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Emirates Airlines – Dubai, UAE (DBX) – Male, Maldives (MAL) - Flight EK8654/EK654

Comfortable Flight, but Nothing Wow About It

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Flight Information: Emirates Airlines – Dubai, UAE (DBX) – Male, Maldives (MAL) - Flight EK8654/EK654

For this trip to the Maldives we looked for the best first class flight in terms of timing and price and came up with Emirates EK654 from Dubai to Male, Maldives. This flight was scheduled to leave Dubai at 10:05 AM and arrive in the Maldives at 3:24 PM, making for an almost 4 ½ hour flight. (Click here to read our Dubai resort and restaurant reviews and click here to read our Maldives resort reviews.)

Check-In: We were transit in Dubai and had received our boarding passes at our departing airport, so we were able to bypass check-in in Dubai and head directly to the boarding gate for our flight to Male International Airport in the Maldives.

The Lounge: We took advantage of the Emirates First Class Lounge – Click here to read our 1st Class Lounge review for Emirates First Class Lounge in Dubai.

First Impression: As we boarded our flight from Dubai to the Maldives the Emirates’ flight attendants did nothing to make us feel welcome. We received just a general greeting, not the warm welcome and personalized service like being shown to our seat or being helped with our luggage like we get on most first class flights. I remember when I first started working as a trip advisor, Emirates used to pride themselves on service; those days are long gone!

The Cabin: The First Class Cabin of the Boeing 777-300 consisted of two rows with a 2x2x2 configuration. The seats had a retractable wall between my seat and the seat next to me; this allowed for maximum privacy. A cupboard next to my seat had soft drinks, and sparkling and still water right at my finger tips. However, it was all room temperature, so it was not at all tempting. Good idea, bad execution.

The Flight (Service/Food/Drink): Once we were seated and settled in, an Emirates’ Flight Attendant worked her way over to us and offered a glass of Moet Champagne (they keep the Dom Perignon for after take-off) and the lunch menus.

After the plane reached its flying altitude, the flight attendants began serving cocktails; including the elusive Dom Perignon Champagne. I have never seen Emirates serve it while still on the ground. Our theory is, to save money, Emirates saves the more expensive Champagne until after take-off when more people will have liquor, wine or soda instead of Champagne to drink.

After the drinks were all served, the flight attendants rolled out the lunch carts. We had the choice of either Arabic mezze or Lobster Salad for our appetizer. My partner and I each went with the lobster salad; I found it dull and boring, my partner enjoyed it more than I did.

We also had a bowl of the soup of the day, Celeriac Veloute , which is akin to a celery soup. The soup was amazing. It was full of flavor, and the texture was smooth and tantalized my mouth! I could have had just a bowl of the soup and been more than satisfied; but of course, I didn’t stop there.

Even before the flight attendants came around with the cart of main dishes; poached beef fillet, black pepper chicken, Sri Lankan style white fish curry and cream cheese capellini and vegetables, I had already made up my mind and had my sights (and taste buds) set on the beef.

However, just one look at the beef and I instantly changed my mind. It looked horrible! It was scorched to a crisp and drier than a desert; and I know, I had just come from one! We both opted instead to just have a small taste of the chicken, fish and pasta.

All three of the remaining main dishes were spot-on good, that is, other than the pasta being burned on the edges, but still, it was quite tasty.

After dinner, the attendants came around with the cheese and dessert tray. We skipped the cheese and went right for the desert, a cappuccino brownie with spiced chocolate sauce and berries; a perfect end to an overall enjoyable lunch.

Lunch was served on nice crystal and our trays were covered in white linen. That, along with the impressive service made for quite a nice lunch at 30,000 feet on our flight from Dubai to The Maldives.

The wine list offered up two reds, a Bordeaux from France and a Pinot from Australia. The whites were a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and the one I picked, a Meursault 2006 Domaine Bouchard Pere. The Meursault was a nice (not amazing) wine but since I was trying so many dishes, it was a decent wine for my dinner on Emirates. My partner went with the Staete Landt 2007 Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, NZ. It was, of course, the better pick for the fish and chicken.

With dessert we had the Dow’s Vintage Port 1985. Why is it chocolate and Port go so well together!

After dinner, we flipped the channels of Emirates ICE (information, communication and entertainment) system. Their literature says it has over 1200 channels. I think I flipped through about a hundred before I reclined my first class seat and settled in for the reminder of the flight from Dubai to The Maldives.

Arrival: We arrived in Male on time and after a short ten-minute wait at the luggage carousal, we received our bags. They were some of the first to arrive, as they should have since they were labeled with Emirates First Class tags. It was nice to see that this time the first class tags did what they were supposed, make our bags a priority! Kudos for Emirate Airlines!

Overall Impression: Our first class flight from Dubai, UAE (DBX) to Male, Maldives (MAL) on flight EK8654/EK654 was enjoyable and the service attentive, but the overall flight missed any of wow factor and extra special touches that make an international flight bombastic. Our rating for this flight is our average rating of between bombastic and not.

Additional Flight Information:
Flight Time from Dubai, UAE to Male: 4 Hours, 20 Minutes

Frequent Flyer Program: Skywards

Airline Partners: Continental Airlines, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Korean Air, South African Airways, United Airlines , Virgin Blue

Airport Codes:
Dubai, UAE - DBX
Male - MAL

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