Qatar Airways announces launch of Birmingham-Doha route from March 2016

Birmingham Airport and Qatar Airways have announced plans to launch a new service between Birmingham and Doha starting March 30, 2016.

With eight flights a week, including two flights on Saturdays, the new route offers passengers travelling to and from Birmingham a greater choice and convenience of seamless transfers at the airline’s state-of-the-art hub Hamad International Airport. Birmingham, the centre for the largest concentration of businesses outside of London with nearly 34,285 companies including over 700 international firms, is expected to benefit significantly with the new service.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said: ‘We are delighted to announce Birmingham as Qatar Airways’ fourth destination in the United Kingdom from March 2016. This additional route strengthens Qatar Airways’ commitment to the regions across the UK and will create new commercial and leisure links between the city of Birmingham and the 152 destinations served by the airline.’

Birmingham Airport Chief Executive Officer, Paul Kehoe said: ‘This is fantastic news for both Birmingham Airport and the region, and is our tenth new airline to announce or launch this year. Not only will our passengers have the choice of flying with the award winning carrier to Doha’s state-of-the-art hub Hamad International Airport, they will have a choice of 152 destinations served by the airline, including South East Asia, China and Australasia.’

The route will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner which has a two-cabin configuration, comprising of 22 seats in Business Class and 232 Economy Class seats. All seats have individual television screens, offering the latest in-flight entertainment with nearly 2,000 options. In Business Class, every seat is an aisle seat where passengers can catch up on sleep in a fully-flat bed or utilise the work surface area. Passengers can also stay connected while travelling with the option of Wi-Fi, which is available throughout the aircraft.

The departure times in both directions offer onward connections to 152 key business and leisure destinations across Qatar Airways’ global network. Passengers can also benefit from reduced journey times from Birmingham through to Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Africa with cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

World Travel Awards grand final to be held in Doha, Qatar

World Travel Awards (WTA) has confirmed that its 20th Grand Final will be hosted by La Cigale Hotel, Doha on November 30, 2013.

Considered to be ‘the Oscar’s of the travel industry,’ WTA was established in 1993 to recognise and honour the leading travel, tourism and hospitality organisations in the world. It rewards companies that excel in their products and services through innovation.

The first of the World Travel Awards event was held in Hollywood in 1994, and finals since then have been hosted in the world’s most exotic locations including London, New York, Las Vegas, Barbados, Turks & Caicos and New Delhi. More than 4,000 guests from 92 countries, as well as media from 194 TV channels and publications, attended the 2012 WTA Grand Tour ceremonies.

World Travel Awards senior vice president, Kevin Taylor, said: ‘We are delighted to take World Travel Awards to Doha, Qatar for the second time, and to have La Cigale Hotel as host is an extra delight for us. Over the years the World Travel Awards winners shield has become trusted by the travel industry and leisure and business travellers as signifying excellence in quality of product and service, and we look forward to the next twenty years.’

Housni El Yaman, director of sales & marketing at La Cigale Hotel said ‘With our Qatari hospitality & impressive entertainment program headed by the famous artist Maya Diab, we are proud to bring this event for the second time to Doha and welcome more than 750 travel tourism and hospitality professionals from all over the world.’

The World Travel Awards Grand Tour 2013 has included regional legs in the Maldives, Dubai (UAE), Antalya (Turkey), Kenya, Peru, and Antigua throughout the year, and the winners of the regional awards will compete in the Gand Final.

Located near the Doha International Airport, La Cigale Hotel is a five star deluxe property offering a retreat for business and leisure travellers. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World since 2008, the Qatar Tourism Authority honoured La Cigale Hotel with a ‘Quality Certificate’ in 2013. It was also awarded the ‘World’s Ultimate Service Award in Hospitality’ 2012, and clinched ‘Qatar’s Leading Hotel Dining & Entertainment Experience,’ ‘Middle East’s Leading Hotel Dining & Entertainment Experience’ 2013 and ‘Qatar’s Leading Hotel’ 2013 for the third time, after receiving the award in 2010 and 2012.

 

Qatar Airways Introduces Dreamliner on London to Doha Route

Qatar Airways, a Qatar based airline company, will be offering its newly acquired Boeing 787 aircraft for commercial service to London Heathrow Airport in the UK, from Doha, in Qatar.

The airline has recently taken delivery of its initial 787 Dreamliner aircraft at the Seattle, US, headquarters of the aircraft manufacturer, Boeing. The airline has flown the aircraft to Doha, Qatar, where it will be based and will be used to operate the London-Doha service.

The airline becomes the first to operate regular scheduled flights to the UK with Boeing’s next generation aircraft. The new service to London Heathrow commences from December 13, 2012.

The airline chief executive officer, Akbar Al Baker, said, ‘We are delighted at last with today’s announcement that in just over two weeks’ time, the UK market will see its first 787 on a regular full commercial service when it flies into London Heathrow.

