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The Moodie Report is operating today out of its temporary Qatari bureau at the Marriott Doha Hotel.
Sand storms have hit Qatar over the past two days and outside my fourth floor hotel window a white haze hangs like a drape over this burgeoning city.
We’re just minutes away from Doha International Airport, where, later today I will interview a man who’s kicking up his own kind of storm. I’m referring to the remarkable Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, Doha International Airport and Qatar Duty Free Company.
That’s a unique ‘Trinity’ in its own right, one that coupled with his extraordinary achievements, makes Al Baker one of the most influential figures in world aviation.
I will be chatting to him on film for an exclusive interview to be shown at this year’s Trinity Forum in Macau (September 23-25) and I am relishing the prospect of spending some time with this dynamic, driven and passionate man.
Qatar Airways has been transformed, incredibly, into a world-class carrier since Al Baker arrived on the scene in 1996. Today it is one of the world’s biggest buyers of new aircraft, notably the A380. On 15 June this year it ordered 24 Airbus A320 aircraft worth a cool US$1.9 billion.
Doha International Airport is also being radically transformed, culminating in the opening of the New Doha International Airport in 2011. That will truly open a new chapter in the history of airports and aviation in Qatar and the Middle East. But knowing Akbar Al Baker, it won’t be the last.