Unveiling a new-look Moodie Blog for the New Year

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

27 December 2015

I nearly started this Blog with the words, ‘Welcome to The Moodie Report Interim Bureau…’ but then realised I was at home for once.

A home that has indeed felt like an interim bureau during a 2015 spent largely on the road, starting with Mumbai in January and closing out in Abu Dhabi in mid-December.

My carbon footprint must be yeti-like in scale and how very pleasant it is to sit here in the comfort of my own home, listening to Classic FM, drinking fresh-brewed coffee and updating the website and this Blog. All this while gazing out over my back garden down towards The Moodie Report’s original ‘Worldwide Headquarters’ (the garden shed) and watching the squirrels and finches patiently take alternative seatings at the bird feeder that is their Christmas dinner table.

It’s a winter wonderland here, and at 13 degrees and dry we’ve got it a whole lot better than much of the UK, which is suffering terribly from the ravages of Storm Eva.

blog floods

[The Daily Mail is not my kind of newspaper but its front cover today graphically sums up the devastation that has hit much of Britain]

After the drama of the Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Terminal Building core duty free awards which kept me very busy in the run-up to Christmas, it’s all gone quiet. Our initial Moodie e-alert on the Abu Dhabi news was opened 4,294 times within 24 hours and the five following alerts  between 22 and 25 December a further 13,273 times. Heck, even a Christmas Day Moodie e-Alert about the opening of Shilla IPark duty free was opened on 2,423 occasions. Don’t any of you stop for Christmas pudding?

Regular readers of this Blog (of which I am blessed with many) will have noted some major changes to the layout in recent days. We hope you like the sharp, contemporary look, a nice counterfoil to the weary, aging look of its creator.

To celebrate the new look, here’s a wrap up of some of my favourite images from The Moodie Blog this year. We start with some of my various interim Bureaux.

Bureau HK

[The Moodie Report Interim Intercontinental Hong Kong Bureau]

bureau halki 4

[The Moodie Report Interim Odyssia Apartments Bureau, Symi, Greece]

blog halki 3

[Above and below: The Moodie Report Interim Bureau, Halki, Greece]

blog halki 2

Bureau caviar house

[The Moodie Report Interim Caviar House & Prunier Bureau, Heathrow Airport T2]

bureau haiti 2
[The Moodie Report Interim Toussaint Louverture Airport Bureau, Port au Prince, Haiti]
bureau shanghai

[From The Moodie Report Interim Shanghai Bureau]

Bureau inflight

[The Moodie Report Interim Belozersk Bureau (well, 35,000 feet above it]

bureau nassau

[From The Moodie Report Interim Nassau Bureau]

bureau phuket

[Outside The Moodie Report Interim Phuket Bureau]

blog pals 5

[Above and below: Heading up to the 85th floor at Lotte World Tower in Seoul with Woo Seuk Choi and Sunju Kim of Lotte Group and Lotte Duty Free]

lotte 2 lotte_tower_view_5

mm on site

[On site at the Midfield Terminal Building, Abu Dhabi International Airport, in early December. It’s big, very, very big…]

MTB big

MTB scale


[Moderating The Trinity Forum in Hong Kong with Eamonn Holmes, ‘the housewives’ favourite’, otherewise known as Dermot Davitt]

Now all these pictures might suggest I lead an exotic life on the road. The reality is that most of the time it’s late nights and early starts in an airport hotel with a car park for a view, jet-lagged and sleepless with room service and CNN for company. As I’ve written before, I often feel like the disorientated Bill Murray out of Lost in Translation, only with no Scarlett Johansson for solace.

blog lost in translation

We live in a 24-hour, global industry that, like our website, ‘never sleeps’. I very much like that line by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (introduced to me by Rakhita Jayawardena): “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”

So toiling upward in the night it is. But being a citizen of that great international community called travel retail means I have the priceless consolation of knowing numerous outstanding people around the world, many of whom I count as friends. Here are some of my favourite moments from 2015 with friends, new and old.

blog friends

[A toast to the irrepressible Jane Grant, in the company of my good amigos Jonathan ‘Chaps’ Holland and Catherine Bonelli]

blog pals catherine

[“It’s a perfect fit Catherine, honest!” Presenting Catherine Bonelli with the winner’s traditional blue jacket at our annual MIS-HIT Golf Tournament in Cannes]

catherine B

blog Colm-hats

[Hats off – and on –  to the wonderful Colm McLoughlin at Wimbledon]

blog pals rakhi

[With a man whose smile and soul are as wide as Sri Lanka itself, Rakhita Jayawardena, in Cannes]

blog pals chaps

[With that eternal optimist, Jonathan ‘Chaps’ Holland on the eve of England’s, er… premature demise from the Rugby World Cup. A whitewash as it were. Now black… that was another story altogether.]

blog haiti_ob_and_kids

[Making new friends at Hand in Hand for Haiti’s school, Lycée Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable, with Olivier Bottrie]

blog pals 6 unil

[With Sunil Tuli at King Power Group’s new Macau Airport store. I love the power walk Sunil.]

blog pals 3

[With Rodger Craig and Robbie Gill at a gentlemen’s lunch in London. With Rodger on hand, you can bet the choice of wine was impeccable. With Robbie and me there, you can guarantee it was consumed.]


[I like this photo very much. With my fellow industry journalists at the ASUTIL conference in Panama. Each of those pictured does an excellent job, even if they do make me feel old.]

blog dan

[Who you gonna call (to read The Moodie Report)? Why Ghostbusters star (and Crystal Head vodka owner) Dan Aykroyd of course.]

Richard Patrick moodie

[Or perhaps you should call ‘Floatbusters’? Coming to you live from the Dead Sea, Richard Kennedy and Patrick Dorais peruse The Moodie Report.]


[Aces all. With the Dubai Duty Free team, David Spillane and Des and Vicki Smyth after the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup]

blog colleen

[With Kiwi colleague and friend Colleen Morgan and her amazing family in Rhodes, Greece]

blog adda

[With the ‘Uruguayan Express’, Adda Rodriguez, as she unveils her new business venture The 7c Group, marrying brands with key travel retail markets, notably in Latin America]

blog pals 4

[In Athens with two new friends, the great Greek blogging duo Angie and Elena Galifa. Watch this space.]


[Dinner with the unstoppable force that is Adil Raihani, Vienna Airport’s loss but Greece’s great gain for 2016]

dan c 2

[Above and below: With Dan Cappell in Abu Dhabi, one of the industry’s busiest men in 2015]

dan c

blog pals dd

[My colleague Sarah Genest likes to be waited on hand and…er… foot. And in that multi-tasking maestro Dermot Davitt she found just the man in Cannes]

And finally, some people who inspired me in 2015, people who took on a foe I know all too well.

bev blue

[My most inspiring friend of 2015. Beverly Walker Johansson – staring cancer in the face and then kicking its ass]

blog pals 2

[With David and Pat Bernstein. Pat took on the same bully as Beverly. And again she showed it who was boss.]

blog s bull

[What a scoreline to toast: Stuart Bull 1 – Bully (Cancer) 0] 

all blacks

[And this one? Well, I had to, didn’t I…?]


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  • My magnificent and inspiring friend, Martin. How would I have kicked cancer’s ass without reading your positive messages to me as I went through six months of double dose chemo. You and half of duty free carried me through that time. For now, I am waiting for your book to be published, which you need to start writing. As I travel with the goal of kayaking some of the best white water rivers in the USA, I will end my day of adventure with sitting and reading your stories while sipping on a good red wine. Skal to you, my friend. Skal to Lars.