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Qatar Airways Makes Splash On Washington Social Scene At Capitol File White House Correspondents' After Dinner Party

Washington DC, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Qatar Airways continued to raise its profile in Washington DC with the title sponsorship of the 4th annual Capitol File Magazine White House Correspondents’ after dinner party – an event that drew a glitzy list of more than 600 guests from across the political, fashion and entertainment world.

International stars from stage, screen and TV were joined by fashion designers, media and political figures for the lavish event, held at the distinguished Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Prominent Washington political figures such as President Barack Obama’s White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, and White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers were among the attendees.

Also gracing the glittering occasion were celebrities such as Oscar-winning actor Forrest Whitaker, Hollywood star Christian Slater, Desperate Housewives star and wife of NBA’s Tony Parker, Eva Longoria-Parker, hip hop music star Christopher Bridges aka “Ludacris”, fashion designer Jason Wu, comedienne and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner official emcee Wanda Sykes and a host of media luminaries.

The evening was a memorable one for other than being a great party. The occasion also served to further build the profile of Qatar Airways, which has already associated with such worthy causes as the annual Best Buddies Ball in the Washington area.

Qatar Airways Senior Vice-President Americas Tony Hughes underlined the importance of the airline’s sponsorship, stating that it aligned Qatar Airways’ internationally-acclaimed Five-Star service, superior cuisine and on-board entertainment, with sought-after services of passengers.

“What you got here were movers and shakers and opinion influencers, and that could only be good for Qatar Airways,” said Hughes, commenting on the diversity of party guests.

“You’ve got everyone here from a Saudi prince and film stars to CEOs of major businesses. These associations are a great way to raise the profile of Qatar Airways with key passenger groups. So our sponsorship of this event is a way to continue aligning ourselves with these key sections of the travelling public.”

That fact was not overlooked by another important guest.

“Qatar Airways flying from Washington to Doha is great for the city and great for the State of Qatar,” remarked His Royal Highness Abdul Aziz bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, who sat in Qatar Airways’ VIP area at the gathering. “Washington is an important city, and for Qatar Airways to have daily services between here and Doha is good for businesses and building relationships between the United States and the Arab world. I also believe Qatar Airways made a wise decision to launch flights between Houston and Doha as it connects the energy sectors and that can only mean good things for this business sector.”

Well-known restaurateur Jose Andres, credited for introducing Spanish tapas or small meals to American diners, echoed the sentiments of many party goers, saying he thought Qatar Airways flying from Washington to Doha opened up great access for travellers and businesses to the Middle East and beyond.

“For me to know that there is a direct connection between Washington and Doha and the State of Qatar, and between Washington and the Arab world is very important,” said Andres, who owns restaurants in Los Angeles and Washington. “I’m right now considering doing business in Doha and this airline connecting Washington DC with Doha is very important for doing business.”

Well-known Tennis Channel host Murphy Jensen also expressed his excitement about Qatar Airways, saying he loves to fly the airline on his frequent trips to the Middle East.

“Qatar Airways is a wonderful airline,” said Jensen, who hosts Open Access, a show that chronicles high-profile international tennis events, and Murphy’s Guide, a travelogue show, which educates tourists about the cuisine and culture of the city where a major tennis event is being played.

“I think it’s great that they associated themselves with this party. It will raise their profile, and educate people about Qatar, which is a great country with a great tennis tournament,” he said.

Qatar Airways currently operates 21 services a week from the United States to Doha, the airline’s hub in Qatar. With daily flights from Washington DC (Dulles), New York City (JFK) and Houston, Qatar Airways operates ultra-modern Boeing 777 aircraft on all the American services featuring touch-screen TV screens in every seat for passengers in both the Business and Economy Class cabins.

Qatar Airways’ Economy Class was voted Best in the World in Skytrax’s 2009 annual passenger survey, which also recognised the carrier as Best Airline in the Middle East for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, Qatar Airways’ cabin crew was recognised as Best in the Middle East for the seventh year running.

The Boeing 777-200 Long Range variant offers a two-class configuration of 42 seats in Business Class converting to fully flat beds and 217 seats in Economy Class, arguably the most spacious aircraft of any airline flying between the United States and Middle East.

Qatar Airways’ Economy Class has been voted Best in the World in the annual Skytrax passenger survey, in which more than 16 million travellers were polled. Ranked Five Star for service and excellence by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency also voted Qatar Airways’ cabin crew Best in the Middle East for the seventh year running in 2009 and Best Airline in the Middle East for the fourth consecutive year. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com

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 one of the customers of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five on order and scheduled for delivery from 2012, by which time the New Doha International Airport would have opened. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com

Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

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