Issuu on Google+


2

May/June/July 2012


T

hat Qatar is much more than upcoming stadiums and petrochemical conglomerates is not necessary to clarify, but in this, our new issue of Connecting Qatar UK, we want to make it clearer than ever. That is why we met Mr Ahmed Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and asked him all about the new plans of the QTA to invest in the travel and tourism sectors in Qatar and in our investment section, we discuss how Katara is helping to transform the country from a petro economy to a knowledge-based economy. In Connecting Qatar UK, we are very proud of the direction in which the country is going and we want to make sure everyone, not only in Qatar but in the UK, knows about it and capitalizes on the opportunities that are waiting from them there. You will also find inside all the regular sections such as real estate, construction and latest events, which we hope you will enjoy and that they will help you to get a better understanding of the actual situation in the State of Qatar. If you have any question or any other ideas or suggestions for contributions or content, please feel free to contact us. We want to make sure we all build the great future of Qatar together! Warmest regards,

may/june/july 2012

Published by Qatar Tourism Company Editor Celia Vidal celia.vidal@qtourism.com SUB EDITOR Kelly Owen PHOTOGRAPHY Samim Qazi Editorial Contributors John Goulding Dr Stavroula Golfomitsou Katara, The valley of cultures Art Director Mohammed Shine Print Evoprint general Manager Mohammad Qaseem qaseem@qtourism.com

Mahdi Rashid Abdullah Al-Dosari Saif Ali Al Muhannadi Directors of QTC

OFFICIAL SPONSOR Qatar Tourism Authority

If you would like to place an advertisement contact sales@qtourism.com

Directors of Qatar Tourism COMPANY

In collaboration with

Mahdi Rashid Abdullah Al-Dosari

Saif Ali Al Muhannadi May/June/July 2012

3


NEWS

First “Made in Qatar” technology makes its international debut

A

shift in the direction of the global flow of innovation has been realized as the State of Qatar exports new, home-grown technologies internationally. One such technology, a wireless information transfer platform known as RASAD, is now deployed by the City of Rome through studies aimed at addressing prevalent health concerns in the capital. Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) said:“To see for myself how our ‘Made in Qatar’ technology is being used in Italy is a very important moment for me,” said Her Highness. “It shows how our long-term investment for Qatar in science and technology is starting to bear fruit. We have a vision to make our name on the global map of research and science, and to share our innovations with the rest of the world.” Source: www.qf.org.qa

QIB and CBRE held First International Conference on Real Estate valuation in Qatar

T

he event was held in April 2012 in Doha, Qatar, by QIB, The benchmark Islamic bank in Qatar and one of the leading Islamic Banks in the world and CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), the world's largest commercial real estate services firm. The one-day conference aimed to highlight the importance of professional real estate valuation for the economy, raise awareness of real estate valuation international standards and best practices and initiate dialogue between the different stakeholders of the real estate valuation process. Source: www.qib.com.qa

OCS Qatar Launch Event

U

K Trade & Investment is organising a reception at the Ambassador’s Residence, to celebrate the launch of OCS Qatar. OCS Qatar is a Joint Venture between Tadmur Holdings and OCS Global. OCS Global is the largest family-owned international facilities services group headquartered in the UK, with over 100 years of experience. OCS has a presence in 30 countries and employs over 60,000 members of staff. Source: UK Trade and Investment, British Embassy, Qatar

4

May/June/July 2012

GCC Asset Management industry poised to grow to the next level of sophistication

A

diversified asset management industry has emerged in the GCC over the last decade, according to a study conducted by Markab Advisory and sponsored by Qatar Financial Centre Authority. The study, ‘Asset Management Industry in the GCC: Growth Dynamics and Contours of the Next Phase of Evolution’, says that despite its youth, and especially in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the industry has shown signs of maturity and consolidation. It has tremendous potential to graduate to the next level of sophistication. Private equity (PE), rather than mutual funds, will be the main arbiter of growth of the region’s asset management industry, says the study, which explores the growth and dynamics of the regional asset management industry and highlights the role that the industry can play in improving the global competitiveness of the GCC region. Source: www.qfc.com.qa

Qatar Petroleum with the growth of the PR Industry

Q

P was the gold sponsor of the 20th Public Relations World Congress (PRWC), which was held in March 2012 in Dubai, marking the first time ever that this prestigious event is held in the Middle East region. “Our strong support to the 20th Public Relations World Congress clearly demonstrates our commitment to the continued growth of the regional and global PR industry as well as to the full development of young communications professionals who will eventually set the future directions of the industry,” said Mr. Sultan Abdulla Ali Al-Abdulla, Public Relations and Communications Manager of QP. Source: www.qp.com.qa


May/June/July 2012

5


6

May/June/July 2012


EVENTS 08

The Business Travel Conference; designed specifically for buyers and arrangers of corporate travel

09

Qatar Infrastructure Projects 2012, the only event in Europe for those looking to do doing business in Qatar

EDUCATION 11 Why conservation of Cultural

Heritage matters to the Gulf Region

Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority

INVESTMENT 16 Katara: Migrating Qatar from a

petro-based to a knowledge-based economy

INSURANCE 19 Axa’s Special Report INTERVIEW 21 Connecting Qatar UK meets

the CEO of Rizon Jet, Captain Hassan Al-Mousawi, to find out all about his strategy and future plans.

CONSTRUCTION 26 John Goulding, Director of Urban Investment Ltd,

explains his experience as exhibitor at the Projects Qatar UK

INTERVIEW 27 Hoss Vetry, Cluster General Manager explains the role

that the Ritz-Carlton Company is playing within the future of Qatar Travel Industry

SPORT 30 British Embassy and the Qatar Olympic Committee mark

final countdown to London 2012

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

INTERVIEW 12 Exclusive interview with Ahmed

REAL ESTATE 25 Harrods’ Special Report

BUSINESS PROFILE 31 WRG, one of the world’s leading and most trusted live

event agencies

May/June/July 2012

7


EVENTS

The Business Travel Conference 22-23 October 2012, The Novotel London West, Hammersmith, London Now in its sixth year, The Business Travel Conference is a two-day event designed specifically for buyers and arrangers of corporate travel. It is comprised of seminars, workshops and an exhibition of 50 leading suppliers from across the business travel industry, all designed to help business travel buyers discover new products and learn how to streamline processes and cut costs.

C

reated by publishers of the award-winning The Business Travel Magazine, the conference programme tackles subjects such as creating and enforcing travel policy, booking hotel accommodation, meetings management, how to negotiate with airlines, how to optimise management information and updates on corporate manslaughter law and bribery legislation. Running alongside the educational programme is an exhibition of business travel suppliers where delegates can meet and discuss their travel needs with companies ranging from hotels and airlines to travel management companies, car hire specialists and serviced apartment agents. There are just 200 places available to delegates who are invited to apply for a fully hosted VIP pass, including accommodation, or a complimentary two-day entrance to the event. By limiting both delegate and exhibitor numbers. The Business Travel Conference has become known in the industry for its relaxed atmosphere and, more importantly, its track record of producing positive results for all those who attend.

8

For more information about the event IN THE UK: Exhibiting Kirsty.Hicks@bmipublishing.co.uk Attend as a delegate Neil.Dargie@bmipublishing.co.uk.

May/June/July 2012

IN QATAR: Exhibiting and Attending Sales@qtourism.com or visit www.thebusinesstravelconference.com


Qatar Infrastructure Projects Monday, 2 July – Thursday, 5 July 2012 Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel, London, UK MEED’s Qatar Infrastructure Projects 2012 conference is the only event in Europe for those looking to do doing business in Qatar, the world’s fastestgrowing economy. It will provide detailed information about the opportunities emerging in all non-energy areas of the Qatari economy as the country continues on its remarkable and comprehensive development programme.

