QATAR. Qatar Duty Free has become a Diamond Partner for the inaugural Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo set to take place this October.

The multiple award-winning travel retailer plans to use the event to showcase Hamad International Airport’s exciting expansion project. Excitingly, Qatar Duty Free will present for the first time a range of the new retail and food & beverage concepts that the development will embrace. It will also unveil a world-first travel retail initiative, the subject of an exclusive announcement in coming days.

Qatar Duty Free becomes one of the Virtual Travel Retail Expo’s three Diamond Partners, alongside China Duty Free Group and The SEVA Group

Hamad International Airport (HIA) Chief Operating Officer Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer said: “The aviation sector and the world at large have been experiencing some of their toughest moments in history. The COVID-19 outbreak brought with it a set of unprecedented challenges and accelerated the transformation into a phygital world. Being at the forefront of this transformation, Moodie Davitt’s first Virtual Travel Retail Expo is a chance to turn the current pandemic into an opportunity for global airports.

“As a Diamond Partner of the Virtual Travel Retail Expo, Qatar Duty Free (QDF) is ready to unveil some of our new and exciting retail concepts and also Hamad International Airport’s expansion project that will increase the airport’s capacity to more than 53 million passengers annually, ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer said that the investment in the Virtual Travel Retail Expo illustrated an unswerving commitment to the travel retail channel that has been manifested throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

“At the onset of the outbreak, HIA and Qatar Duty Free (QDF) had joined hands to implement precautionary measures, to ensure passenger and staff safety,” he said. “Physical distancing, strict cleaning methods, hand washing, and regular use of masks, gloves and sanitizers were some of the mandatory steps that were put in place. However, QDF continued to accelerate key projects amidst the pandemic, to welcome back passengers with a brand-new shopping experience.”

Global force: When Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Akbar Al Baker assumed his current role, Qatar Airways operated just four aircraft in a regional capacity. Today it serves all six continents and ranks as the world’s fastest-growing airline. During the COVID-19 crisis it has flown more miles than any other carrier. [Picture: Qatar Airways]

Qatar Duty Free Vice President Operations Thabet Musleh said: “Qatar Duty Free is very proud to be a Diamond Partner of the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo. While current circumstances have meant that it is not possible for us to meet physically, we are excited to bring the whole team to this innovative new way of coming together.

“On behalf of everyone at Qatar Duty Free, we look forward to welcoming all our brand partners and colleagues from across the globe to this amazing event.”

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Akbar Al Baker and The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman Martin Moodie at Qatar Airways headquarters in Doha

Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer joins Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, perhaps the most prominent personality in the global aviation industry, in spearheading an unprecedentedly powerful line-up of presenters in the ‘Knowledge Hub’ at the Expo. Click on the image to view the full line-up, to access comprehensive information about the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo, and to register.

The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie said: “Hamad International Airport, Qatar Airways and Qatar Duty Free represent the ultimate sector Trinity, these three interlinked travel sector stakeholders acting in unison to benefit the most important industry stakeholder, the consumer. Throughout the darkness of the COVID-19 crisis, that Trinity has continued to shine.

“So we are thrilled to continue our partnership that found such wonderful voice at the Trinity Forum in Doha last October*. We’re equally delighted that our event will serve as a global showcase for what promises to be Hamad International Airport’s defining expansion project, which includes a number of world firsts. And as you would expect from a Trinity of this stature and vision, they plan something extra special for this pioneering Expo. Watch this space.”

*Hamad International previewed its multi-phased airport expansion plan in 2019 at The Trinity Forum in October which the airport company successfully co-hosted with Qatar Airways and Qatar Duty Free.

Qatar Airways and Qatar Duty Free show leadership and compassion in crisis

Qatar Airways has shown its stature, capabilities and compassion to impressive effect during the COVID-19 crisis, maintaining flights all over the world in its mission to get people home. The airline has successfully flown over one million passengers home — on both scheduled and chartered flights — and transported 70,000 tonnes of medical supplies amid the COVID-19 global health emergency.

The Qatar Airways super heroes who will bring you home

Take a moment to watch and listen to the beautiful tribute below from Qatar Airways to its cabin crew.

The airline prefaces the film by saying: “We are so proud of QatarAirways’ cabin crew who are continuing to serve in the midst of this challenging time, just knowing that it will make a difference to somebody out there.” #TakingYouHome

Let us quote you the words of one of the cabin crew interviewed on the short film. It tells its own beautiful story. She says simply, “We will bring you home.”