Doha, and I tend to think catering knocks them out of the park most of the time!

DOH Gold Lounge South fruit desserts
Desserts and fruit.

Allergens were not noted on the individual item placards, but a food allergy notice was placed in several areas of the buffet.

DOH Gold Lounge South allergen notice
Food allergy notice.

Finally, the bar had a deli case with mixed olives, cheese platters, cream cheese with cucumber tomato sandwiches, and oriental chicken sandwiches. Guests needed to request these items from the bartender.

DOH Gold Lounge South deli case
Deli case with cheese platters and sandwiches.
Bottom Line:

The Gold Lounge – South did not have many grab-and-go items. Passengers could grab a handful of wrapped dates or a wrapped sandwich from the deli case.

Drinks

Unlike the Al Maha Lounge, where beverages are self-service, all soda, alcoholic, and specialty coffee drinks at the Gold Lounge – South were by request from the bartender. A beverage menu was available.

DOH Gold Lounge South empty bar
Bar.

Dispensers on the buffet line contained infused detox water and lemon mint juice, a regional specialty that my kids adore.

DOH Gold Lounge South water lemon mint
Detox water and lemon mint juice.

You could also prepare a coffee, and room-temperature still and sparkling bottles of water were available.

DOH Gold Lounge South coffee
Coffee machine and water bottles.

Amenities

The Gold Lounge – South offers basic amenities such as Wi-Fi and showers with a few notable exceptions — there are no nap rooms or recliners, luggage storage, or à la carte dining.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi ran through the airport’s main network, and speeds were quite fast — upward of 122 Mbps download and 108 Mbps upload. My friend and I did notice some sites were blocked, but a VPN would likely bypass these.

HIA network test lounge
Wi-Fi speeds. Image Credit: Speedtest

Bathrooms

The bathrooms were quite spacious and were always tended to by personnel.

DOH Gold Lounge South womens restroom
Women’s restroom.

The minute I used a towel from the hand towel pyramid, it was promptly replaced. Soap and lotion were from Diptyque.

DOH Gold Lounge South womens restroom amenities
Diptyque toiletries.

The toilets were very clean and had a bidet wand. Note the folded triangles on the toilet paper.

DOH Gold Lounge South womens toilet
Women’s toilet.

Showers

The shower suites were first come, first served in the same restroom and were divided into a shower area with a handheld shower and rainfall showerhead …

DOH Gold Lounge South shower
Women’s shower.

… and a dressing area with a bench, hair dryer, and mirror. Pegs and a towel bar offered plenty of space for hanging clothes and towels.

DOH Gold Lounge South shower dressing area
Women’s dressing area.

Staff and Service

The staff was nonintrusive throughout my visit. They quietly collected used dishes in the background, consistently restocked food items, and prepared bar orders without delay.

Final Thoughts

If given the opportunity to select between the Qatar Airways Gold Lounge – South and the Al Maha Lounge, one must weigh the pros and cons of each.

Food options are very similar, and neither lounge has an edge over the other on the buffet offerings. Al Maha Lounge has grab-and-go nonalcoholic beverages but doesn’t offer anything alcoholic beyond a basic wine and beer choice. The Gold Lounge – South has an extensive bar and a wider selection of alcohol.

For a more chill space to relax, the Gold Lounge – South had plenty of open seats, and I enjoyed the views out across the apron. By comparison, Al Maha Lounge is in an interior space and is consistently crowded.

The exclusivity of the Gold Lounge – South, open only to select Privilege Club and Oneworld elites, kept it a calm space during my visit, and ideally, that’s what would bring me back to the lounge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use the Qatar Airways lounge in Doha?

Qatar Airways operates several lounges at Hamad International Airport (DOH). Access varies by lounge based on Privilege Club or Oneworld elite status or premium class of service. Paid access may be available depending on the lounge.

Which lounge is better in Doha Airport?

Al Safwa First Class Lounge is considered one of the top first class lounges in the world. Check out our firsthand review!

How to get free lounge access at Doha Airport?

The best way to access a lounge for free at Hamad International Airport (DOH) is with a Priority Pass membership, which offers complimentary access to both locations of Al Maha Lounge and sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounge. Several credit cards offer complimentary Priority Pass access.

Can economy class use the Qatar Airways lounge?

Entry to the Qatar Airways Gold Lounge – South at Hamad International Airport (DOH) is granted to Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold and Platinum members and Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members and their eligible guests, regardless of class.

Keri Stooksbury's image

About Keri Stooksbury

With years of experience in corporate marketing and with a nonprofit, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and reviewing thousands of UP articles in the process.

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