D Gain an overview on the main challenges of implementing Qatar’s US$ 20bn road and highway networks design and hear what key road projects you can get involved with including: the

M

ore than 30 industry speakers and 200 attendees will convene in London for MEED’s 2nd annual Qatar Infrastructure Projects conference. The 2012 event will showcase the recent project developments in Qatar’s dynamic non- energy sector and outline the investment opportunities available in the lead up to meet the 2022 World Cup deadline.

Only at Qatar Infrastructure Projects 2012 will you be able to: D Meet key clients and project managers including: the New Doha Port Project, Ministry of Municipality & Urban Planning, KBR and Place Dynamix who will provide you with the latest status updates on key non-energy infrastructure mega projects for road, rail, ports and airport expansion.

Doha Bay Crossing, Dukhan Highway, Al Waab Freeways and the Doha Expressway. D Examine the latest development plans for the US$35 bn national integrated rail network and receive exclusive information on the future timeline of individual projects including: the long distance passenger rail, freight transport, stations and the US$ 21bn metro system. D Explore mega tunnelling projects in Qatar including: the planned Doha Bay Crossing, the estimated US$ 200m sewerage tunnelling system and the US$ 10bn Qatar metro’s complex civil works tunnel design. D Obtain first hand insights and perspectives of necessary stadia required for Qatar 2022 world cup: also the investment development plan worth US$ 5bn in 12 world class stadiums.

May/June/July 2012

9


10

May/June/July 2012


EDUCATION

Conservation of Cultural Heritage Why it matters to the Gulf region Dr. Stavroula Golfomitsou is Lecturer in Conservation Studies at UCL Qatar. She has extensive experience in practicing, researching and teaching conservation in the UK, Italy, Malta and Greece. She becomes the first person to teach Conservation on a wide scale in Qatar, as part of UCL Qatar’s new MSc in Conservation Studies.

By Stavroula Golfomitsou

C

onservation refers to all practices, both preventive and remedial aimed at preserving our cultural heritage. Cultural heritage is an essential part of social capital however, it is a non-renewable resource. This makes conservation imperative so that we can prolong its life for as long as possible. The tools employed to achieve this, vary greatly as each object, each site, each case in cultural heritage is unique and should be treated as such. Conservation is a discipline governed by principles set by international organisations. Deterioration of materials is inevitable. Environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity and pollutants are just some of the factors affecting materials. Each material is susceptible to different environmental factors. For example, organic materials such as textiles are affected a lot not only by temperature and humidity, but also, from UV radiation coming from either the sun or artificial lighting, whilst metals are affected by high levels of humidity and the presence of salts in the atmosphere. What conservators try to do essentially is to reduce the effect of these factors on materials, either by carrying out suitable treatments, or by isolating the objects from their environment (preventive conservation). Preventive conservation is fundamental for our collections. New and improved methods of collections care facilitated by purpose designed databases are available and essential to

be implemented in both museums and archaeological sites. Conservation is multidisciplinary and it requires collaboration with specialists from different fields. This approach is vital for the long term future of our cultural heritage. Conservation can actively contribute to sustainable development and enhance the way cultural heritage contributes socially, economically and environmentally. Thus it is important that cultural heritage professionals become part of the decision making process. To this end, conservation professionals need to have a broad understanding of the diverse issues that affect monuments which combined with an awareness of values, function and significance will help them to act as strong advocates for conservation, and in a sustainable framework make appropriate decisions. UCL has been innovative in creating bridges across disciplines in cultural heritage, and is currently leading the world in researching and promoting conservation. Training should make conservation professionals aware of the realities in the field. All these issues have been incorporated into a curriculum that allows new ideas and approaches to thrive. UCL Qatar is committed to training professionals who are well informed and fully aware of the multiple challenges they will face. Conservation as a profession is highly diverse and complex, and is continually developing. Consequently, it is imperative not only to stay abreast of new developments in specific research areas, but also to broaden one’s approach

and learn from other areas, the latter being reflected to the complexity that conservation education encompasses at present. The current limited resources and the ever expanding diversity of cultural heritage make it necessary for conservators to tackle difficult decisions, and to embrace sustainable methods as in the future we will need to do more with a lot less. It is often assumed that green ideas can be adopted but the challenge is to formulate the ways we practice these ideas in our daily routine. The rapid developments in the field of conservation research and practice make it imperative to provide high quality education for conservation professionals. The aim of the MSc in Conservation Studies is twofold; firstly to ensure that the highest educational standards are applied whilst teaching the core competencies needed to implement appropriate tools for the conservation of collections and monuments, and secondly to strengthen the position of Qatar as a focal point where scientific innovation and international collaboration takes place at a world class level. Research and teaching are inextricably interlinked. Through undertaking research we gain new knowledge that feeds into teaching however, this forces us to clarify the extent of our current understanding and raises awareness of our current needs thus stimulating further research. For more information visit www.ucl.ac.uk/qatar

May/June/July 2012

11


INTERVIEW

12

May/June/July 2012


Developing Qatari talent is essential in creating a sustainable tourism industry in our country -Chairman QTA Qatar Tourism Authority role is to organize, enable, and supervise the development of the tourism industry in Qatar, as well as to represent and promote Qatar as a quality tourism destination. But what exactly is Qatar? Is it a leisure, business, education or sport destination? Or is it all of these things? In order to answer this question (and many others) we met Ahmed Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority. What is your vision for Qatar Tourism Authority and could you please explain about the next five years strategy of Qatar Tourism Authority for promoting State of Qatar as Business Oriented Tourism Destination especially in Gulf Region and particularly around the globe? Qatar has established itself as a first class business travel destination. This has been a combined effort – led by the government and guided by the vision if His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah Al Thani, Emir of Qatar. Business tourism wouldn’t thrive unless the environment to do business was created and this has happened. At QTA we have been an integral player in growing this sector of our economy. In the next five years, we want to further consolidate that standing and grow it further by attracting new events and conferences such as the COP 18 event later this year and of course the recent UNCTAD gathering in Doha. All brought new visitors to Doha.

that Qatar Tourism Authority is taking in order to achieve this gradual and sustainable growth? An essential part of diversifying the national economy, the main objective of the Qatar National Vision 2030, is a vibrant and sustainable tourism industry. Our solid tourism and hospitality credentials have been fuelled by the rapid expansion of Qatar Airways and our natural position as a gateway between East and West. Qatar has become one of the emerging destinations in world business travel and tourism. Could you please express your views about major investment plans on Tourism

infrastructure and in the MICE sector (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions)? Our strategy to establish Qatar as a destination beyond the mainstream has paid dividends. In 2011 we recorded our highest number of visitors – spurred by some world class high profile events such as the Asian Football Cup, the World Petroleum Congress and others. We have some of the finest conference and meeting facilities in the region if not the world including the Qatar National Convention Center and in late 2013 the new Doha Exhibition Center. And in late 2012 the opening of the New Doha International Airport will further solidify those credentials.

