When Dubai came to Dublin

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

Passengers arriving at Dublin Airport last weekend may have been forgiven for thinking they had landed at the wrong airport.

For there to greet visitors in the arrivals hall of the Emerald Isle’s main gateway was a signage blitz for Dubai Duty Free, the famed travel retailer from the Middle East.

A closer look of course reveals that the signs were for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby – the UAE retailer’s first-ever sponsorship of Ireland’s premier racing event at the famed Curragh course

Exposure is of course the critical attraction for the sponsor of such a high-profile event and Dubai Duty Free didn’t miss a trick as our photos reveal.

The images – and the sponsorship – represented a neat ‘coming home’ for a man who left these shores over a quarter of a century ago on secondment from Irish airports retailer Aer Rianta to lead the consultancy team that set up Dubai Duty Free.

We’re talking about Colm McLoughlin, of course, who stayed on in Dubai long after his original secondment to drive the incredible 25-year success story of Dubai Duty Free. The Galwayman remains as true to his roots as he ever was, however, and this particular sponsorship, we suspect, gave him as much satisfaction as any of the plethora of events that Dubai Duty Free has sponsored over the past quarter of a century.

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