Lounge Review: Al-Mubarakiya at Kuwait International T4

The Al-Mubarakiya lounge is located in the relatively new Terminal 4 of Kuwait International Airport. This is Kuwait Airways’ exclusive terminal. Travellers can connect to Terminal 1 via a shuttle bus, which seems to run every 10 minutes or so (there isn’t any signage posted).

The entrance to the lounge. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Location, Reception and Seating

The generous seating. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Located at the far end of the terminal and opposite of where the security checkpoint is, the Al-Mubarakiya Lounge is one of two lounges in the terminal – the other one being reserved for first and business class passengers.

I was able to access Al-Mubarakiya using my Priority Pass membership. Otherwise the listed cost is 9 Kuwaiti Dinar – about 30USD. Checking in took about a minute and also required showing my boarding pass.

The view from the lounge. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

The lounge is situated right up against the gates and tarmac, so guests get a great view of aircraft parking and pushing back. On first impressions, the place has a feeling of luxury and comfort. The mix of wood and smooth granite across the entire space achieves this feeling well. Seating was plentiful at the time of my visit.

There are a few restaurant-style tables for upright dining, but the majority of chairs are large low-sitting armchairs. Each armchair has its own reading light and electrical outlet (both the type G, UK standard and some USB A). Almost anywhere you sit will give you a view of a TV screen somewhere in the space.

Food

A view of the food and beverage area. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
All the hot dishes available at the lounge. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Food was amazing here – just as good as Terminal 1’s Dasman Lounge. Hot dishes included Indian butter chicken as well as lamb biryani, fish, fusilli with pesto, and steamed vegetables. The highlights for me were the chicken and lamb.

A better view of the butter chicken and lamb biryani. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

For cold foods, guests could choose from a greek salad, or fattoush – a Middle Eastern salad with toasted pita bits that give it a crunch. There was also a hummus dip as well as a pumpkin puree dip. Dessert was a real treat as well: In addition to freshly cut fruit, there were mini cups of fruit salad in some mango juice, small cupcakes, mini cheesecake, and baklava. No complaints about any of it!

Cold dishes (salads and dips). Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
The dessert was delicious and nicely presented. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Beverage

With Kuwait being a dry country, there is no alcohol at this lounge – or airport. The lounge does offer a decent selection of juices and sodas as well as Dilmah brand tea. Coffee can be acquired from the touch-screen espresso machine.

Video of the day:

Hot and cold beverages. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Furthermore, there is a man dressed in traditional clothing who walks around serving a special coffee from an ornate traditional pot with a long spout. I thought that was a nice and unique touch you would rarely experience in a lounge. This man also served dates at the same time to accompany the coffee.

Service

I get the impression that in the Middle East and Africa there is a surplus of labor – or at least it’s very accessible and available. I say this because the lounges I visit in this part of the world feel almost ‘overstaffed’.

At the food station, there was a staff member manning 1-2 hot dishes, ready to pull up the lid for you to serve yourself. This meant that there were 2-3 people standing there whose only job was to lift lids and be ready to assist in some way. In addition to this, there was an army of busing staff ready to clear dishes once you were finished your meal or drink.

Overall

The view from the lobby. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

In conclusion – this lounge is comfortable and offers a lot in terms of food. The vibe is pleasant and I could easily see myself spending an extended layover here. The toilet facilities were spotless and well maintained – as was the rest of the lounge. The WiFi wasn’t the fastest, nor was it too slow.

If you’re ever flying Kuwait Airways, I would recommend the lounge if you have a Priority Pass or if you have a long enough layover that would justify spending the money.

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