Qatar is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and investment by the Qatari Government in Tourism sector will boost growth in future. Could you please explain more about the long-term strategy

May/June/July 2012

13


INTERVIEW

With 10 years in preparation, what role Qatar Tourism Authority is playing to the FIFA World Cup soccer competition in 2022 and QATAR NATIONAL VISION 2030? As said in the answer to question 2, a vibrant tourism industry will enable the QNV 2030 to be achieved. One challenge we face is sustaining our industry in the period between now and 2022. We have taken several measures to ensure the pace of development and change is measured and realistic. This has involved positioning Qatar as a regional leader in MICE. We have also carefully established Qatar as a sporting tourism destination. World Cup aside, there are very few months of the year when Qatar is not hosting an event of significance to the sporting world. We have also taken measures to ensure a coordinated approach across the industry and with other bodies to ensure sustainable development. We work in partnership with our stakeholders as we all have a part to play. Finally, and this is the most important aspect of our work in this regard, we are working with stakeholders including educational institutions, schools, hotels, tourism operators to develop career paths and opportunities for Qatari nationals. Qatar is preparing for a robust future by unlocking the creative and economic potential of Qatari people through the most advanced education and training in the region. Will Qatar Tourism Authority announce any Educational campaign or Educational training in the Tourism sector for upcoming students who can play a vital role in fast emerging Qatari market? As stated previously, developing Qatari talent is essential in creating a sustainable tourism industry in our country. This involves starting at the school level and encouraging Qatari students to consider a career in hospitality and tourism as a way to build our nation as well as enrich them personally. The development of leadership talent and capabilities within the Qatari population is

14

May/June/July 2012

integral to maintaining our momentum beyond 2022 and towards achieving our national vision. We are working with key stakeholders including hotels, universities and schools to develop programs and educational efforts to promote tourism as a viable and interesting career for Qataris. As Qatar Tourism Authority support the plenty of leisure activities that the visitants or transit passengers can enjoy by choosing Qatar as a holiday or business destination. Could you please express your views about the campaign “QATAR YOUR 48 HOURS DESTINATION” and how the visitants or transit passengers can experience the heritage of Qatar in two days? Qatar is truly the gateway between east and west. While we are regularly compared to our nearby neighbors, Qatar’s tourism and hospitality credentials standalone. We are blessed with pristine beaches, a growing and worldclass cultural treasure trove and infrastructure to rival any established market. The beauty of Qatar as a destination is its compact size and first class facilities. Qatar has moved beyond an emerging destination and has well and truly established itself as a place not only to do business but also as a first class leisure, cultural and sporting destination. Here families and other travellers can

experience the very best of a world class leisure destination and combine it with a major sporting event as well as our stunning cultural offerings – all in one weekend or a stopover on a long haul flight. What other destination can offer that? Could you please shed some light on Qatar Tourism Authority collaboration plans with other Government Departments and other related bodies to achieve your goals? And also could you please tell us about Qatar Tourism Authority achievements so far? As stated earlier, we regularly work with all stakeholders to ensure our tourism and hospitality assets are managed prudently. This involves working with other government departments to ensure we are all calibrated and focused on achieving the goal of making QNV 2030 a reality. Being a CEO of Qatar Tourism Authority what message you would like to give to Global Business Community? We are justly proud of what has been achieved here in a short space of time. Qatar is a unique and exceptional country blessed with an abundance of natural resources, but also the most important commodity of all – its people. To know more visit: www.qatartourism.gov.qa


May/June/July 2012

15


INVESTMENT KATARA SPECIAL REPORT

Drawing the legacy of centuries of ample heritage and benefitting from its oil and gas-rich natural resources, Qatar has quickly earned its place among the world’s fastest-growing and wealthiest economies. In support of the vision of H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, to transform the country from a petro economy to a knowledge-based economy, Katara was founded to be the Arabian Gulf’s cultural hub, providing a stage for arts and cultures to develop and flourish.

U

nder the Qatar National Vision 2030, the country is committed to the development of an even more competitive and diversified knowledge-based economy by contributing to social, economic and human development. Part of the strategy to achieve this goal is heavy investment in education, sport and culture and Qatar is making remarkable achievement in all three areas. In recent years, following its aim to enhance the society’s cultural development, Qatar has boosted its arts & culture scene with the opening of a number of exquisite cultural facilities, which bring to the country worldrenowned artists and exhibitions. “Katara’s cultural village is the largest and the most multidimensional cultural project of Qatar. It is a place where people come together to experience the cultures of the world. With state-of-the-art theatres, concert halls and exhibition galleries,

16

May/June/July 2012

Katara aims to become a world leader for multi-cultural activities.” President of Katara, Abdul Rehman Saleh Al Khulaifi.

The Idea of Katara Katara was born out of a long-held vision to position the State of Qatar as a cultural beacon, a lighthouse of art, radiating in the Middle East through theatre, literature, music, visual art, conventions and exhibitions. This village shall be a glimpse of the future of a world where people of different cultural backgrounds overcome their national boundaries and embrace common causes to promote a united humanity.

RAMADAN AND KATARA KATARA “The Cultural & Heritage village” gets ready for the new Ramadan Festival 2012 The major aim of the festival is to promote awareness among Muslims and non-Muslims about the real essence

of Ramadan, its traditions and the various practices involved in the celebrations and how the faithful welcome the holy month. It would take place during the holy month at Katara, with a number of events comprising photo, art and craft expos, workshops and cultural shows, among others. Last year’s festival boasted a wide variety of activities and events held at the three cultural tents founded at the Katara beachfront especially for the events, but compared with other Ramadan tents, Al Oud, Al Misk and Al Rihan tents were unique as they focus more on Qatari culture and traditions during Ramadan and not merely on entertainment. In addition, the festival also brought forth homegrown Qatari talent and promoted its native products. The focus was on Qatari culture and talent. All the exhibitions, handicrafts, paintings and traditional ware were made by Qatari.


Do you want to be part of Katara? In addition to the cultural offer, other activities included: on live painting by guest artists, interactive art workshops, caricature drawing, and 3D technology game took place in different tents simultaneously. The three week-long festival it is being, in all its editions, purely organized by Qatari nationals and Katara administration won’t spare any efforts to make the Katara- Ramadan Fest 2012 again an unforgettable experience for the visitors. The dozen events and activities of the festival will be announce shortly at www.katara.net

“We are aspiring to build a community of creative and innovative people, who are aware of their surroundings and are knowledgeable about global cultures.”

The Amphitheatre: The gem of the cultural village, the Katara amphitheater is a crafted balance between the classical Greek theatre concept and the everlasting Islamic features The Opera House: The Katara opera house is

home to the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and is rapidly becoming a vivacious hub for some of the world’s leading performers.

The Drama Theatre & Cinema: Inspired by

the traditional building architecture of Doha, the main stage of the indoor Drama Theatre triggers the feeling of open air experience.

Multipurpose Hall/ Galleries: Katara multipurpose hall is an ideal location for local and international events. Katara Art Center: Launched in 2011, Katara Art Center (KAC) was built with the objective of fostering and encouraging creativity. KAC provides facilities such as gallery spaces for art exhibitions, venues for art performances, and workshop areas that are available for local, regional and international artists.

Mosques: Katara accommodates two of Qatar’s most beautiful mosques, both designed by a Turkish designer Zeynep fadillioglu, the only female designer of mosques.

Katara beach: One of the most natural beaches of Qatar, Katara private beach spans over 1.5 km. beach fans have a choice between enjoying a relaxed beach experience or trying out one of the many exciting water sports, activities and lessons on offer. To know all about Katara, The Valley of Cultures visit: www.katara.net

Qatar Fine Arts Society Founded in 1980 and began with 18 members. Today, the membership of the society is over 150 artists. The purpose of the Qatar Fine Arts Society is to participate in the artistic movement in the State of Qatar, discovering talent and developing and supporting the artistic needs of the society.

