Once again, our local hero and arguably Qatar’s best bus driver a.k.a. “Bus man” effortlessly brought us to our first destination of the day, the Sidra Hospital. The newly opened research facility is a relatively small part of the total project, meaning that the vast majority of the hospital is not operational yet. Upon arrival, we were very warmly received by some of the hospital staff. Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Ferguson, and Chief of Staff, Mr. Dominic Harris, were responsible for explaining into great detail what the hospital will be capable of in the future. Some of the key challenges they currently face are issues relating to obesity and related illnesses. The number of people that already suffer from these associated illnesses is already considered dangerously high compared to the world average and is projected to grow to truly alarming heights in the near future. Consequently, many of the strategic health objectives are being adjusted to accommodate the future health needs of Qatar’s citizens. The goal of the Sidra Hospital is to educate the people about the implications of an unhealthy lifestyle, thus transitioning from a reactive healthcare system to a proactive one. Dr John Ferguson also proudly mentioned that the Sidra Hospital will be the first (almost) all-digital academic medical centre which will set new standards in patient care for women and children and will ultimately serve as a medical hub for the GCC area.
Dr Deepak Kaura, chief radiology and entrepreneur in healthcare management, gave us an insight on how Sidra is reshaping the healthcare environment, by introducing innovation creativity into their processes and daily routines. The Sidra Hospital has implemented a unique platform for all its workers that empowers them to voice their innovative ideas, often leading to practical and cost effective solutions. The paediatrics department also offers a range of high-tech machinery such as a 3D diagnostic imaging printer, used for training purposes amongst other things.
What surprised most of us, is the sheer amount of external support not only in terms of investments, but equally in terms of the shared vision to create a world class healthcare system for all of Qatar’s citizens. This is clearly in line with and driven by Qatar’s National Vision 2030.
After a short lunch break we headed straight to the training centre of Qatar Airways attached to Hamad International Airport. We were received by a Finnish and an American manager responsible for the corporate strategy. They provided us with facts and figures of the industry as well as the company itself. Hence, here we want point out the one we found most interesting. Firstly, the managers underlined that most of the airlines industry is explained through geography, technology, infrastructure and other external factors, such as events. Furthermore, the Hamad International Airport is one of the few five stars’ airports providing state of the art facilities making it possible to transit from one airplane into another within only thirty minutes.
When it comes to the company itself, their pace of growth clearly stands out – in only 11 years they managed to increase from 41 to 192 aircrafts and are thus the fastest growing air company. Qatar Airlines is always investing in the latest technologies and new fleets. When purchasing new fleets the company faces the challenge of the internal design, meaning they need to decide how many business respectively economy seats they should offer and in which order. To put this in context, we want to highlight the immense costs that are faced in that industry. For example, a flight from Doha to London costs approximately 150’000 USD.
In order to manage a company in such a complex industry, a large number of well-qualified staff is needed. Thus, the company comprises a multicultural workforce with over 150 nationalities amounting to a total number of 24’000 staff members. In this regard, one of the managers stated that a fleet is not only a transport system but a plane full of opportunities that can only be met by working together.
The entire Qatar Airways Group consists of Qatar Airways as well as a Privilege Club, Qatar Duty Free, Qatar Aviation Services, Qatar Distribution Company and Qatar Cargo amongst others. This reflects the complexity and different aspects that need to be considered within the airline industry. Each member helps supporting the others through cross-financing. For instance, expensive cargo flights enable the group to provide cheaper commercial ticket fares. The Qatar Cargo is the third largest international cargo carrier in the world, only after the Emirates and Cathay Pacific. For example, one of their Boeing Aircrafts has a cargo capacity of 100’000kg, which can fit up to 11 cars or 75 horses each flight.
After soaking up all these interesting facts, we had to rush to our next visit. Luckily, we made it on time to our appointment with Thomas Wasshuber, Managing Director of the Swiss company Habegger, that we were all awaiting since meeting him earlier this week. Clearly, our expectations were exceeded and we had the chance to peak into a state-of-the-art information pavilion. We were highly impressed by futuristic exhibition of the FIFA coming up in 2022 and taking place in and around Doha.
Anna Lorena Orantes