Qatar Airways continued its support of the UK-based
Foreign Press Association’s prestigious annual awards function in
which the airline sponsored the main award of the night –
Journalist of the Year.
The lavish gathering of leading UK and
international journalists took place at the Sheraton Park Lane
Hotel in central London in the presence of chief guests, Their
Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess of Asturias.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al
Baker hosted select media during the night, which attracted more
than 400 guests, including Ambassadors, politicians and business
leaders to celebrate excellence in television, print, radio and
The event, in its 10th anniversary year, was
compered by British television and radio personality Sandi Toksvig.
Journalists in 11 categories were honoured at
the awards function, where Prince Asturias, His Royal Highness
Prince Felipe – Heir to the Spanish throne – spoke about the
long-standing warmth and relationship between Britain and Spain.
Prince Asturias is a champion of forging greater
understanding between different cultures and spends a lot of time,
in particular, promoting the Spanish language and culture
overseas. He has a Foundation which promotes science, culture and
the humanities. His wife, Princess Letizia is a former
award-winning TV journalist.
Al Baker presented the main award – Journalist
of the Year – to Martin Hickman, of leading British newspaper The
Independent, for his environment story on the hidden cost of
consumer demand for palm oil in everyday high street shopping and
its devastating impact on the jungles of south-east Asia, native
people and contribution to greenhouse gases.
Al Baker also presented Martin Hickman with a
pair of round-trip Business Class tickets between the UK and
Melbourne to celebrate the launch of the airline’s new route to
Australia, which starts on 6 December 2009.
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