Qatar Society of Engineers Formed in 2004 to bring together engineers, creating a community in which they develop their professional skills. QSE works with educational and academic bodies in Qatar to promote the profession and provide necessary training.

Qatar Photographic Society Founded in 1995, the Qatar Photographic Society began working in affiliation with the general administration of the youth affairs. The society was formed to cater for the growing community of photography amateurs. Qatar photographic society has 650 members and is part of the Federation International de l’Art Photographique (FIAB) in addition to the American Society of Photography. It plays a major role in organizing the most prestigious international photography event in Qatar, the Al Thani Award for Photography.

Qatar Music Academy Founded in 2010 Qatar Music Academy (QMA) is the latest addition to Qatar Foundations on-going mission of education, science and community development within Qatar and the Arab region. QMA is a groundbreaking institution that supports professional musicians in both classical Arabic and Western music.

AL Gannas Association A cultural association for hunters, AL Gannas was founded in 2008. Dedicated to promoting traditional Arabic hunting, Al Gannas represents Arab hunters in international and regional contests, organizing events and providing support. The Association includes the best facilities and equipment required for hunting, and encourages research and studies in the field.

Childhood Cultural Center The Childhood Cultural Center was founded in 2002 under the initiative of Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Al-Missned to encourage, support and develop social growth in Qatar. The Center works on nurturing the creativity in children, while developing their interpersonal and communications skills.

Visual Art Center Affiliated to the National Council of Culture, Art and Heritage and founded in 1999. The Center develops artistic and cultural events which promote cultural exchange through visual art and offer training to Qatar’s emerging artists.

Arab Postal Stamp Museum Founded in 2010, the Arab Postal Stamp Museum holds a multi-themed stamp collection, which covers 22 Arab countries. The Museum was recently part of the cultural festival organized on the occasion of Doha Capital of Arab Culture.

May/June/July 2012

17


18

May/June/July 2012


INSURANCE

AXA Gulf Special Report As part of AXA Group, AXA Gulf enjoys both financial strength and stability that give a significant competitive advantage and comfort to our customers. Present in the region for more than 60 years, AXA is the largest non-life international insurers in the Gulf with a wide network of branches across the Gulf (Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, UAE, and Saudi Arabia).

A

vailable, reliable,attentive’ constitute our attitudes which are reflected in our tagline/ ambition of ‘redefining insurance’. They are also the main drivers of our objective of becoming the preferred insurer for our customers, shareholders, partners and employees and seriously propelled AXA as a leader in the insurance industry. In fact, AXA Gulf has been granted the Insurer of the Year award at the MENA Insurance Awards for three consecutive years, the Medical Insurer of the Year recognition at the INSUREX Awards, the Commercial Lines Insurer of the Year award, the Marine Insurer of the Year honours, Best Motor Insurance Provider at the latest Car Middle East Awards for 2011. These awards constitute a token of recognition by both the industry and our customers, they help us in emphasizing our leadership in the region and are the harvest of the teamwork, commitment and determination to always deliver higher than standard service quality to our customers and partners. AXA Qatar had also its share of success stories: the double-digit growth achieved in the past year, over 100M USD Portfolio and more than 100,000 Customers are only highlights of our strategy to becoming leaders in our industry. Today, the AXA team is putting ahead strategies and initiatives to further develop the commercial and motor lines with a focus on the SME segment supported by a wide range of tailor-made and ‘off the shelf’ products newly developed and, of

course, to maintain its leadership in the corporate medical insurance. All of the above has been achieved within the secure framework of the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority which is a guarantee of fairness, quality and security to our insured members. Within the same spirit, AXA Qatar has recently tied up with Qatarlyst, identified as the leading trading service for the global insurance and reinsurance industry. This promising platform will be another portal for inward and outward insurance and reinsurance placements in two main areas, Property & Casualty, and Engineering. In terms of communication, AXA Qatar has become a key reference in the market, journalists and insurance magazines that are always eager to share expertise, knowhow and the AXA vision for a brighter future of security.

Our role today is to actively participate in raising insurance awareness in the State of Qatar as it offers a considerable potential for growth in the insurance sector with penetration level close to 1%. AXA is defined today as a solution provider offering a large and comprehensive range of products and services to various profiles of customers from Large Corporate, to Small and Medium Enterprises, Individuals and Families. Please visit our website and find out more about AXA Gulf at www.axa-gulf.com or reach us on +974 44967383

May/June/July 2012

19


20

May/June/July 2012


INTERVIEW

If you ask me how many destinations you do?

I will answer: any airport in the world is a destination for us

T

here are prosperous times ahead for Rizon Jet, which has just signed its second management aircraft deal and is working on a third. The company was founded in 2006 and aims to provide an exceptional flying experience for the most discerning business travellers. At each of its bases and offices, Rizon Jet provides a comprehensive portfolio of private, executive and corporate aviation services, all to the very highest standards. These specialised business units encompass: Aircraft Charter & Management, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), Fixed Base Operation (VIP lounges), as well as Aircraft Sales & Acquisition and Consultancy. Rizon Jet is the only Qatar-based private company that can provide aircraft management and charter solutions both in the Middle East and Europe. The company is in the unique position of providing this service in Europe through the UK affiliated company, Oryx Jet. Awardwinning Oryx Jet has its operational base at London Biggin Hill Airport and will provide you with legendary hospitality, whether you are seeking luxury, dependability or simply a bit of privacy. Connecting Qatar UK meets the CEO of Rizon Jet, Captain Hassan Al-Mousawi, who overlooks the facilities in Doha and London Biggin Hill, to find out all about Rizon Jet’s strategy and future plans.

What is your vision for Rizon Jet and what makes it different from other private aviation companies? Rizon Jet was established to be a ‘one stop’ company where aircraft management, charter, fixed-based operation and aircraft maintenance facilities are provided under one roof. This is a quite revolutionary concept, as the tendency has been in the past for companies to concentrate on one area and subcontract the others. What is unique about Rizon Jet is that we have all the necessary operations for private jets integrated into one company place. The Middle Eastern market has developed with great interest; could you please describe the next five-year business plan and strategy of Rizon Jet, particularly in the Gulf Region and in the State of Qatar? We have just inaugurated our facility here in Qatar and our focus now is to make our services known to the local business and leisure travellers. We believe that there is a good market

CEO of Rizon Jet, Captain Hassan Al-Mousawi

in Qatar and the region for this type of services, because it caters to the specific needs of Middle Eastern families and business, to whom privacy and luxury are very important matters. To realize our vision for expansion within the Middle East, we want to start focusing on the neighbouring markets, such as UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and particularly Saudi Arabia. This market is definitely in our radar and we are preparing to capitalize on the opportunities that exist there. In the past, we have seen some Qatari owners having their aircraft managed in the UAE, but now with our excellent facility we want to bring those aircraft back to the State of Qatar. We strive to serve the Qatari market at our best and also develop a strong presence in our neighbouring markets. The popularity of Middle Eastern carriers has increased in tandem with their purchasing power. Could you please express your views about the five-year investment plan of Rizon Jet in extending numbers of carriers in fleet, management and services to your esteemed customers? Also could you please tell us about the destinations that Rizon Jet covers and how frequent the flights are? Rizon Jet is an aircraft management and charter company that provides exclusive VIP lounge facilities as well as maintenance services. Our main goal is to combine our services to ensure we cover all the travellers’ needs and desires. There are some potential aircraft owners that would like to have their own private aircraft but they don't want to get

