QATAR. Qatar Duty Free and The Moodie Davitt Report tonight revealed the ten finalists in the highly-anticipated QDF Factor, each of which was due to battle for a complimentary six-month listing and high-profile promotion at Qatar Duty Free’s award-winning retail offer at Hamad International Airport, Doha.

The winner also receives a US$50,000 advertising campaign from The Moodie Davitt Report.

However, in an exclusive online interview with The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman Martin Moodie today at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Akbar Al Baker made the stunning announcement that all ten finalists would secure the six-month listing with Qatar Duty Free. The ultimate winner of the ‘crown’, he said, would also gain The QDF Factor accolade and the high-profile promotion.

“I am very excited to be involved with the QDF Factor,” he said. “There will be ten shortlisted finalists, one of which will get the crown. However, we have decided to allow all of the ten finalists to have their product listed at Hamad International Airport free of charge for six months. That means they will benefit from this world-class airport we operate.”

The short list was then announced later on day one of the Virtual Travel Retail Expo by Qatar Duty Free Vice President Operations Thabet Musleh and The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman Martin Moodie.

The ten finalists are:

  1. Long Haul SPA inflight travel kits
  2. Make Sure hand sanitiser gel
  3. Suqqu make up and skin care
  4. The Perfumist Pro application (by Big Data Solution)
  5. The Dalmore Ensemble Collection by Whyte & Mackay
  6. Caribbean Expedition Cognac by Camus
  7. Somrus Cream Liqueur
  8. Cihuatán Rum
  9. Article 22: Jewellery handmade from bomb scrap in Laos
  10. Kind Bags: made from 100% recycled plastic bottles

As mentioned, the overall winner (to be announced on Friday in a spectacular culmination to the Expo) will also claim a US$50,000 multi-media advertising campaign with The Moodie Davitt Report, including an eZine dedicated solely to the winning entry/entries.

The entries were judged on a range of criteria including innovation, corporate social responsibility, presentation, commercial viability and overall quality.

Qatar Duty Free is a Diamond Partner at the inaugural Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo

This unprecedented initiative to encourage and champion creativity was launched at a time when travel retail needs it most. The competition attracted a diverse and compelling array of entries and was open to all brands and concepts, both within or outside the travel retail channel.

According to Musleh, The QDF Factor has proven a perfectly-timed competition to highlight industry innovation.

He said, “We are very proud to be a Diamond Partner of the Virtual Travel Retail Expo and to launch the QDF Factor in association with The Moodie Davitt Report. While this amazing initiative is much-needed in such challenging times, I’m certain that it is an opportunity that came to life precisely because of the unprecedented circumstances in the travel retail industry today.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to help a brand or product by showcasing it to the thousands of passengers that travel to Hamad International Airport (HIA) every day. The quality and innovation that has gone into this is truly remarkable. We’ve seen some amazing entries and great presentations and would like to thank everyone that has joined the QDF Factor this year. We were particularly impressed by how relevant the products are to what the industry needs today.”

The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie said, “I couldn’t be more excited about this fantastic initiative and in working with Qatar Duty Free — our Diamond Partner at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo — in a project that clearly breaks new ground in travel retail.

“As we all know, the travel retail channel and every player in it has experienced great trauma since the pandemic began. The QDF Factor acts as the perfect tonic for those COVID-blues and its does that by focusing on the essential qualities of creativity and innovation that will surely be the key to the industry’s emergence from darkness and into a bright future.”

Judgement time has arrived: Thabet Musleh and Martin Moodie, pictured in the Harrods Tea Room at Hamad International Airport in July assessing some of the early entries