Posted on July 02, 2013

Qatar Airways is proudly supporting a team of local leading cyclists, the Qatar Sandstormers, by flying them to take part in the 2013 Global Biking Initiative Charity Ride in Europe from June 30 to July 6. The team, partnering with the Sheikh Eid Charity Foundation, will cycle from Paris, France to Dusseldorf, Germany during the one week event, covering 650km to raise awareness and funds to support their cause.

The Qatar Sandstormers, a team of six cyclists, will be raising money for the Beitak Beiti Initiative, to support more than 200 poor and disadvantaged families in Qatar by helping them purchase domestic necessities such as refrigerators, air conditioners and safe cooking stoves. The international biking event brings teams from around the world together to help raise funds for various global charities and has seen 900 cyclists from more than 20 countries take part since its inception.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the airline was proud to see local sportsmen and women competing internationally.

“The State of Qatar continues to nurture and produce sportspeople dedicated to competing on the world stage and develop in their chosen professional field,” said Al Baker. “It’s even more heartening to see some of our local athletes competing overseas for charity to support a very worthy cause back home.

“Qatar Airways remains proud of its long tradition of supporting local sportspeople and major sporting events and we all wish the Sandstormers the very best for next month,” he said.

The Qatar Sandstormers, led by local cyclist Marouf Mahmoud, aims to raise QAR 100,000 for the Beitak Beiti Initiative. Marouf Mahmoud remarked: ‘I am very proud of my team’s achievements this year and would like to thank all the companies and individuals who have made it possible to accomplish such success.

“We have reached three important milestones in 2013 – we now have two Qatari nationals on the team, our partnership with Sheikh Eid Charity Foundation makes us more deep rooted to supporting beneficiaries in Qatar and we are close to achieving our ambitious goal of raising QAR 100,000, more than three times what we raised last year,” he said.

In 2012, The Qatar Sandstormers raised QR 36,000 to fund scholarships, allowing marginalised and disadvantaged students in Kailali, a remote rural area regularly affected by flooding, to continue their secondary education.  The Global Biking Initiative was established in 2009 by Vodafone employees worldwide with the goal of allowing individual groups to raise funds for their own nominated charities by organising long distance cycling events across the globe.

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 125 aircraft to 128 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.  Qatar Airways has so far this year launched six destinations – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Chicago (USA), Salalah (Oman) and Basra (Iraq).  Over the next few weeks and months, the network will grow further with Sulaymaniyah, Iraq (August 20), Chengdu, China (September 3), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (September 18), Clark International Airport, Philippines (October 27) and Philadelphia, USA (2 April 2014).

For more information on the Global Biking Initiative visit: www.gbi-event.org/.

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