May/June/July 2012

21


INTERVIEW

hiring the right pilots, getting the right engineering service etc. in place. At Rizon Jet, we take care of all that for you. In fact, even before you buy the aircraft, we provide a consultancy service and evaluate what the travel patterns of the potential aircraft owner will be, how often they will fly, how many people need to travel with them etc. Once we assess this we can advise on the most suitable type of aircraft, or even if buying an aircraft is the right solution. For many people, part ownership or buying a set number of block hours on a charter jet, may be the better and most cost-effective option. Some owners only want us to manage their aircraft exclusively for them, and do not want their aircraft used by anyone else. Other people are happy to charter their aircraft to other people whenever they don’t use it. By chartering their aircraft, they can offset many of the costs of private jet ownership whilst at all times maintaining the flexibility that private jet ownership brings. For Rizon Jet, having aircraft under management we are able to charter, gives us more flexibility, a bigger fleet, and provides a higher level of service to the market. Nevertheless, we ensure that the owner of the aircraft has total control over the availability of their own aircraft at all times. To help with this, Rizon Jet also has a fleet of our own aircraft that are offering for charter. Our fleet includes two Bombardier Challenger 605 and one Hawker 900XP. What can you offer that commercial airlines can’t? We complement all traditional offerings of a commercial airline, primarily by giving the customer two additional things: TIME and FLEXIBILITY. When you charter an aircraft with Rizon Jet, you can decide when you want to travel and can choose your destination from almost any airport in the world. This saves time and gives the passenger the utmost flexibility. In addition, by using private air terminals, you can arrive only 15 minutes before the flight, while with an airline, you are constrained by their timetable and flight times and often

22

May/June/July 2012

need to be at the airport several hours before the flight departs. Furthermore, you can travel in complete privacy which an airline can’t offer. With 10 years in preparation, what role is Rizon Jet playing to the QATAR NATIONAL VISION 2030 and FIFA World Cup soccer competition in 2022? One of the pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030 is free economy and free competition with no monopolies. We are in a position to be part of this economic cycle. We are a part of GSSG (Ghanim bin Saad al Saad and Sons Group Holdings) and the group’s vision is to have a local and a global presence, so we are in line with the aims and objectives of the Qatar vision 2030 by the important investments we have here in Qatar and also in the UK. With regards to the World Cup, we feel that we will be contributing to those activities by the nature of our business. We expect to have some high-profile individuals coming to attend the event and we will be providing our services and complementing them, wherever we can. Qatar is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and investment by the Qatari Government in the sector of education and research will give power to the growth in future. Will Rizon Jet announce any scholarship or educational training in the aviation industry for upcoming students who can play a vital role in fast-emerging Qatari market? This is a very interesting question as Rizon Jet itself is a relatively new entrant

into the Qatari market. We are very aware of our social responsibilities and we are exploring how we can be part of the educational development and will certainly support the development of aviation work’s force in the future. As Rizon Jet grows and becomes more established, our ability to offer valuable scholarships will become easier. As a CEO of Rizon Jet, what message would you like to give to the global business community? The message is: Rizon Jet has arrived and offers you the ‘Fine Art of Flying’. Rizon Jet is justifiably proud of its outstanding, brand-new VIP terminals in Doha and London, Biggin Hill. They are the latest and most modern gateways to the Middle East and Europe. We have set the standards for private aviation and we are going to maintain these standards and others will follow us. We are passionate about what we do and see ourselves as the pioneers of Qatari aviation. Being passionate about our business and investing in our people will always remain one of our first priorities. It’s not just the facility, but the people that make the difference. As you will see if you talk to customers who have used our facility or our services, the feedback is excellent and customers come back to us time and time again. Over the past few years we have built and developed the products offered by Rizon Jet and we are confident these are as good as they can be, now our duty is to communicate this to the market and encourage more people to benefit from the Rizon Jet experience in Qatar and the UK.


Are you thinking into using the RIZON JET’s services? Find here the most frequently asked questions

Sales & Aircraft Management Simon D’Oyly, DIRECTOR of Sales & Aircraft Management Could you please tell us about the destinations that Rizon Jet covers and how frequently are the flights? What is the range of your aircraft and the maximum number of passengers? Rizon Jet is an ad hoc charter airline meaning that we operate to whichever destinations our clients wish to visit as long as the runways are approved for our operation and the country is not deemed as having a high risk to security or of terrorist attack.  As such we can operate into smaller airports where required although the majority of our flights operate into capital cities, typical destinations would include Dubai, Riyadh, Almaty, Jeddah, Beirut, London, Muscat, Moscow, Cairo and Geneva.

We currently operate 2 different categories of aircraft, one Hawker 900XP, the most successful business jet in the world that can take 5 VIP passengers with 3 on the divan with a range from Doha to southern Europe.  Our Challenger 605 is the best-selling large cabin business jet and can comfortably accommodate 8 VIP passengers with a further 3 on the divan.  It is able to fly Doha direct to London almost all year round with a full passenger load. In terms of aircraft consultancy, what exactly are your offerings and how do they benefit to your clients? Rizon Jet is pleased to announce the launch of its unique consultancy service, founded with the belief that our clients deserve honest and impartial advice regarding aircraft selection, acquisition and management. When selecting a new or used aircraft for a client, Rizon Jet advises the prospective owner on the interior

specifications and full range of options to be considered. This ensures a good match with the client's budget and mission requirements. As well as sourcing the most suitable aircraft, we use our extensive network of contacts with the leading manufacturers to negotiate the best possible prices along with additional benefits (such as discounted spares, preferential heavy maintenance rates, extended warranties). As an operator employing a broad range of seasoned professionals, we use our dedication and experience to address all possible areas of expertise. Once the aircraft has been selected, Rizon Jet provides assistance with the legal team in the negotiation of purchase, along with specialist advice from  the relevant department heads about the support and maintenance packages offered with the aircraft. We are also able to facilitate the sale of an aircraft using `off market' contacts, by placement on the open

May/June/July 2012

23


INTERVIEW

market, through advertising with select companies, or indeed by using any of the international brokers.

Maintenance: Scott Corbett, DIRECTOR of Maintenance What type of maintenance do you currently offer in Qatar and UK? And what are the future types and services that shall be added in the future? Rizon Jet has 2 state of the art MROs, based in Doha, Qatar and Biggin Hill, UK. Both facilities are of similar size, offering around 3500 to 4000 Sq/M of hangar space, both capable of housing 4 Global Express size aircraft simultaneously. The fully air-conditioned MROs have 24hr security along with video surveillance and a state of the art fire detection and suppression system, to provide peace of mind to owners whilst their aircraft are in the facility. All maintenance work, in both facilities, is carried out to Rizon Jet’s own exacting standards in addition to those stipulated by the regulatory authorities, using highly trained and experienced engineers and technicians. Rizon Jet MROs work closely together in order to grow the experience and knowledge of its entire staff. They also both aim to offer the best maintenance experience possible for its customers, providing comfortable customer rep. offices, free WI-FI access, comprehensive and transparent invoicing and holding a comprehensive inventory of Manufacturer recommended specific tooling in order to help reduce downtimes.

