Company: Qatar Airways
This year is a big one for Akbar Al Baker.
Qatar’s brand new airport will open next month for the first commercial services, while the entire Qatar Airways operation will shift over to the newly renamed Hamad International by the end of the year. It’s not as if the charismatic CEO of the Qatari flag-carrier hasn’t enough on his mind already. Qatar Airways is still winning awards for its “five star” service, and confirmed a deal with FC Barcelona in 2012 that will see the carrier’s named emblazoned on the shirts of the world’s most famous football club. But it is still Qatar Airways’ new home that will garner all the attention in the year. The much delayed airport has been in the wings for several years now, and disputes over construction have pushed back the launch date on several occasions. Will the $16bn be worth the wait? The world, and Al Baker, will find out in 2013.