Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Award-winning Qatar Airways has teamed up with Manchester United for the Middle East launch of the ultimate collection of memorabilia celebrating the history of the world’s most famous football club.
The Manchester United Opus is a grand 800-page limited edition book charting the fortunes of the English Premiership club with features and never-before seen images commissioned from some of the world’s top sports photographers and writers.
Weighing a mammoth 35 kg, the book promises to be a dream for fans and investors alike. A star-studded charity gala dinner, sponsored by Qatar Airways, will be held at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai on November 29 where the very first Manchester United Opus Book will be launched and auctioned off.
The gala dinner will be attended by celebrities, including Manchester United legends Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and Eric Cantona, together with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, model Caprice, former England soccer manager Sven Goran Erikkson and Indian Test cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
The first Opus will be signed by a Who’s Who from Manchester United, including every member of the current first team squad. This extraordinary piece will be auctioned in aid of UNICEF with an estimated reserve price of £250,000 (US$475,000).
In total, 10,000 copies will be printed with part of the proceeds going towards charity.
At a press conference in Dubai, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, the most successful manager in English soccer history, was joined by Qatar Airways Senior Manager Commercial Operations Arabian Peninsula, Ali Al Rais, to announce the tie-up.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said he was delighted that the airline had teamed up with Manchester United for the launch.
“Manchester United is a world-renowned football club, steeped in tremendous history, and Qatar Airways is extremely proud to be associated with the club for the official launch of this exceptional book,” he said.
“Qatar Airways looks forward to welcoming players and officials on our flights and experience our award-winning service from the UK to Dubai through Doha for what promises to be an exciting and memorable gala dinner in November.”
The Manchester United Opus recounts the entire history of the club, featuring exclusive ground-breaking editorial, including interviews with Sir Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona, Sir Alex Ferguson and current star players Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs.
It contains more than 400,000 words and 2,000 photographs, researched from over two million images.
Over a three-day celebration of the Manchester United Opus in November, VIPs from the sports and entertainment industry will gather in Dubai to take part in a series of activities, including a golf tournament, celebrity chef event with Gary Rhodes, cocktail parties and a variety of charity-based activities, culminating in the Qatar Airways-sponsored gala dinner.
Qatar Airways operates a fleet of 48 aircraft to 70 online destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Far East and Indian subcontinent from Doha, its hub and capital of the State of Qatar. Together with codeshare partners, Qatar Airways serves more than 90 cities worldwide.
Qatar Airways is one of only four airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency.
Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew best in the Middle East for the fourth year running in 2006 and second best in the world, while the airline’s global rankings rose to an admirable fifth best. Qatar Airways plans to more than double its fleet size to 110 aircraft by 2015.
Doha-based Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is a launch customer of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2010. Qatar Airways moves to the New Doha International Airport in 2010, when the first phase of the new facility opens. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com
Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the fifth year running in 2007 following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com
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