It was as if each of them was simply trying to come to terms with the change to the human condition as much as they were trying to navigate the immediate future for their businesses.
I watched, transfixed as a heated argument broke out after one passenger accused another of not using tongs to pick up his chocolate croissant
Magdy is Mr. Fix-it at the tennis. Need to find a seat for a VIP at the last second? Need a security man that no-one dares mess with? Get Magdy. Want someone that the players feel safe with? Yep, Magdy is your man.
Novak was a host’s and sponsor’s dream, making time for what seemed like a million photos, taking part in the party fun, and generally showing what an outstanding ambassador he has become for the sport.
The truth is that no-one knows what lies around the corner with this situation. It is a time to concentrate on the basics and no-one does that better than Dubai Duty Free.
It’s sad and grim on every level. A time to buckle down as businesses, stay safe as individuals. It’s important to keep noting that the travel retail sector historically recovers quickly from crisis. It will again this time.
There are rocky weeks and perhaps months ahead for our industry but ultimately they pale in comparison to the human cost of such a crisis.
The 2010s nearly gone. How did that happen? It seems just the other day that I was walking along the banks of the Thames in the darkness of a chilly London night as we ushered in the new millennium.
Tallink is generating enormous sales of Krug and Dom Perignon Champagne, for example, and luxury skincare brands such as Dior and La Mer. Just ensuring supply keeps up with demand is a constant challenge.
I’ve tracked the Ever Rich Duty Free store for many years – in 2015 I wrote the company’s 18-year history – and I never fail to be impressed by the group’s commitment to quality, to culture, to sense of place and to society.
I’ll skip the slight and take some comfort, and my moral compass, instead from two young women whom I met over recent days, one in person and one on the screen.
I wondered at one stage if Thabet had several body doubles such was his ability to be constantly on hand.
The pressure now really kicks in and I must admit to even greater nerves than on the eve of the All Blacks match – and I was a shivering wreck then.