Colm McLoughlin to receive special award for ‘shaping tourism’ in Dubai

By Andrew Pentol |


Dubai Duty Free, Executive Vice Chairman, Colm McLoughlin.

Dubai Duty Free, Executive Vice Chairman, Colm McLoughlin is to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for his three-decade contribution to shaping Dubai’s tourism, hospitality and retail sectors.

The award will be presented to McLoughlin, who celebrated 50 years in travel retail in May, at the Middle East Hospitality Awards that will take place at the Ritz-Carlton DIFC on Wednesday 18 September.

McLoughlin will be recognised for his commitment to promoting Dubai globally in line with the directive received from HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai when setting up Dubai Duty Free in 1983.


“I am thrilled and delighted that I have been selected to receive this award. I attribute it absolutely and totally to our team of staff and the effort they make in making our business successful and of course to my chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum who has been terrific support at Dubai Duty Free and our other operations since the beginning,” McLoughlin commented.

Dubai Duty Free’s long-standing association with international sporting events such as the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, horse racing at Newbury and Ascot in the UK, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh in Ireland and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open held at Lahinch Golf Club in Co. Clare, Ireland have helped promote Dubai globally.

Dubai Duty Free currently spends 2.5% of its annual turnover, which reached $2.015bn in 2018 on promoting Dubai Duty Free and the city of Dubai.

McLoughlin, who concurs with statistics in Ventures Onsite Hotels Marketing Report indicating that Dubai’s hotel room supply alone is expected to reach 132,000 in 2019 added: “Thirty six years ago there were two or three thousand hotel rooms in Dubai. We have seen a big change from that in the industry.”

He concluded:  “Like shopping malls, airlines and roadworks, the hotel industry is part and parcel of the system that is essential in promoting tourism and visitors to Dubai”.







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