Going for gold, going for greatness

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

I’m taking a leisurely late breakfast in the fantastic Qatar Airways Premium Lounge at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4, en route to one of my most eagerly awaited trips in a long while.

Over the next couple of days I’m going to be donning a hard hat to view progress on New Doha International Airport (NDIA), among the world’s most exciting airport development projects.

An integral element of that excitement is the commercial offer, which Qatar Duty Free Senior Vice President Keith Hunter and his team are working around the clock on as I write, and I’m looking forward to a sneak preview of what I understand is an incredibly ambitious, innovative project.

NDIA is the brainchild of Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, to my mind the outstanding figure in the global aviation industry, a man to whom anything, it seems, is possible. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to catch up with him amid his hectic globe-trotting schedule, which is like Usain Bolt multiplied a hundred-fold.

Heathrow T4 is looking good this morning. Lots of appropriately ‘Team GB’ activity at the World Duty Free stores (the Cadbury ‘Going for Gold’ promotion looks great on the retail-tainment screen below), underlining how brilliantly Heathrow has tuned in to the Olympic Games mood, which has reached fever pitch here after some extraordinary results at the weekend.

I love the giant globe that the airport company has installed in the middle of the concourse to encourage interest in travel by children (you can also test your knowledge by trying to identify the locations of the last ten Olympics). And in another child-friendly touch, check out the ‘Kids eat free’ scheme at Delaware North-run Dining Street restaurant.

From going for gold here, it’s going for greatness in Qatar. Sad as I am to leave the Olympics behind for a few days, I can’t wait to get to Doha.

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