The American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar (AmCham Qatar), the first foreign Chamber of Commerce established in Qatar, presented Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker with its first annual Business Leader of the Year Award in the presence of over 200 business community members and opinion formers.
The annual award, which Al Baker accepted at a ceremony held on Thursday 24 October 2013 at the Four Seasons Doha, recognises individuals for outstanding business achievements and contributions to Qatar.
With over twenty five years of business experience in Doha, Al Baker has been an instrumental figure in spearheading the development of Qatar Airways into one of the fastest growing and most highly acclaimed airlines in the world. Al Baker has assumed local, regional and international prominence, holding key positions at the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO), the organisation responsible for the development of the airline industry in the Arab world, and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
In his acceptance speech, emphasising the robust trade relationship between the US and Qatar, Al Baker said:
Together we have collaborated closely on a wide range of regional and global issues of which our partnership has played an influential role in the region through a period of great transformation. I accept this award not as one person but as a representative of 28,000 people in a global network who are dedicated to the relationships we have built in countries all over the world – the United States especially.’
Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Robert A Hager, who presented Al Baker with the award, said:
AmCham Qatar and its members work closely with Qatari partners and institutions on a daily basis to support their own growth but also that of a vibrant private sector in Qatar. I cannot think of an individual who embodies the vibrancy and vigor of Qatar’s business community more than the recipient of this year’s award. A leader in the global airline industry, Akbar Al Baker has made a tremendous economic contribution to Qatar and put it on the global travel map.’
Al Baker, who holds a private pilot license, is also CEO of several divisions of Qatar’s national airline including Qatar Airways Holidays, Qatar Aviation Services, Qatar Duty Free Company, Doha International Airport, Qatar Distribution Company, Qatar Executive, Oryx Rotana Hotel and Qatar Aircraft Catering Company.