Colm McLoughlin wins CEO Middle East Lifetime Achievement award


Dubai Duty Free’s Colm McLoughlin was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award at the annual CEO Middle East Awards, which were held at the Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah, last night in Dubai.

The mainstay of Dubai Duty Free since 1983, McLoughlin was part of a team from his native Ireland asked to set up the operation by the Dubai government.

During his 34 years in charge, he has built one of the world’s largest airport retail operations in the world in terms of turnover. By the year 2020 expects business in excess of $3 billion a year, with 10,000 staff.

McLoughlin also grew the company’s Leisure division, overseeing the Aviation Club, the Irish Village, Century Village, the Dubai Tennis Stadium and the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel.

Speaking at the awards, McLoughlin said, “I’m absolutely thrilled and humbled by hearing the names of the [lifetime CEO award winning] people that went before me. I feel honoured to be following them this evening.

“The company that I’m involved in has done well and we’re very proud of it but mostly I’m proud of the freedom that we have been given to make things happen by the government of Dubai and my own chairman His Highness Sheikh Ahmed, and by my team of staff at Dubai Duty Free, of whose number now stands at 5,900. I want to dedicate this lifetime achievement award to those people and, of course, my beautiful wife Breda.”

CEO Middle East Award winners

Family business CEO of the Year – Anees Ahmed Moumina, CEO of SEDCO Holding Group

Young CEO of the Year – Talal Al Gaddah, CEO MAG Property Development

Bank CEO of the Year – Hisham Ahmed Al Rayes, CEO GFH Financial Group

Industry CEO of the Year – Flemming Dalgaarrd, CEO Gulftainer

Healthcare CEO of the Year – Dr. Michael Fakih, CEO Fakih IVF

Start Up CEO of the Year – Ahmad Ashkar, founder and CEO of the Hult Prize Foundation

Hospitality CEO of the Year – Omer Kaddouri, Rotana CEO and president

Energy CEO of the Year – Ahmad bin Shafar, Empower CEO

Innovation CEO of the Year – Dietmar Siersdorf, CEO, Siemens Middle East

Property CEO of the Year – Hussain Sajwani, Chairman and CEO Damac Properties

Retail CEO of the Year – Nilesh Ved, CEO Apparel Group

Female CEO of the Year – Rafiah Ibrahim, President, Middle East and Africa, Ericsson Group

Visionary CEO of the Year – Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO

Philanthropy CEO of the year – Kabir Mulchandani, Five Holdings

Lifetime Achievement Award – Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free

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