Oryx Lounge Vs. Al Maha Transit Lounge

The Al Maha and Oryx lounges are for those who are not holding a Qatar Airlines first class or business class tickets. The Oryx Lounge and the Al Maha Lounge are similar except for a few key differences. Here is a comparison table between these two Lounges.

ServicesOryx LoungeAl Maha Transit Lounge
Who Operates this lounge?Hamad International AirportQatar Airways
Entrance EligibilityAllOnly Qatar Airlines passengers.
SpaceOryx Loung is spaciousAl Maha is smaller than Oryx Lounge.
Food SelectionAverage compared to the business class lounge.Average compared to the business class lounge.
Is vegetarian Food Available?Yes.Yes.
ShowerYes, only 1 stall.Yes.
Clean BathroomYes.Yes.
Muslim Prayer RoomsNo.No.
Alcoholic Beverages.Yes, Ask waiters.Yes, Ask waiters.
Sleeping Area.No, Only 6 ReclinersNo.
Smoking Area.Yes.Yes.
Game AreaYes.Yes.
Duration Limitation6 Hours.4-8 Hours (Depends on Entrance Type).
Free WiFi?Yes.Yes.
Locker?Yes.Yes.
Price (Seasonally changes)$44$55

Lounge Operator:

Qatar Airways operates the Al Maha Services Transit Lounge, whereas Hamad International Airport operates the Oryx Lounge. 

Entry Eligibility:

Only Qatar Airways passengers can stay at the Al Maha Transit Lounge. Priority pass holders are allowed free entry in this Lounge.

Whereas, anyone flying any airlines, regardless of the travel class, can stay at the Oryx lounge for a $44 fee (price changes depending on seasonality). AMEX, HSBC Premier Mastercard & BARWA Bank issued Corporate cardholders get complimentary access to the Oryx Lounge. 

Children below three years of age can access the lounge for free.

How to Book the Oryx Lounge and Al Maha Lounge:

If you have a Qatar Airways ticket, you can book these lounges online from your Qatar Booking management page. These lounges also accept walk-in. 

You can book The Oryx Lounge two ways:

  1. If you have a Qatar Airlines Ticket, go to your booking page, and click on the book lounge button, or,
  2. Visit your nearest Qatar Airlines customer service center. They can book the Oryx lounge for you.

Other than these two methods, there’s no way to book the Oryx Lounge online. 

You can book the Al Maha Lounge the following way:

You can book the Al Maha services Lounges online through your Qatar Airways booking page or visit https://www.al-mahaservices.com/Almaha/booking/createNewBooking/step1.

Busy Hours:

The crowd depends on the month of the year, day of the week, and the day’s time. The Oryx lounge is most busy on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday, between 9 PM to 3 PM. Whereas, Every day from 6 AM to 6 PM, the lounge is almost empty. Therefore, your experience will vary depending on when you are visiting this lounge. 

The Oryx lounge is more spacious than the Al Maha lounge. Moreover, the Al Maha Lounge is always more crowded compared to the Oryx Lounge. 

Flexibility:

The Oryx lounge allows you to leave the lounge and come back within your 6 hours time frame. They will not charge you extra. However, we don’t know about the Al Maha Transit Lounge policy.

Food selection:

Both the Oryx Lounge and the Al Maha lounge serve food for free. They serve sandwiches, burgers, soft drinks, juice, soup, fruits, coffee, tea, etc. They also serve alcoholic drinks but they keep those in the back. You have to ask an attendant for your drinks.

Though both lounges do not have a great food selection, we found that Oryx Lounge has better food items than the Al Maha Lounge. 

At both of the lounges, the food menu changes depending on the time of the day. In the morning, there are more breakfast items; at night, it’s dinner items. 

Shower Facilities:

Oryx Lounge has only 1 shower stall. The shower is free and has a sink and a toilet too. Therefore, if you are at the lounge during the busy hours, the possibility of taking a quick shower is slim. It’s because there is always a line during that time.

The Al Maha Lounge also has shower facilities.

Sleeping Area:

Oryx and Al Maha Lounge do not have any dedicated sleeping rooms. Though there are 6 reclining chairs, those are not enough to take a sound sleep. Therefore, don’t book this lounge because you want to sleep here. The reality is you can’t. Most of the time, those chairs are occupied.

Here is an alternative solution. Go to the Free “Family Quiet Room” at this Airport. This room has numerous reclining chairs. Though it is not as quiet as the name suggests, it’s the right place to lie down for free at this Airport.  