24

May/June/July 2012

Following comprehensive audits by the European Air Safety Agency (EASA) our Doha facility can offer a full range of maintenance and overhaul packages on the following aircraft types: Bombardier Challenger 604/605, Hawker 750 / 800XP / 850XP / 900XP, and Global BD-700 series. In addition to line and base maintenance on the above types, we also offer battery overhaul to aircraft using the facility. During 2012, we will be adding approvals for maintenance on Bermudan, Aruba, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabian-registered aircraft. In London Biggin Hill, Rizon Jet offers full base and line maintenance on the following aircraft: Bombardier Challenger 604 / 605, Hawker 750 / 800 / 800XP / 850XP / 900XP, Bombardier LearJet 45, and Global XRS series. We also offer additional services on batteries, wheels and tyres, and hold approvals for EASA, QCAA, Aruba, Bermunda and Cayman registered aircraft. ________________________

ORYX JET: Mike Bradly Russell FCA, Chief Executive How is Oryx Jet connected to Rizon Jet and what are its offerings? Oryx Jet is a UK (London Biggin Hill) based, world class Aircraft Management and Luxury Charter Provider and an affiliate partner of Rizon Jet.  We offer our expert Aircraft Management service to both private and business aviation providing cost effective management solutions and strategies for acquiring, insuring and managing your own executive jet. Oryx Jet’s first class charter service includes a  rapidly expanding fleet

which consists of a Falcon 50EX and Hawker 900XP which is enhanced by a Eurocopter EC120B and Eurocopter AS355 Twin Squirrel helicopter  as an alternative method of transportation and onward travel. Oryx Jet is supported by a highly professional team of experts who constantly deliver a World class service to our clients and customers. With the upcoming Olympics in London, what is Oryx Jet preparing for? Oryx Jet is working together with local Authorities, Airports and Waterways, the Civil Aviation Authority ,the aviation industry  and our customers and clients to  ensure a range of luxury transport options are available to welcome ‘the World’ to the Olympics. With this goal in mind, we have established availability of aircraft slots, staff have organised their annual leave commitments around the busy charter periods to maintain the highest standards of round the clock attention and our transport options are on track to  ensure success. And what is the future vision of Oryx Jet, looking at the coming 3-5 years of business?   Oryx Jet’s vision is to deliver the freedom and exhilaration of luxury executive air travel whilst continuing to provide a first class flying experience. Our corporate objectives include new marketing initiatives for the development of new and existing business, the expansion of our Aircraft Management services and the growth of our Aircraft fleet. Our affiliation with Rizon Jet ensures that we are ideally placed to be able to offer a complete portfolio of world class

aviation services.

How can one book a flight with Rizon Jet? Booking with Rizon Jet is very simple: please just contact the 24/7x365 sales number; +974 4419 9393 or email on sales@rioznjet.com Alternatively, you can also request a quote through the website www.rizonjet.com


REAL ESTATE Harrods Estates Special Report

H

arrods Estates visited Doha, Qatar in March 2012 for the ninth year running to meet with its important clients and contacts in the region and showcase its exclusive properties in prime central London. Shirley Humphrey, Director of Harrods Estates commented: “The Qatar market is very important to real estate in London and to Harrods Estates. We have been visiting Qatar for nine years to see our special clients and showcase our properties. 17 per cent of Harrods Estates sales and lettings came from Qatari investors in 2011 and we anticipate that number to continue to rise as London remains one of the top places in the world in which to invest in property. Supported by the strength of the Harrods brand, Harrods Estates has successfully developed strong brand awareness in key international markets, predominately Russia, the Middle East and India with the result that international clients now account for 89 per cent of sales and lettings. In addition to the experienced professionals on the Russian and Middle Eastern desks, Harrods Estates is able to call upon the skills of interpreters on hand in Harrods who are able to speak 27 different languages collectively. Shirley continued: “There will always be a shortage of stock in prime London areas such as Knightsbridge and Mayfair, meaning that prices have gone up as opposed to dropping. We have seen strong investment from overseas and from emerging markets. In 2011, 42 per cent of our sales came from Asia – it was just seven per cent in 2009! Sales and lettings internationally are mainly from the Middle East, Russia, India and China; all of which have specific needs and requirements when buying property in London. We work closely with developers and our individual sellers to help them design their homes to suit each potential buyer and offer a range of properties from apartments to penthouses and townhouses to mansions.

Harrods Estates in Doha

Middle Eastern buyer’s main requirements include being purpose built, suitable for families, air conditioning, lateral spaces, 24 hour concierge facilities, high security and within walking distance of the Harrods department store.” Harrods Estates currently has a number of luxurious properties for sale including apartments at The Lancaster’s in Bayswater and Lancelot Place. The selection of luxurious two and three bedroom apartments at the Lancasters are priced between £2,500,000 and £5,275,000. This magnificent building exudes luxury and sophistication with views of Hyde Park. Residents can enjoy valet parking, swimming pool, spa and modern living in a central location. The Lancasters was originally an elegant parade of 15 magnificent stuccofronted Grade II listed houses dating from the mid nineteenth century. Restoration by London's leading team of developers, architects and interior designers has created a unique fusion of traditional architecture with brand new design and construction. The spectacular 2600 sq ft (240 sq m) threebedroom apartment at Lancelot Place has been beautifully interior designed to offer the highest specification and technology. Featuring a spacious reception, study and dining area, this apartment offers amazing views of London’s skyline and is close to

Knightsbridge and Hyde Park. Lancelot Place is the areas newest development and residents can take advantage of the 24 hour concierge, underground parking, security, gym, swimming pool and sauna.

Harrods Estates, the luxury real estate arm of the Harrods Group, specialises in the sale, let, acquisition and management of some of the most exclusive properties in Central London. Established in 1994, the Harrods Estates team is divided between two offices. The flagship Knightsbridge office is opposite the main Harrods store on Brompton Road and covers the areas of Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Belgravia and South Kensington, whilst the Mayfair office on Park Lane focuses on Regent’s Park, St John’s Wood, Mayfair, Marylebone and St James. For further information about Harrods Estates please call +44 0207 225 6506 or visit www.harrodsestates.com 

May/June/July 2012

25


Construction

A New Venture in Qatar

A Leap of Faith? The director of Urban Investment Ltd, John Goulding, explains his experience as exhibitor at the Projects Qatar 2012, the construction event of the year in Qatar. By John Goulding

D

awn was breaking outside our hotel at West Bay, Doha on Sunday 29th April 2012. Having hardly slept after another long journey flying economy class from Newcastle via Amsterdam we began the difficult task of re-arranging meetings and collecting our thoughts for the days to follow. It was our tenth trip to Doha and on reflection it had been a three year sometimes turbulent path to reach our current position. We still wondered how long it would take before we could develop business on the ground in Qatar and how much more investment would be needed. We had experienced one or two disappointments when UK partners discovered business in Qatar was a step too far and withdrew to their comfort zone back home. Others had established joint ventures in the UAE with a view to creating a critical mass of business to allow set up in Qatar later. Whatever the circumstance each company was clear on its objective and made the decision on balance. It was during our third visit two years ago that our commitment to Qatar was founded on personal friendship, and a sound understanding of the tenacity and capability that Qatar offers. A professional associate, a UK design practice, had developed a diverse skill base with strong links to sport, healthcare and education, the components of a fast growing economy. We jointly marketed their skills and never underestimated the profound knowledge and

26

May/June/July 2012

expertise the UK has to offer in this field. We attended meetings with them and helped them in their communication by offering advice based on our own experience in recent years. We also saw the need to provide high quality services and to create a range of construction material supplies from the UK never seen before in Qatar, a unique step for us. We formed exclusive agreements with UK manufacturers and enquiries from companies wishing to supply to Qatar were carefully filtered to ensure sustainability and quality issues were properly addressed.

