Name: Colm McLoughlin
Title: Executive vice chairman
Company, city: Dubai Duty Free, Dubai
Number of employees: 4,000
Recent project: Design and fit-out of Dubai Duty Free in Concourse 3 at Dubai International Airport — expected completion by the end of 2012 and operational in the first quarter of 2013
First job: Retail assistant with Woolworths, the U.K.’s leading retail operation in the 1960s
Little-known fact about you: I was the captain of the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai and the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. I held a private pilot license for many years.
Essential business philosophy: “Keep it simple.” Our job is to offer a great range of quality products at value-for-money prices, provide great customer service and satisfaction and ensure a shopper-friendly environment. Through high-profile sponsorships and events, Dubai Duty Free also promotes the city of Dubai as a leading sports, business and leisure destination.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Continually monitor retail offerings to see what can be improved, what is a fast seller, what are the latest trends and how to stay ahead of the curve. We keep in touch with what is happening day to day within the retail environment, listen to the frontline staff and let them know they are our greatest brand ambassadors.
Yardstick of success: Our turnover, which this year is expected to reach $1.64 billion. However, equally important is knowing the customer has a positive experience.
As a Traveler
What is the most important item you carry when traveling? My phone, which is a basic model, and a good book How you spend your time on board: I either read or catch up on new films which I would never otherwise see. As I usually travel on Emirates, the in-flight entertainment is absolutely fantastic. Favorite restaurant in the world: The Irish Village in Dubai, voted by Newsweek “one of the best meeting places in the world.”
Favorite destination: I enjoy traveling to new destinations and learning as much as possible. I traveled to New Zealand for the first time last year, for the Rugby World Cup, and absolutely loved it. I recently visited Bhutan for the first time, and that was also wonderful.
About Your Brand
What can travelers expect from Dubai Duty Free and what sets it apart? We offer international travelers a great shopping experience, whether they are transiting Dubai or arriving and departing from Dubai International Airport. What sets us apart is that we manage the entire retail business under our own operation and therefore ensure consistent staff efficiency and product knowledge and an extremely high standard of customer service.
What are the hottest items and trends at Dubai Duty Free? Having the latest technology, whether it is the newest iPad or smartphone, ensures we appeal to an international traveler. We are mindful of our passenger mix and try to cater to everyone, from those with a few dollars to spend to those with thousands to splurge on a luxury item. We increasingly work with our suppliers to offer travel retail exclusive items or regional firsts on some products.
What is the most challenging aspect of running a successful duty-free organization? From a logistics point of view, we move 71 million pieces of merchandise from our distribution center to our retail operations at Dubai International Airport. At present, our DC is 70 percent automated; we are increasing that to 90 percent this year in line with the opening of Concourse 3, which will be dedicated to the Emirates Airbus A380 fleet. Our retail operation is spread across all three terminals; with the opening of Concourse 3, our retail area will increase to 280,000 square feet.
People need a “chance to get some well-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air.” This is a sentiment we all likely share, as does the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union. The EC included that phrase when it released its plan to help reopen Europe following the COVID-19 global pandemic. While most EU borders remain closed to international travel until at least mid-June, the EC’s plan starts with inter-Europe travel, and are non-binding recommendations and guidelines. European countries still have the final decision, so travelers are advised to check the restrictions of the countries they plan to visit. According to the EC, “blanket restrictions of free movement are replaced by targeted measures.”
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
The cruise industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
One of Barcelona’s newest luxury hotels is located at the corner of modernity and tradition. As the name indicates, The Corner Hotel is situated on a flat corner in Barcelona’s L’Eixample neighborhood, a vast area of the city full of Modernist buildings and grid-like avenues.
MMGY Global Launches Travel Safety Barometer to Track U.S. Travelers’ Perception During Reopening Phase of Pandemic
MMGY Global launched its new Travel Safety Barometer, a sentiment tracking tool created for the travel and tourism industry to track American travelers’ perceptions of safety when it comes to specific travel behaviors as the country begins to reopen following the COVID-19 pandemic. Designed by MMGY’s Travel Intelligence research and insights division, the barometer is an information resource for business and leisure travelers and the travel industry.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
United Airlines opened a Club lounge inside Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in November 2019. The lounge, near gate C7 in the airport’s new terminal, seats 95 guests and offers free WiFi, and ample power outlets and USB ports. COVID-19 may temporarily affect the lounge’s operating hours and procedures.