The plane: Boeing 777-200LR (long range). Emirates used an Airbus A380 for its inaugural flights on this new route, but regular services will be operated with the much smaller 777, which is purpose-built for ultra-long flights. Emirates has flagged the potential for the A380 to be regularly used on the non-stop route.
Class: Business. The set-up in the 777s doesn't quite match the A380 Business-Class experience, where you are seated in your own little compartment. The 777-200 LR Business cabin has 42 seats in a 2/3/2 configuration, which still provides reasonable privacy as there's a dividing screen between you and your neighbour. There's no fighting over the armrests, let's put it that way.
Price: Around $7690 return at short notice.
Flight time: The flight from Auckland to Dubai can take up to 17 hours and 15 minutes, making it the longest in the world. However, as a result of prevailing winds, the return journey was much quicker and we completed the trip in 15 hours and 21 minutes.
My seat: 6A, in the front left corner of the Business Class cabin, right behind the First Class area, by the window. It provided a spectacular view as we took off from Dubai and circled around the city's skyscrapers before heading out over the desert. Even Yao Ming wouldn't complain about the leg-room in this spot. The 52cm-wide seat reclines to almost fully flat and I managed to get about five or six hours' sleep during the flight, which is pretty good for me. Wi-fi is yet to be installed on Emirates' entire 777 fleet (all the A380s have it) and internet wasn't available on this particular aircraft.
Fellow passengers: Business and leisure travellers, including Emirates' New Zealand country manager Chris Lethbridge.
How full: The 777-200LR seats up to 266 passengers and the business and economy cabins were pretty much choc-a-block on this flight.
Entertainment: More than 2200 channels of TV series, games and movies. The new releases section included Star Wars -- the Force Awakens and The Martian. I enjoyed Our Brand is Crisis, starring Sandra Bullock, about a troubled American political consultant who travels to Bolivia to help get a controversial former president re-elected.
Food and drink: Lunch and breakfast is served on this service. The first meal arrives about two hours out of Dubai and I went for the king prawn entree, roast chicken and mustard sauce main and chocolate cake dessert. It was all nicely done, particularly the chicken, which was perfectly cooked. A selection of Australasian and European wines was on offer.
Breakfast was the usual fare - omelettes, croissants and potato cakes, cereal, etc.
The service: Friendly and professional, provided by a very multi-national crew.
The toilets: Very clean and usually available, although there was a bit of a wait following the breakfast service.
Luggage: Emirates provides a generous 40kg baggage allowance for Business Class passengers. There was plenty of space in the overhead lockers.
Airports: On the way out, we benefited from Emirates' hassle-free dedicated Business and First Class check-in at Dubai Airport. We were the first of Emirates' four daily services into Auckland to arrive (the other three go via Australia) so the airport was pretty much empty.
Would I fly again: Definitely.