Qatar Duty Free opens two souqs at HIA
December 15 2018 09:59 PM
QDF’s operations vice president Thabet Musleh led the cake-cutting ceremony to open the second souq
QDF’s operations vice president Thabet Musleh led the cake-cutting ceremony to open the second souq at HIA.

* Patriotic spirit is spread across HIA with traditional Qatari products and menus, as well as 20% shopping and dining offers, as part of National Day celebrations

Two pop-up souqs operated by Qatar Duty Free (QDF) opened at Hamad International Airport (HIA) on Saturday, offering an array of Qatari-made products to mark Qatar National Day 2018.

Apart from cultural (Ardha sword dance) performances, entertainment, cuisine and local products, the celebration also unveiled bespoke artworks created by renowned Qatari artist Ahmed bin Majed al-Maadheed, known for his iconic Tamim Al Majd portrait.

HIA’s COO Badr al-Meer, along with QDF’s Operations vice-president Thabet Musleh, led the ribbon cutting ceremony of the souqs behind the signature Lamp Bear art installation.

“We are delighted to be a part of today’s special celebration at our home and hub, Hamad International Airport. As the national carrier of the State of Qatar, we are proud to bring visitors from around the world to Doha, to experience Qatar’s remarkable culture and hospitality,” Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said in a statement.

“We look forward to welcoming all visitors transiting through HIA this month to experience the beauty of these unique offerings, which showcase our pride in our Qatari heritage,” he noted.

Al-Meer, Musleh and al-Maadheed, together with other HIA and QDF officials and guests, toured the two souqs and led the cake-cutting ceremony at the second outlet.

Visitors will have the chance to “experience the magic of the souqs” until the end of December as a part of the Qatar National Day festivity. They can also avail themselves of the 20% discounts on shopping and dining within the airport from December 15 to 20.

“As a gateway to world cultures, we are constantly seeking creativity and inspiration when curating experiences for our travellers. Qatar National Day is a celebration of our culture, heritage and identity as a nation, and we look forward every year to engaging our travellers in the celebration of Qatari culture,” al-Meer said.

Citing December as one of the busiest months of the year, the HIA COO stressed that many departing, arriving and transiting passengers will have “the opportunity to admire the many facets of Qatar’s unique national identity.”

“This national day, our travellers will leave HIA with a truly memorable experience demonstrating what Qatari hospitality is really about,” he added.

Echoing al-Meer’s statement, Musleh described such celebration at HIA as a significant event highlighting Qatar’s resilience and showcasing Qatari culture and values.

“The festivity also invites travellers from around the world to experience the Qatari hospitality through our pop-up traditional souqs and selected dishes and menus created exclusively to mark this important occasion,” he noted. “This is yet another example of the successful collaboration between QDF and HIA.”

In 2019, QDF, along with Qatar Airways and HIA, will host the world's most influential airport commercial revenues conference, The Trinity Forum.

The conference, organised by The Moodie Davitt Report, ACI World and ACI Asia-Pacific, will take place in Doha from October 30 to 31.

QDF was awarded 'Airport Retailer of the Year' at the 2018 DFNI Global Awards. In April, the leading airport retailer was recognised at the PAX International Readership Award, when Qatar Airways won the ‘Best In-Flight Duty Free Programme’ for the Middle East and Africa, and was acknowledged as an industry leader for its outstanding in-flight duty free service, which is operated by QDF.

HIA, the home of QDF, has met a number of significant milestones in 2018, including being ranked the fifth ‘Best Airport in the World’, fourth ‘Best Airport for Shopping’ and fifth ‘Best Airport for Dining’ at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2018.

HIA is the only airport in the Middle East to be ranked in the world’s top 10 airports of 2018. At the annual awards ceremony, HIA also took home the title of the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the fourth year in a row, and the ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the third consecutive year.

Welcoming 9.68mn passengers in the third quarter of 2018, the bustling airport demonstrates its commitment to redefining the passenger experience and engaging its travellers throughout the year. HIA is also currently a candidate for the “Best Airport in the World” 2019 award by Skytrax.

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