Qatar Airways was honoured to host the 64th Annual Conference of Airline Personnel Directors’ Council (APDC) in the capital city of Doha.
The two-day conference brought together over 40 senior human resource management delegates from airlines around the world to discuss issues and challenges facing HR practices in their respective businesses, as well as those that affect the industry collectively.
With the airline industry in the State of Qatar young and flourishing at a phenomenal rate, hosting the event gave Qatar Airways the opportunity to share the successful business model that has been built during the 16 years it has been in operation with airlines from around the world. The Doha-based carrier shared its experiences and challenges with some of the legacy carriers that have been around for 60 years or more.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker officially opened the event, hosted by the airline for the second time in six years.
Speaking at the conference hotel, Oryx Rotana, he welcomed delegates with an inspiring speech in which he talked about the airline’s dramatic growth and the State of Qatar’s dynamism in undertaking scores of infrastructure projects.
With Qatar Airways being an economic vehicle for the country’s growth – a nation that is investing over US$150 billion in numerous infrastructure projects such as a new metro system, new hotels and the 2022 FIFA World Cup – recruitment opportunities are endless, said Al Baker.
“We are not retrenching, but recruiting on an unprecedented scale. It’s not about being the biggest airline or taking market share, it’s about being the best at what we do in all areas to attract customers and employees alike.”
As part of its recruitment drive, Qatar Airways is hiring Qatari nationals to train and develop them as future leaders.
The Qatar Airways Nationalisation Programme has focused on designing development programmes to create distinctive experiences for Qatari students, graduates and professionals to make them proud of Qatar Airways' success story.
The drive to hire more Qataris – both graduates and scholarship students – to join the organisation, is in line with the country’s 2030 vision for a sustainable future. The solid foundation that has been built by Qatar Airways since 1997 with a workforce drawn from aviation experts from around the world, has well positioned the airline well for further aggressive growth.
With a global group workforce of over 28,000 employees – 16,000 of which being airline staff – Qatar Airways’ staggering rise has not been unnoticed by industry peers.
Al Baker highlighted some of the HR challenges faced by the Doha-based airline that comes with growth and recruitment.
“Our workforce of over 150 nationalities work in different disciplines within the airline and our subsidiaries,” said Al Baker.
“English is a second or third language for the majority of Qatar Airways’ workforce, so undoubtedly proving a challenge as English is the working language across the industry, Qatar Airways HR department works hard to address these challenges because as a Qatari organisation that proudly preserves its Arabic culture and heritage, Qatar Airways is ultimately a global network airline.
“Our dynamic growth is due to the vision of His Highness The Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to create an airline of the highest quality and standards flying to all corners of the world, and to be the best in the world. And we are delighted to have reached the industry summit as the best airline in the world for the past two years.”
With a total order of over 250 aircraft woth more than US$50 billion and a staggering route network growing by more than 12 new destinations each year, the job opportunities are enormous, added Al Baker.
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24 Hours in Doha
23.00 For a nightcap on arrival head to the Jazz Club at the Oryx Rotana, serving Asian fusion dishes, or the Crystal Lounge at the WHotel, open until 2am, Visitors and residents are required to present passport.
08.00 All the 5-star hotels lay on a lavish breakfast buffet offering a delicious array of Arabic and international cuisine. Try the conveniently central Mövenpick Hotel (tel:4429 1111) on the Doha Corniche.
09.30 Suffering from jet lag? Then head to the Ritz Carlton Hotel's luxury spa and treat yourself to a 75-minute relaxing session of their Orange Blossom Body Therapy. Details can be found at ritzcarlton.com/Doha
11.00 A must for every visitor, the jewel i Doha's crown is the Museum of Islamic Art on its own island off the Corniche. Persian carpets, Moghul jewels, ceramics, and glassware treasures galore. Opening times: www.mia.org.qa
12.30 For lunch, head to the unmissable Opal by Gordon Ramsay at the St.Regis for a hip, á la mode dining experience, featuring live gourmet pizza stations and overlooking the shimmering Arabian Gulf.
14.00 Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, located in a former school near Doha's Education City, it houses a unique collection of works by Arab artists from every Arab country. Admission is free.
17.00 head to Lagoona Mall in West Bay, adjoining the unmistakeable Zig Zag towers, for 5-star shopping including high-end department store 51 East, and restaurants around the European-style piazza.
19.00 Wander along the Corniche and step aboard one of the small dhows, festooned with lights, for a tour of the bay with views of the city's glittering towers reflected in the calm waters of the Gulf.
20.00 Check out Tangia Restaurant, at the Wyndham Grand Regency, for Doha's take on authentic Moroccan cuisine. Entertainment complements the menu with traditional drums and melodies.
22.00 If you're not ready for bed just yet then Asian-Polynesian fusion dishes, signature drinks, and a live Cuban band can all be found at Trader Vic's at the Hilton Doha. Bar open until 12.30am. Bring your passport!