Inaugurating our 787 on the London Heathrow route puts Qatar Airways firmly on the global aviation map as a carrier with a determination to continue its expansion drive and improve an already superior in-flight product.

Both new and existing customers in the UK and further afield on connecting flights will soon have an opportunity to fly on the most talked-about aircraft in the world in and out of London.

We have already received our second 787 with a further three to join our fleet by the end of the year. And we won’t stop there. With more 787s being inducted into the fleet next year, further route launches and our move to a brand new international airport in Doha during 2013, we continue to look forward to another year of exciting developments.

With our ever-expanding international network, more people from different parts of the world will have an opportunity to fly Qatar Airways and our new 787s to and from our Doha hub.’

Qatar Airways to Fly Dreamliner flights to London Heathrow

Qatar Airways, a Qatar based airline company, will be introducing its brand new Dreamliner aircraft on routes between Doha and London from December 13, 2012.

The airline has taken delivery of its initial Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft recently, and is expected to take delivery of around 60 Dreamliners that are on order, over the next few years.

Qatar Airways chief executive officer, Akbar Al Baker, said, ‘We are delighted at last with today’s announcement that in just over two weeks’ time, the UK market will see its first 787 on a regular full commercial service when it flies into London Heathrow.

Inaugurating our 787 on the London Heathrow route puts Qatar Airways firmly on the global aviation map as a carrier with a determination to continue its expansion drive and improve an already superior in-flight product.

Both new and existing customers in the UK and further afield on connecting flights will soon have an opportunity to fly on the most talked-about aircraft in the world in and out of London.

We have already received our second 787 with a further three to join our fleet by the end of the year. And we won’t stop there. With more 787s being inducted into the fleet next year, further route launches and our move to a brand new international airport in Doha during 2013, we continue to look forward to another year of exciting developments.

With our ever-expanding international network, more people from different parts of the world will have an opportunity to fly Qatar Airways and our new 787s to and from our Doha hub.’

The B787 aircraft will operate on flight QR075 from Doha to Heathrow. The new aircraft feature Wi-Fi Internet access, touch screen Android IFE systems, and two-class seating.

Gambia signs accord with Qatari firm to develop tourism

The tourism department of The Gambia has signed a deal with a firm in Qatar to develop facilities for tourists in the nation.

The department has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Katara Hospitality in Qatar to develop a resort in Gambia. The minimum capital investment for the project is $250m. The MoU was signed by Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, minister of Tourism and Culture in Gambia, and Sheikh Nawaf bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani, chairman of Katara Hospitality. The terms of the MoU will require the Gambian government to provide Katara Hospitality with 18 hectares of land to develop the project.

The minister for tourism said that the development would enhance tourism in the country and hoped that the resort would be completed soon. She added that the nation was giving a boost to tourism as the country had tremendous tourism prospects.

The minister said, ‘There have been some investments in our hospitality industry from investors. We are getting many tourists from Europe. Our country is very stable and peaceful. So, there are lots of incentives and opportunities for investors. On behalf of His Excellency the president of the Republic of The Gambia, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh, we wish to place on record our sincere appreciation and profound gratitude to the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa-Al Thani, who values heavily, The Gambia’s relationship with Qatar.’

Qatar Airways to Offer Services from Birmingham UK

Qatar Airways, a Qatar based airline company, is currently planning to operate new scheduled flights from Birmingham Airport in the UK.

The new destination will be its third in the UK, and it will serve the Midland’s area. It follows London Heathrow Airport, which serves the capital and the southeast, and Manchester Airport, which serves the north of the country.

The airline, which has recently completed its feasibility studies on two more UK airports, is yet to announce details of the specific proposed locations.

In a statement the airline said, ‘Qatar Airways is committed to the UK market, where we currently operate 45 non-stop flights each week between the UK and the State of Qatar.

The UK represents the largest single European market for Qatar Airways with the high level of frequencies we operate. Naturally, as part of our growth plans, we are considering opening up new UK gateways to offer customers more choice.

We can confirm we are planning to launch passenger flights to Birmingham, but are not yet in a position to announce a date nor schedules. As for the other two UK airports we are interested in, we cannot comment further on these as we are currently in the process of carrying out feasibility studies.’

The airline currently offers five daily services from Heathrow Airport and 10 flights a week from Manchester Airport. The airline is planning to offer its services using its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft from September 2012, on the Heathrow to Doha route.

 

Qatar Holding Announces Harrods Hotel in Kuala Lumpur

Qatar Holding, a Qatar-based investment company, founded by the Qatar Investment Authority, has announced the development of new Harrods brand hotels at prime locations worldwide.

In 2010 the company bought the London-based, Harrods department store, for a price of around GBP1.5 billion. The recent launch of the hotel brand is part of the company strategy to develop and expand The Harrods Group portfolio.

The company intends to open Harrods hotels in key cities around the world, including Kuala Lumpur, New York and Paris, and certain major cities in China. Preference will be given to construct on sites already owned by Qatar Holding or its affiliates, for example at Chelsea Barracks in London or Costa Smeralda in Sardinia.

