The first class section of the Saudia Alfurshan Lounge in Riyadh (RUH) proved to be a very comfortable place to spend a 7.5hour layover between flights.
To reach the lounge, simply follow the signs for “Alfurshan Lounge”. You will proceed up an escalator or elevator to a check-in desk where your boarding pass will be verified. To the right is business class, to the left first class.
Located just inside the lounge entrance is a room where you can leave carry-on items if you don’t wish to take them into the lounge with you. Don’t worry about your stuff being stolen: Saudi Arabia punishes theft very strictly.
The first class lounge is divided into the following sections:
- Al Waha Dining
- Al Majlis Lounge
- The Study
- Quiet Zone
- Viewing Area
Let’s take a look at each area.
Saudia First Class Lounge Riyadh – Al Waha Dining
The dining room is self-serve, with no a-la-carte dining options or even staff to bring you drinks, but offers a buffet with a wide variety of food.
Appetizers included hummus, tabbouleh and two varieties of soup. I was impressed that tomatillo salsa was available along with a Greek salad and green salad.
Hot items included steamed vegetables, rice, saffron, fried zucchini, pasta and chicken. Cakes and fruits for dessert and plenty of juices, soft drinks, coffee and other nonalcoholic beverages.
But I actually did not eat anything…I was full from the Dubai to Riyadh flight and very busy trying to get all my work done for the following morning in case the internet did not function on the RUH-LAX flight. I did have several cappuccinos and bottles of water.
Saudia First Class Lounge Riyadh – Al Majlis Lounge
The lounge featured a lounge within a lounge, a seating area with comfortable chairs, couches, and pillows that remained empty for the entire time I was in the lounge.
This section of the lounge featured its own drink selection, though it was identical to the drinks available in the dining area.
Saudia First Class Lounge Riyadh – The Study
A “study” area contained light snacks and several Apple iMacs. Four full-size desks were provisioned.
Saudia First Class Lounge Riyadh – Quiet Zone
The lounge featured four semi-private rooms with daybeds. The rooms contained individual reading lamps and coat hooks.
Saudia First Class Lounge Riyadh – Viewing Area
I think the “Viewing Area” is more aptly described as another relaxation area, but it did contain a floor-to-cileing window with views the terminal concourse below. This is where I spent the entire layover–in one of these chairs working. Thankfully, internet functioned fairly well and my travel sites were not blocked by overzealous censors.
Saudia First Class Lounge Riyadh – Washrooms + Showers
The men’s bathroom featured two sinks, two toilets, and a shower room. Towels are available upon request (and I also noticed them in the luggage storage room).
While this lounge cannot rank in the league of Air France, Lufthansa, or Thai Airways, it was a very solid first class lounge. I appreciated that it was nearly empty for my entire stay. Furthermore, I appreciated there was no annoying music or boarding announcements. I think Saudia could take the lounge to the next level with a bit more personalized service like drinks and food made to order (as I would soon experience onboard Saudia First Class).