ARIME Chief Executive Richard Gray to retire after three ‘outstanding’ years

By Luke Barras-hill |

Gray has described his time with ARIME as ‘the pinnacle’ of his career.

Aer Rianta International Middle East (ARIME) Chief Executive Officer Richard Gray will retire from his position from May next year, it has been announced.

In a statement, ARI confirms it has begun a process to appoint a successor to be named in due course.

“We would like to thank Richard for his outstanding leadership with our business in the Middle East since August 2019,” said ARI Chief Executive Ray Hernan.

“In his time with us Richard made a big difference to ARI, his energy and enthusiasm has been infectious, and his years of knowledge and experience have been invaluable. We wish Richard and his family good health and happiness in his retirement.”

Ray Hernan, Chief Executive, ARI: “Richard made a big difference to ARI, his energy and enthusiasm has been infectious, and his years of knowledge and experience have been invaluable.”


Gray, a former Regional Managing Director at UK supermarket chain Morrisons, was named to the position in 2019, succeeding Nuno Amaral who is currently Chief Operations and Business Development Officer.

During his time with ARI, Gray has successfully navigated the regional business through the Covid-19 pandemic, taking swift and decisive action in the process to reduce costs and manage cash burn to defend the company’s strong balance sheet and liquidity position.

He put a particular focus on ensuring that the business aligned its retail offer with consumers’ expectations, a facet that shown through strongly during his participation on a panel (see below right) during the inaugural Travel Retail Consumer Forum that took place in London in September.

His tenure has resulted in the unveiling of new and refurbished retail spaces in Bahrain and Cyprus and the extension of key concession licences in Oman and Qatar.

Abdulla Buhindi, Chairman of ARIME and ARI’s Partner in the Middle East, commented: “Richard’s business acumen, negotiating skills and shareholder management capability, as well as the standards of retail excellence he has brought to the team will be sorely missed.

“I thank Richard on behalf of the ARIME Board for his tremendous service to the company and wish him and his family well in his retirement.”

Gray stated: “Working with the team at ARI Middle East has been a great experience and personally I feel it is the pinnacle of my career.

“Delivering an outstanding shopping experience for our customer has always been at the forefront of my leadership and I am delighted to see, that even during the most challenging time for global travel retail, we have achieved this.

“The wonderful team at ARI are like a family which I am very proud to be part of.

“I would like to thank Ray Hernan for his mentoring, guidance and friendship. I would also like to thank the Chairman of the ARIME Board, Abdulla Buhindi, for his unwavering support and wise counsel, and thank you to the ARIME Board.”

Right photo source: Grant Pritchard Photography.


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