I have flown quite a few middle eastern carriers in the last couple of years, and agree with previous observations that their biggest challenge is maintaining service standards, both on the ground and in the air, when they are undergoing dramatic phases of growth and bringing on large numbers of new employees.
But they often represent extraordinary value for money. I have just this week flown four sectors in EK F. As ever, I smart a bit on entering the suites, thinking the gold trimmings etc to be a bit brash, but then comfort, privacy and quality take over.
A rectangular bed, no curves or foot coffins etc, substantial menu choice, with generally excellent quality, extensive wine list (how often do you see Paradis anywhere, let alone on a plane?), chauffeurs at every point in the journey, great lounges, particularly at DXB with the convenience of direct gate boarding……
All this for about the same price as a J class fare on BA.
I accept that service can be a bit robotic, and anything off script causes a bit of a flurry, but better this than crew who really would rather be somewhere else.
The Hammad International terminal will be spectacular (I have had a private tour), so I really do think the ME is here to stay, and others need to watch and learn.