Tips:

Airports are noisy, and people don’t obey rules. For example, the “Family quiet room” is supposed to be quiet. But what we found that people don’t care about other travelers. We saw people talking on their phones, listening to music without headphones, watching movies on iPad without EarPods, children crying, people gossiping. Therefore there’s no way to take a sound sleep here.

We suggest you buy a noise-canceling earplug before you fly. It is beneficial. While taking a rest, plug it into your ear. All the noise will vanish. 

Moreover, we know that sitting on a plane for long hours is exhausting. Sleeping on plane chairs is very hard. We found that a travel pillow always helps to take a good sleep on the plane. Instead of buying a neck pillow from Airport, buy it from Amazon. You will get a better deal on Amazon. For example, look at the price of this travel pillow.

Lounge Layout:

Both lounges have an open layout and have no privacy.

WiFi Availability:

Both lounges have free WiFi services. Moreover, there is a work station where you can charge your laptop and complete your business-related work. However, the WiFi speed is not great, especially during rush hour. 

Service Hours:

Both the Oryx Lounge and the Al Maha lounge are open 24 hours, seven days a week. 

Location:

Many travelers sometimes can’t find the Oryx or Al Maha lounge the first time. Here is an easy direction. Both lounges are situated at the departure area level 2 beside the giant Teddy Bear.

Smoking room:

Both the Oryx lounge and Al Maha lounge have a smoking room. We found that if the suction fans are not working correctly, the cigarette smell can come into the lounge. 

Tips:

There is a free smoking lounge in the transit area. 

Price:

The price of these lounges changes all the time. However, now the Oryx lounge charges $44, and the Al Maha lounge charges $55.

Staffs behavior:

One good thing about both of these lounges is, we never heard anyone complaining about staff behavior. Everyone we interviewed praised them. According to our interviewees, they are polite, courteous, and helpful.

Sitting area:

Both lounges have ample sitting chairs. But those chairs are not comfortable to take a nap. 

Game area:

The Oryx Lounge has a game room. However, it’s only a namesake game room without a lot of game consoles. 

Family room:

Both lounges have a family room.

Bathroom:

Both the Oryx Lounge and the Al Maha lounge have a clean restroom. However, there could be a long queue, especially at midnight, when these lounges are busy.

Duration Limitation:

You can stay at the Oryx lounge for a maximum of 6 hours. 

Access is limited to 4 hours to the Al Maha Lounge for those with Priority Pass, Diners Club, and Lounge Key.

Pets:

Both lounges do not allow any pets. Only service dogs are permitted.

Alternatives to Lounge:

Here is another alternative solution if you agree to spend around $250. The Oryx Airport Hotel allows booking rooms on an hourly basis. If there are at least 2 people in your group, I highly recommend you book a room at this hotel. You can take a hot and long shower in your private room and sleep in the bed comfortably. Instead of spending on lounges, stay at the Oryx Airport hotel. It’s worth it. The only thing you will miss is the food. But at $20 you can buy a lot of food at the airport terminal. 

The Oryx Airport Hotel has 5 types of room available for hourly bookings. These are –

  • Superior King / Twin room. These rooms have 1 king or 1 twin bed.
  • Deluxe King Room: 1 King bed.
  • Family Prime Room: These rooms have 1 King bed and 1 Single bed.
  • Family Supreme Room: 1 king and 2 single beds.
  • Executive Suite King Room: These rooms are in double the size of the Family Prime Room. For example, these Executive Suite King rooms are 92 square meters, whereas the Family Prime Rooms size is 43 square meters.

The table below shows the Oryx Airport Hotel Room prices. All the prices are in Qatari Riyal and US dollars.

Room Type0 to 8 Hours stay package9 to 13 hours stay package14 to 18 hours stay package19 to 24 hours stay package
Superior King/Twin (38 sqm)    900 ($250)1,000 ($275)1,050 ($290)1,050 ($290)
Deluxe Room King (43 sqm)    1,000 ($275)1,050 ($290)1,150 ($350)1,250 ($345)
Family Prime Room (43 sqm)        1,000 ($275)1,100 ($300)1,200 ($330)1,350 ($370)
Family Supreme Room (56 sqm)      1,200 ($330)1,300 ($360)1,400 ($385)1,550 ($425)
Executive Suite King  (92 sqm)1,300 ($360)1,400 ($385)1,500 ($410)1,650 ($450)

Conclusion:

The Oryx lounge and the Al Maha lounge are not something luxurious or special. It’s a place to eat some food and, if possible, to take a shower. Other than that, waiting at these lounges or waiting outside is the same. However, if you want to book a lounge, we suggest you book the Oryx Lounge, otherwise stay at the Oryx Airport Hotel. 

Sources:


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