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Qatar Airways

The new “QSuite” in Business Class

Qatar Airways has announced a major revamp of its Business Class, with the launch of what it’s calling the “QSuite.”

The seats won’t be available to passengers until this summer.

But the airline’s CEO Akbar Al Baker introduced the “revolutionary” change at the ITB tourism conference in Berlin yesterday.

Qatar Airways

The new “QSuite” in Business Class

The QSuites, which will be fitted both forward-facing and rear-facing, come equipped with doors to offer greater privacy.

Some of the seats in the middle sections will also have the capability to convert into a double bed.

Additionally, the middle seats have a screen that can open up to allow four passengers to eat together or chat.

The airline has created a special hashtag for the launch called #FirstInBusiness, to assert that it offers a First Class service experience in its Business Class cabins.

Summer launch

According to Al Baker, all of the airline’s existing aircraft will be retrofitted with the new seats by the summer of 2018.

But by this June, the first aircraft to be fitted with the new seats will the Boeing 777s that fly to London Heathrow, he told journalists.

Qatar Airways

The new “QSuite” in Business Class

Aircraft flying to Paris and New York’s JFK airport will follow shortly, he said.

Al Baker added that the airline’s Boeing 787s and Airbus A380s will have different QSuites due to their dimensions.

Qatar Airways

The new “QSuite” in Business Class

All of the airline’s new Boeing 777 and Airbus A350-1000s will be delivered with QSuites, he added.

No premium economy

Addressing other queries from the press, Al Baker reiterated his statement that the airline has no plans to introduce a Premium Economy class.

He did however add that Qatar Airways will bring in new economy seats “down the line.”

Richard Lee/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The airline has made changes to the interior of its Boeing 777 fleet over the past two years, fitting 10 seats per row in the economy cabin, instead of nine.

The move reduced the width of each seat by almost two inches, to 17 inches across.

Al Baker also stated his intention to start up a Qatari-owned domestic airline in India “soon,” the Times of India reported.

And when asked his opinion on the ongoing spat between American and Middle Eastern carriers, he replied:

“Donald Trump is a business man and will do what’s in the best interest of the American people.”

Thoughts?

Reem Saad / Doha News

Mouawad’s signature Flower of Eternity Jewellery Coffer

A $3.5 million gold jewelry box encrusted with diamonds, sapphires and rubies has been unveiled in Doha this week.

Certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s most valuable jewelry box, the piece made its Middle East debut at the annual Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition (DJWE).

The 14th edition of the event opened on Monday at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in West Bay.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Mouawad’s signature Flower of Eternity Jewellery Coffer

In a statement, Swiss diamond house Mouawad said the Flower of Eternity Jewellery Coffer was made of 18-karat gold and silver.

It features white and yellow diamonds, white and pink sapphires and lapis lazuli and its three heart-shaped petals are meant to symbolize eternal love.

Mouawad also holds the record for world’s most valuable necklace ($55 million), handbag ($3.8 million) and lingerie (an $11 million bra), but these pieces are not on display in Doha.

Scaled down event

Notably, the jewelry box isn’t the most expensive thing on sale at the DJWE this week. For example, there are also three Girard Perregaux watches worth a combined $5 million.

A total of 400 luxury brands from 10 countries are exhibiting their wares at the expo this year.

All photos by Reem Saad

This appears to be scaled down from last year, when 500 of the world’s most exclusive brands from 17 countries participated.

However, for the first time this year, the work of young Qatari designers will be on display. And the exhibition will also feature a watch-making workshop by renowned clock experts Objectif Horlogerie.

DJWE runs until Saturday, Feb. 27 and is open from noon to 10pm every day except Friday. Friday’s hours will be from 4pm to 10pm.

Entry is free, but visitors are required to register onsite with their Qatar IDs or passports, or can save time by pre-registering online here.

As always, children below the age of 12 will not be allowed inside the venue.

Who’s going? Thoughts?

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

There’s apparently a superlative for every country in the world, and not all of them are flattering.

The latest version of a data map called “International Number Ones” is now out, and lists defining characteristics for almost every nation on the planet.

It gives Iran props for producing caviar and Afghanistan for growing opium.

International Number Ones

World’s best list

Jordan is known for taking in refugees, Turkey suffers from too much Twitter censorship, Saudi Arabia imports a lot of arms and the UAE has an abundance of men.

Qatar doesn’t make it onto the map, but in a spreadsheet of all the data compiled by researchers, it gets a shoutout for being rich.

The assertion is based on a 2014 report about the country having the world’s most millionaires per capita.

‘Light-hearted’ map

To be sure, not every country is going to be happy about its designation.

Pakistan for example got a nod for gay porn consumption, Honduras is apparently the murder capital of the world and Egypt has a lot of “heavy women.”

But some countries do surprisingly well. Zambia is credited with having lots of female entrepreneurs, Rwanda with women in Parliament and Colombia with happiness.

Speaking to the Independent last month, data journalist and information designer David McCandless clarified that the map is “meant as a light-hearted graphic.”

He added:

“Where there were multiple options for some countries, we chose the most interesting or entertaining possibility – and kept the alternatives in the datasheet.”

How does your country fare? Thoughts?