The company has recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Malaysia, with property developer, Jerantas Sdn Bhd, to study the possibility of developing a GBP406 million Harrods Hotel in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. The new development is likely to include a 300-room hotel, residential apartments, and retail spaces.

Dr Hussain Ali AI-Abdulla, vice-chairman of Qatar Holding, said, ‘Qatar Holding will invest more, especially in Malaysia’s natural resources, due to the country’s political stability and economic growth expected to average 5 percent.’

Qatar Investment Authority, the autonomous wealth fund of the natural gas-rich state of Qatar, has invested heavily in western assets, that include iconic names such as Porsche, the Germany-based car manufacturer, Barclays, the UK-based bank, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the France-based luxury design company, and Tiffany, the US-based jeweller.

 

St Regis Doha Announces Opening of First Remede Spa in Middle East

St Regis Doha hotel, in Doha, Qatar, has opened its new Remede Spa, the first from the spa brand in the Middle East.

The new spa is offering an Olympic size swimming pool, luxurious pool cabanas and a private beachfront. The spa covers an area of around 1,400 square metres, and includes 22 treatment rooms, before and post-treatment lounges, as well as male and female steam rooms.

Tareq Derbas, the general manager at The St Regis Doha, said, ‘The opening of our Remede Spa is an important milestone for the hotel. We aim to offer guests an unprecedented level of bespoke experiences in everything we do at The St Regis Doha, and our Remede Spa treatments are no exception. It is the first time the customised treatments are brought to the Middle East, and the response we received so far from both Doha residents and hotel guests is very promising.’

The hotel is offering 336 guest rooms and suites; a business centre; concierge service; tennis courts; fitness facility; and wireless internet access in all guest rooms.

The hotel has recently opened two new Ramsay restaurants, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay Doha and Opal by Gordon Ramsay Doha, by the famous chef.

Earlier Derbas said, ‘A great deal of effort and detail has been put into perfecting these culinary experiences for both casual diners and gourmet enthusiasts, and we are confident that these restaurants will elevate Doha’s fast-growing dining scene to the next level.’

Qatar Prepares for FIFA World Cup With New Tourism Law

The government of Qatar is preparing to issue a new tourism law as part of its preparations for hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The new tourism law is designed to enable the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) to develop the country’s tourism infrastructure so that it can cope with the demands that the influx of visitors for the competition will put on it. Take a look at the FIFA world cup guide.

The QTA is aiming for a 20 percent increase in tourism to Qatar in the next five years, assisted by the development of new hotels and infrastructure. Currently, most visitors to Qatar come from other Gulf Coast countries, with tourist numbers from the region growing by 22 percent year-on-year in the first three months of 2012, to 845,000. Recent road shows in Al Khobar, Riyadh, Kuwait, Muscat and Abu Dhabi and Dubai were intended to promote Qatar as an ideal destination.

QTA’s director of tourism, Abdullah Mallala Al Badr, said, ‘Qatar has everything a high-end traveller needs, stunning hotels, cultural icons and many leisure activities. In 2011, we received 845,000 visitors from the GCC. The first quarter this year, saw tourist arrivals from the GCC jump 22 percent, year-on-year.’

Qatar was considered a controversial venue to host the 2022 World Cup, having little heritage where the sport of football is concerned and an exceptionally hot climate that many commentators doubted was conducive to playing top-level matches. Questions were also raised over the Muslim country’s attitude to alcohol, the consumption of which is synonymous with supporting football in many parts of the world, and how visiting female supporters would be tolerated.

Doubletree by Hilton Announces New Properties in Doha

Hilton Worldwide, a global hospitality company and a subsidiary of The Blackstone Group, has announced two new hotels to be built in Doha, Qatar, under its Doubletree by Hilton Brand.

The two new hotels will be known as the Doubletree by Hilton Doha Al Sadd, and the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Doha, and both are expected to open in 2014. They are in addition to a further three Hilton Worldwide properties due to debut in Qatar within the next three years.

The smaller of the two is the Doha Al Sadd, which will be situated in Doha’s main business and commercial district and have 145 rooms. It will also benefit from a health club, an outdoor pool, two restaurants, a bar, two boardrooms, four meeting rooms and a business centre.

The larger, Doubletree Suites by Hilton Doha, will be located in Doha’s West Bay district. It will have 240 rooms, offering one, two or three bedroom accommodation in a fifty-two-floor complex. The hotel intends to cater for longer-term guests, providing them with a function room, four meeting rooms, two boardrooms, a business centre, a health club and spa, an outdoor pool, two restaurants and two bars.

The hotels will reportedly be managed by Al Ryyan Tourism Investment company, a part of Faisal Holding Company, with whom Hilton Worldwide has signed a management contract.

Hilton Worldwide’s investment in Qatar comes at a time when the country is seeing a dramatic increase in visitor numbers. These are mostly from the business sector at present, with numbers expected to grow still further as Qatar prepares to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.