Stars of 2018
Sat 22 Dec 2018 10:25 PM
Colm McLoughlin

Industry: Retail

Company: Dubai Duty Free

Designation: Executive vice-chairman and CEO

Under his leadership, Dubai Duty Free (DDF) has become the world’s largest airport retailer in terms of sales, having recorded $1.93bn in sales in 2017 compared to $20m in the first year of operations in 1984. Retail sales are expected to reach $2bn this year, in line with the expansion of Dubai International Airport, but McLoughlin hopes to grow sales to $3bn and staff to 9,000 by 2022.

DDF, part of the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), operates over 35,400 sq m of retail space at Dubai International and 2,500 sq m at Al Maktoum International, though the number is set to grow to 80,000 sq m. This year, the lucrative airport retail operator signed a four-year agreement to become an official partner of the European Tour. The move follows the announcement in May that DDF has extended its sponsorship of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in a similar deal, which is expected to take the naming rights of the event until 2022.