Dubai Duty Free CEO Colm McLoughlin launches inspirational biography

By Benedict Evans |

L-R: Isobel Abulhoul, Colm McCloughlin, and author Graeme Wilson.

A biography detailing the life of Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin, has been officially launched at the acclaimed Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

Written by Dubai-based author Graeme Wilson, A Life Well Spent charts the inspirational life of McLoughlin, from his early childhood in Ireland to his four decades helming one of the single largest airport retailers in the world.

The launch event took place on 3 February at Intercontinental Dubai Festival City, and was attended by both McCloughlin and Wilson, with a book signing and photo opportunity taking place immediately afterwards.

Speaking about his biography, McLoughlin said, “My thanks to Graeme for this collaboration and to Isobel for selecting the book for this year’s Festival, which is a real honour.

“I hope that readers enjoy the book and I want to thank everyone who took the time to be interviewed for the book.”

Graeme Wilson has previously worked on various DDF publications, including the Dubai Duty Free 25th Anniversary book Fly Buy Dubai, as well as the 25th Anniversary of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, titled Game, Set, and Dubai.

The biography of Colm McCloughlin, CEO of Dubai Duty Free

The book includes interviews and original comments from world leaders, officials, family, friends and colleagues.

A Life Well Spent offers a deeper insight into McLoughlin’s entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and style of leadership, while bearing testimony to the vision of Dubai’s ruling family and the rise of DDF since its inception in the 1980s.

Speaking about the process of writing the book, Wilson said:“I have written biographies of many Heads of State, and ghosted books and speeches for world leaders and business leaders. What stood out for me with this project is the colourful story of Colm McLoughlin himself.

With ‘A Life Well Spent’ we were tracing a man who built a $30 billion empire. Yet what I learned that Colm is Colm. He really is the warm, effusive person we see publicly.”

The session was moderated by the festival’s founder, Isobel Abulhoul, and saw 100 people in attendance.

The biography is available to buy form Dubai Duty Free, both in-store and online, with a slice of the profits being donated to charitable causes through the Dubai Duty Free Foundation.

DDF has been a supporter of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature as a day sponsor since its inception in 2009. This year’s programme features over 160 authors from various genres, including literature, art, science, current affairs, film, and food.

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