• Match of Champions set to draw fans from around the world to Doha
  • Stunning Qatar Airways Cup revealed during pre-match press conference
  • World’s fastest growing airline is the official sponsor of both football clubs

Kuwait: Fans from around the world will converge in Doha tomorrow, when Qatar Airways brings together superstar football teams FC Barcelona and Al-Ahli Saudi FC to compete in the first ever Match of Champions, to win the Qatar Airways Cup. As the national carrier of the State of Qatar, Qatar Airways is proud to bring this mammoth match to Doha, the GCC’s ‘home of international football’.

The football giants, both sponsored by Qatar Airways, will play a friendly match in Al Gharafa Stadium on Tuesday, 13 December, 2016.

During a pre-match press conference, hosted by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker and Vice President of the Organising Committee, His Excellency Mr. Hassan Al Thawadi, the stunning design of the Qatar Airways Cup trophy was revealed for the first time. Designed by a team from Qatar Airways, taking inspiration from the modern aircraft they fly, the Cup was handmade in Doha, cast in 18 carat gold. It is designed to reflect the global unity that sport inspires, and signifies the reward for teamwork, effort and determination.

Speaking at the press conference, His Excellency Mr. Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways believes in sport as a source of inspiration and a symbol of international unity, as teams and their supporters come together from around the world to celebrate the determination and spirit that is required to win. We are exceptionally proud to not only support two iconic teams through our sponsorship of FC Barcelona and Al-Ahli Saudi FC, but to bring these two beloved teams together for what we are sure will be a phenomenal match – a Match of Champions, no less – with the worthy winner able to lay claim to the Qatar Airways Cup.

“Fans from around the world have chosen to fly in to Doha with Qatar Airways to watch this iconic match. As the State of Qatar’s national carrier, it gives us a great sense of pride to give these international travellers their first taste of our infamous Qatari hospitality before they touch down in the country for this exciting event. This match would not have been possible without the expertise and dedication of the Qatar Football Association and we thank them warmly for their generous assistance.”

His Excellency Mr. Hassan Al Thawadi said: “The enormity of this match is a testament to Qatar’s growing standing as the home of international football in the GCC, where the world’s greatest players are converging to bring world-class competitions to the region. It is also a significant marker in our journey towards 2022 when we will proudly host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”

“Through the Social Development pillar of the Qatar National Vision 2030, our leadership aims to promote sport as a physical activity, particularly amongst the nation’s youth. By bringing such popular sporting heroes to their doorstep – such as the legendary players of FC Barcelona and Al-Ahli Saudi FC – we are enabling sports fans to live their football dreams, and are inspiring them to follow in the footsteps of their favourite players. For this, I would like to thank Qatar Airways for their continued support in not only facilitating global-level events such as these, but for contributing to the well-being and social development of the State of Qatar.”

Tickets for the match sold out within hours as each batch was released with purchases made from around the world, with a full capacity stadium of 18,000 people set to attend the match. Football fans from as far-flung as Thailand and Singapore will fly into Doha especially for this premium match, truly cementing Qatar’s position as a leader in sporting entertainment.

About Qatar Airways:

Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 19th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 191 aircraft flying to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was awarded World’s Best Business Class; Best Business Class Airline Lounge and Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East at the prestigious 2016 World Airline Awards managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax.

Qatar Airways is a member of the oneworld global alliance. The award-winning alliance was named the World’s Best Airline Alliance 2015 by Skytrax for the third year running. Qatar Airways was the first Gulf carrier to join global airline alliance, oneworld, enabling its passengers to benefit from more than 1,000 airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.

Oryx One, Qatar Airways’ inflight entertainment system offers passengers up to 3,000 entertainment options from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and much more. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights served by its B787, A350, A380, A319 as well as select A320 and A330 aircraft can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the award-winning airline’s on-board Wi-Fi and GSM service.

Qatar Airways is one of the world’s leaders in sponsoring global sporting events, including the strategic team sponsorships of FC Barcelona and Al-Ahli Saudi Arabia FC. Qatar Airways’ strategy reflects the values of sports as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of the airline’s own brand message – Going Places Together.

Qatar Airways Cargo, the world’s third largest cargo carrier, serves more than 50 exclusive freighter destinations worldwide via its Doha hub and also delivers freight to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations globally on 191 aircraft. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet now includes eight Airbus 330Fs, 11 Boeing 777 freighters and two Boeing 747 freighters.