Now, we were for the first time presenting at Project Qatar, but would we be heard in this vast professional arena? With only a small stand tucked away in the corner of one of the additional marquee venues we felt quite insignificant surrounded by flamboyant and generously appointed displays representing expertise from all around the world. Nevertheless we believed our eye catching banners might draw attention to our efforts, and they did. It may seem

a little naive but in some ways we saw ourselves as ambassadors for the UK construction industry now recovering from the worst recession in decades. With over 500 visitors to the stand we were shocked at the immense attraction we achieved. We created business links and established new relationships that would have taken months to reach outside the exhibition. Re-assured at last we believe our efforts and carefully laid out plans are finally reaching maturity. After five hard days and exhausted, we left the exhibition for the airport to take the night flight back to the UK. We will be back soon but this time we are planning to stay. Qatar for us is a reality and our bridge we built three years ago will soon be open for business.

Urban Investment Ltd ( Development Consultancy) or UIDC is a professional consultancy born out of a surveying practice that has existed in the UK since 1998. Three years ago the company accepted assignments from UK construction professionals to prepare market reports in different parts of the Middle East. Our work led us into Qatar where we joined forces with other established companies and began to create joint venture arrangements for our clients. Since then we have diversified into construction materials supported by a number of UK manufacturers and suppliers. Our contact details can be found at www.uidc.co.uk or email qatar@uidc.co.uk


INTERVIEW

The 2022 world cup it is just one of the many developments that Qatar is facing and for us there is nothing more exciting than being part of this evolution

HOSS VETRY STARTED HIS CAREER WITH THE RITZ-CARLTON COMPANY IN SAN FRANCISCO. HE MOVED TO CHINA FOR ABOUT TWO YEARS, TAKING THE ROLE OF HOTEL MANAGER OF THE PRESTIGIOUS PORTMAN RITZ-CARLTON SHANGHAI. NOW, IN QATAR, AS THE CLUSTER GENERAL MANAGER FOR THE RITZ-CARLTON HOTELS QATAR, HE OVERSEES ALL OPERATIONAL MATTERS OF THE SHARQ VILLAGE & SPA AND THE RITZ-CARLTON, RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING FROM QUALITY CONTROL, SALES AND MARKETING TO PUBLIC RELATIONS AND CREATIVE THINKING. The four awards the Ritz-Carlton Hotels Qatar received last year, at the Middle East and Africa Full Service General Awards Honorees on RICE 2011, are proof of the great vision Mr Hoss has to run a hotel efficiently regardless of the continent he is in at the time. “I am only one, together we are 800,” he said with great humility about the importance of the team he works with in the success of his career. With the only focus on making sure his guests enjoy a unique experience, he explains how he sees the future of the hotel and travel industry in Qatar developing, and the role that The Ritz-Carlton Company is playing within it.

Could you please explain what strategic decision or idea you have to compete in competitive Qatari Market after becoming Cluster General Manager for The Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Qatar? A successful hotel requires excellent people. At the Sharq Village & Spa I had a big team of 350 and here, at The Ritz-Carlton, we have 450 employees. And the key to success is to really invest and to empower your people. I am 1, together we are 800, so clearly my focus has always been the employees; working with them, listening to them, and promoting them within the hotel. This is,

according to me, the foundation of our success in Qatar. We need to understand that there is always going to be a newer hotel in Qatar, or a bigger one, but at the end of the day, the people who run it are what matters, and we have the best. In terms of the strategy, it is essential to fully understand the market. We need to know what the customers’ expectations are and what they are exactly looking for, in order to be able to be the first ones doing it and to do it better than the competition. Finally, it is very important for us to have a strong relationship with our guests. Therefore, we have

May/June/July 2012

27


INTERVIEW

our experienced marketing and sales teams working hard every day to ensure that when the time to make a decision comes, relationships always win and our potential clients become our guests. What is your vision for these two properties for the next 5 years and with your extraordinary experience, could you please tell us where do you see your hotels in 5 years’ time? About 70% of our business comes from Qatar, and we are now working to bring new businesses from outside, and in order to achieve this goal we have been working very closely with Qatar Tourism Authority. Obviously our aim, four years ago, was to promote the country. Thanks to the 2022 World Cup, we no longer have to do that, because everybody knows about Qatar. So now at the travel events we not only promote our country, but we also promote our facilities and the great range of services that we offer to the visitors when coming to enjoy three or four days in the city of Doha. Regarding the new openings of hotels and huge investment by the Qatari Government on building the tourism infrastructure of Qatar, what idea do you have in your mind to make your hotels different and prominent within the local and regional area? We consider Katara Hospitality to be our partners, and we are very lucky because they are investing a lot of money in the hotels. We are working on three or four major projects right now at The Ritz-Carlton; such as the renovation of

Could you please tell us about your achievement in the Continent General Manager of The Year Award? I am just the face of this award. The real success of the hotel is the people dealing with the customers every day. I am just lucky to be the one receiving it. I am very proud of both my teams, for what

28

May/June/July 2012

From left to right: Gregory Laguesse, Public Relations Assistant Manager, Amena Tena, Director Of Public Relations and Hoss Vetry, Cluster General Manager (The Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Qatar)

the three meal restaurant and upgrading the banquet facilities. We have also recently done a lot of soft room renovation in our guest rooms. The key for us is to be relevant in the market, because there is always going to be a newer hotel with a newer product that we may can’t compete with, but I can tell you that by heading into our hotels, you are going to have the cleanest room in Doha, the happiest and the friendliest employees and the best in the city. Also, we are going to have plenty of promotions for our guests in order to make them feel like at home. With 10 years in preparation for the FIFA 2022 World Cup, could you please tell us about expansion plans especially in Qatar and particularly in the GCC region? And also please tell us how you are planning to achieve the heights in the pursuit of excellence. I think Qatar is growing maturely and at

they have been able to accomplish and the work that they do every day. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than knowing that my success is because of them, it is because of their efforts and dedication, and the work they do from their heart and soul. Also how about your achievement

the right speed, and the countries’ vision of expanding in every angle is a positive sign. I also believe the perception of the customers about the countries from the GCC has changed over the last few years. People now see Qatar as a modern country yet with traditional essence. The 2022 World Cup is just one of the many developments that Qatar is facing and for us there is nothing more exciting than being part of this evolution. What is our strategy? Our strategy is to understand the market, to understand the customers’ expectations and to understand the needs of the country. Our strategy is to grow with the country. We are getting a lot of government and sport delegations and we want to make sure they will have the best experience with us, and they will look forward to coming back. What extra facilities and unique services are you offering to your valued guests that make them

with the Financial Excellence and Leadership awards? What we have seen in both hotels is that, even though our hotels in Qatar have been up and running for 10 years, we have seen an extraordinary growth in recent years. And again this goes back to the great and consistent service and our people. So the financial


The Ritz-Carlton, Doha

Sharq Village & Spa, Doha

choose The Ritz-Carlton hotels as their favourite destination in Qatar? First of all, as a Ritz-Carlton company, we never go on sale. What we do is try to be relevant and to understand our customers’ expectations. Is the price in the summer time the same as in March? No, because it is a low season. So in the lower season what we do is add value to the package. For instance, this coming summer for both hotels in Qatar we have a very special promotion when the guest books three rooms they will only pay for two. We want to offer the same luxury and quality services but helping our guests to save a bit of money. Can you please mention any special events that have taken place under your supervision in Sharq Village & Spa, and The Ritz-Carlton, Doha? And also, other than your own hotel, can you please share your choices of two or three of what you consider to be the best hotels in the GCC region?

excellence comes from having the right foundation, which allows us to have busier hotels, busier restaurants and higher customer satisfaction. And could you also explain about the Revenue per Available Room Award? We scored one of the highest revenue

