A tribute to Thabet as Qatar stands for quality at terrific Trinity

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

And so, another Trinity Forum, is over. It’s now 16 years since I launched the event based on little more than a hunch that travel retail needed a better alignment between the three key sector stakeholders – airports, retailers and brands.

That fledgling event has turned into an important and influential annual assembly and I’m proud to have overseen that development.

Dermot Davitt and I meet Jason Derulo after his stunning performance

The Doha edition was one of the best yet – certainly in the quality of hospitality (the Qatar Duty Free team, along with co-hosts Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport, outdid themselves), entertainment (American music superstar Jason Derulo, renowned Qatari baritone Fahad Al Kubaisi and others), and presentations.

The evening also featured a sublime set from Qatar’s renowned ‘tender baritone’ Fahad Al Kubaisi
I am pictured with ACI Asia-Pacific Executive Director Patti Chau, her successor Stefano Baronci and ACI World Director General Angela Gittens (seated), who will also leave her role before the next Trinity Forum. Patti and Angela have been amazing partners.

From a personal perspective, events such as this are enormously draining. You feel any AV hiccup (and there were several) personally and the demands on one’s concentration over the event are colossal. My first reaction to a successful event is never one of delight but of relief; it’s only later that the pleasure of a job well done kicks in.

My personal highlight of The Trinity Forum 2019 was a compelling on-stage interview with the CEO of Qatar Airways Group CEO His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker
China Duty Free Group President Charles Chen brought his usual keen insight to proceedings

I have to close with the warmest thank you to the magnificent team at Qatar Duty Free, as well as their colleagues at co-hosts Hamad International Airport and Qatar Airways.

In particular I would single out the exuberant, irrepressible, indefatigable, consummate professional that is Qatar Duty Free Vice President Operations Thabet Musleh. Thabet told me that The Trinity Forum 2019 was one of his proudest career moments. So it should be, for it was he who most made the event happen, championing it from the outset and constantly ensuring everything was just so.

Thabet was everywhere at Trinity, on the golf course, up on stage introducing the DJ at the Opening Cocktail, checking meet and greet arrangements, ensuring every detail at every stage was just right. I wondered at one stage if he had  several body doubles such was his ability to be constantly on hand. A remarkable man within a remarkable team. Thank you Thabet; thank you Qatar Duty Free, Qatar Airways; Hamad International Airport. And thank you Doha and Qatar.

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