Colm McLoughlin on Dubai Duty Free’s 35th anniversary

By Andrew Pentol |


Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Duty Free.

Towards the end of last year Dubai Duty Free (DDF) not only celebrated its 35th anniversary, but also reached the Dhs7.3bn ($2bn) milestone it had been looking forward to for so long on 20 December.

In the below video, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Duty Free sits down with UK and Dubai-based broadcaster Phil Blizzard to reflect on the evolution of the company which was founded on 20 December 1983.

Reflecting on the run-up to the opening, McLoughlin, who recounted the history of the company at last year’s Trinity Forum in Shanghai said: “Just before day one, we had six months of continuous work setting up everything for the opening of the duty free.


“This meant at least 14 hours every day for everybody on the team. We had recruited 100 staff and were doing training programmes on and off.”

McLoughlin also recalled feelings of excitement, expectation and concern, ahead of the start of operations. “It was very exciting. At the end of the first day we had taken Dhs161,000 ($41,000). We thought it was the end of the world.”

He added: “In the first full year which was 1984, we registered turnover of Dhs72m. At present, we have now have 6,200 staff and 38,000sq m of retail space in operation.”




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