We have been hosting, in both hotels, some of the most important delegations. For instance, in 2011 we were the host of the Arab Games. We want to continue to take the lead on this issue and be the Official Host Hotel of the most important events taking place in Qatar. The Sharq Village & Spa is a unique product: a little bit more of a leisure hotel for medium-sized groups and obviously The Ritz-Carlton is more of a larger hotel, ideal for business travellers and families. So we try to balance the two hotels and try to see what the market wants in each moment. Both hotels are government hotels, so we work very closely with them to see how we can fulfil their expectations. Also, we have organized some amazing weddings and plenty of private business events. As a Cluster General Manager of Sharq Village & Spa and The

Ritz-Carlton, Doha, what message would you like to give to your valued and future guests? First of all, we want to thank to our guest in both hotels. Over the 10 years we have been established with The Ritz-Carlton and 5 years with The Sharq Village & Spa, we have been heavily involved with our community: being involved with The Shafallah Centre, the Noor Blind Institute, planting trees where necessary, cleaning the beaches or taking care of conservation. We have been very active in this activities and also relieving global hunger and poverty. And all because of our guests, for coming into our hotels, spending their money enjoying their experiences and the services we are offering. We want to thank them for trusting us for the last 10 years, and we hope to continue providing them with our consistent services over the next decades to come.

per available room within the company, with a minimum of 60 hotels up to 79 (1 of the awards was up to worldwide). Every hotel in our company is so competitive, not only from the customer’s perspective but also regarding financial performance, so that for us to receive 4 awards has been a great honour.

May/June/July 2012

29


SPORTs

British Embassy and the Qatar Olympic Committee mark final countdown to London 2012 with a 100 metre race With less than 100 days to go until the London 2012 Olympic Games, the British Embassy and the QOC marked this milestone by inviting local school children to join a sports event ‘100 metre relay race marking the final countdown to London 2012’ followed by a reception.  

From left to right: Qatari Sports Official, (QSO); Claire Evans, Chargé d’Affaires, British Embassy; Kevin Shelley, Business Development Director, Hyder; Khaleel Al Jaber, Director Sports Affairs Department, Qatar Olympic Committee; Gordon Jack, Resident Director Middle East & India, Atkins,QSO.

C

laire Evans, British Chargé d’Affaires and Mr. Khalil Ibrahim Jaber, Director of QOC Sports Affairs hosted the event. Representatives from QOC, Qatar Association for Athletics Federation and UK businesses also attended. Qatari Athletes Nour Al-Malki and Ibrahim Ismail also attended promoting the shared values of sport between the UK and Qatar. Children from Doha English Speaking School, Doha College, Al Markheia Independent School for Girls and UM Alqora Independent School for Boys took part in the 100 metre race held at Qatar Sports Club stadium. All the children received a certificate confirming their participation in the ‘100 metre relay race marking the final countdown to London 2012’ and small Olympic memento. The Qatar Athletes met the children and shared their own experiences in sport. Speaking about the 100 Day milestone Claire Evans said: “British Embassies across the world are celebrating the final countdown to the Olympics and I am pleased that Doha was able to join them in marking this occasion. I am particularly pleased we were able to co-host this with the Qatar Olympic Committee and

30

May/June/July 2012

am grateful for all their help in making it such a great day. Qatar and the UK both share a love of sport and hosting international sporting events, and believe in the importance of encouraging new generations of young people to experience the joys and benefits of sport. So it was an immense pleasure to watch children from both the Qatari and British schools get involved and experience from Qatar’s elite athletes first hand, the important role sport can play in people’s lives.  All the staff at the British Embassy also wish the Qatar Olympic athletes all the very best at the Games.” The London 2012 Games will be a fantastic event and will be a proud moment for Britain. It will be a chance for the world to experience Great Britain at its best. Britain’s unique blend of the old and the new – the history and heritage of our castles, landscapes and royal houses to the cutting-edge culture of our music and art, our theatre and fashion to the investment and business opportunities we have to offer. We hope that many of our Qatari friends will join us”. Mr. Khalil Ibrahim Jaber, Director of QOC Sports Affairs said that the Committee is proud to participate at the

‘100 metre relay race marking the final countdown to London 2012’ held by the British Embassy in the State of Qatar, expressing deep thanks and appreciation to the embassy staff. He also praised the ongoing preparations by the local "London 2012" Olympic Games Organizing Committee, for hosting these games, expressing confidence that these games will witness all the expected success, and that it will be another opportunity to renew faith in the Olympic values among participants, and at the same time wishing the Qatari mission all the success for participating in these Games. Source: UK Trade and Investment


business profile

WRG is one of the world’s leading and most trusted live event agencies, with a 25 year pedigree of creating and delivering some of the most spectacular events to VVIP, business and public audiences. We help businesses communicate their key corporate and brand messages through media-rich and engaging live experiences.

W

e are an exceptional team of 150 creative communication and event production talented professionals in multiple global locations; London, Manchester, New York, Doha and Abu Dhabi. We work with some of the world’s leading brands and organisations, enabling them to engage with their target audience groups, creating unforgettable experiences. We’ve travelled the globe, from the Arctic Circle to the equatorial rainforest. We’ve worked with Kings, Queens and Heads of State. Our events have addressed audiences as small as half a dozen and been broadcast live to millions of people. We are very proud of our work. In keeping with our philosophy of sourcing locally wherever possible, we have built up many strong working relationships with the local suppliers around the world. For us the size of the project isn’t important; its effectiveness is. At WRG, our approach is always creative led, but perhaps uniquely, we passionately believe that engaging with people openly and innovatively, both delivers, and should be seen to deliver, a return that few other investments can match.

IN DOHA: our extensive in-house resource in the areas of digital media, film and video, exhibition, design and logistics enable us to deliver the quality that our creative and account management teams demand for our clients. Whether working on live or marketing communication, our philosophy and approach is the same with seamless integration between in-house departments and an over-riding commitment to customer service excellence and quality.

Film and Television Seeing is believing. A recognised strength of WRG is our ability to produce imaginative, high quality video pieces to help emotionalise your message. A creative capability enhanced by in-house industry leading AVID editing suites and high definition camera technology.

Event Production Creative Creativity is at the heart of our business. Our creative thinkers, copywriters and art directors are drawn from those we believe to be the very best in their arena. Our team is passionate, fuelled by the desire to create, innovate and share brand solutions for our clients that we can all be very proud of.

Digital Media Increasingly an essential part of the communication mix, our comprehensive digital offering from video and film graphics, through 3D animation, websites and webcasts, to registration and experiential environments, can help your communication rise above the campaign noise of your competitors.

Design We understand that design work is destined for many different media and at WRG it is a headline resource; the quality of which defines much of what we do. Above all we are media neutral, creating campaigns that meet the needs of our clients and not the needs of overzealous media planners.

Our services are delivered by dedicated, sector-focused, client teams, each headed by a Client Director or producer, providing you with a familiar face and single point of contact.

Logistics We have proven expertise in the international logistics management, particularly across complex and high profile, prestigious live events. From the initial venue search and selection, our dedicated project team is responsible for the smooth running of the event, dealing with venues, caterers, and the registration and coordination of delegates.

Exhibitions Our in-house exhibition team has that special blend of design flair and technical expertise needed to develop and project manage award winning ‘experience’ environments for our clients. Whatever it is your business is looking to communicate throughout the Middle East and to the rest of the world, WRG is the trusted event partner to bring your message alive and create an unforgettable experience. To know more go to www.wrg.uk.com

May/June/July 2012

31


32

May/June/July 2012


May Jun Jul Connecting Qatar UK