The first direct route from Chicago to Doha, the capital city of the state of Qatar, opened for business on April 10th. On April 11th Qatar Airways celebrated with a blow-out party for 580 guests at the Field Museum featuring Grammy and Academy Award winning artist Jennifer Hudson as the evening's entertainment.
The event began with a cocktail reception and Red Carpet photos with Qatar Airways flight attendants. As guests entered the ballroom for a sit-down dinner, a dramatic lighting display was shown on the wall above the stage where Hudson would later perform. A video presentation showcased the beautiful city of Doha and this world-class airline. Skytrax, the bible in aviation, named Qatar Airways the "World's Best Airline" two years running now. (Doha will also be hosting the World Cup in 2022).
Dinner, catered by Food for Thought, started with a poached lobster salad followed by beef tenderloin with thyme jus. Dessert was a Nobu specialty, macana, which is mango jelly with white chocolate mousse, raspberries, pistachio sponge and lime sorbet. The wine pairings were an oenophile's dream!
The program continued with Miss Illinois, Megan Ervin, introducing the CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker. He told the rapt audience that this new collaboration between Qatar and Chicago is expected to generate $250 million dollars and bring thousands of jobs to the community. The Deputy Mayor of Chicago, Steve Koch, spoke next and welcomed Qatar Airways to the Windy City.
Qatar flight attendants then scattered throughout the audience collecting business cards which were then used to choose the lucky winners of free trips (for two) to Doha. Five trips were offered but, sadly, no one at our table won....:-(
When Hudson appeared onstage, the crowd went wild. She looked fantastic in a short, flared black leather mini with a new addition to her already fabulous hairdo, bangs. Near the end of her performance, guests were invited to dance with her onstage and boy, was that ever a thrill!
Tables for this historical gala were offered to members of its VIP social committee. I was thrilled to be included along with these Chicago notables: Israel Idonije, Alexi Giannoulias, Lindsay Avner, Greg Hyder, Monika Dixon, Dan Uslan, Nina and Bob Mariano, Jon and Andrew Landan, Neal Zucker, Linda Johnson Rice, Julie Latsko, Les Coney, Keene Addington, Larry Wert, Shawn Baldwin, Justin Jacobson, Sheila King, Kristine Green, Tracy Schmidt, Wendy Krimins, Marco Larsen, J.P. Anderson, Katherine Tarbox, Abigail Tarbox and Laurie Davis.
"As the world's best airline, our goal tonight, was to showcase the full extent of our 5-star service and invite the people of this great city to fly with us to Doha and our many exciting destinations around the world," said Al Baker.
Qatar Airways is currently offering 3 non-stop flights a week between Doha and Chicago with plans to upgrade to daily service in June.
For more info, please visit www.qatarairways.com. (To read more, click here!)
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Filed under: citylife/entertainment
Tags: Akbar Al Baker, Andrea Dres, Andrew Landan, Candid Candace, Charlie Trotter, Chicago gala, Chuck Jordan, Dan Uslan, Doha, Dr. Joaquin Brieva, Greg Hyder, Helen Melchior, James "Big Cat" Williams, Jason McKie, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Sutton, Jerry Azuma, Jim Smith, John Bodine, Jon Harris, Jon Landan, Justin Jacobson, Katie McLenaghan, Laurie Davis, Les Coney, Leslie Hindman, Lonnie Rodriguez, Marc Schulman, Mark Davis, Mark Tebbe, Maureen Schulman, Megan Ervin, Megan McKinney, Mike Sneed, Mohamad Bin Abdulla Al-Rumaihi., Monika Dixon, Paul Iacono, Qatar Airways, Robin Tebbe, Rochelle Trotter, Sherrill Bodine, Skip Grisham, Steve Koch, Tina Koegel, Tracy Schmidt, Wendy Krimins, Zarada Gowenlock