Our daily feature celebrates memorable scenes, moments, launches and campaigns from the global aviation and travel retail sphere.
On 1 and 2 June this year, two great individuals (pictured above) from vastly different walks of life will celebrate extraordinary milestones. Between them they have a collective 102 years of leadership.
Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin (shown with his wife Breeda to the right) is well-used to meeting the rich and famous. But even for the long-time travel retail supremo, it is a particular honour when he is greeted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
So, what is so important about the dates mentioned earlier? The Queen, now aged 92, has led the United Kingdom (and the Commonwealth realms) since 6 February 1952 (though she was crowned on 2 June 1953 after the death of her father King George VI). On 2 June this year then, it will be an incredible 66 years since that coronation. She is by some distance the longest-serving monarch in British history.
And 1 June? Simple. On that day Colm McLoughlin will have served 50 years in travel retail (he has led Dubai Duty Free since 1983 and been in the duty free sector since 1961, when he started work as Special Assistant to Bill Maloney, General Manager Freeport Shops at Shannon Airport, Ireland). He is by some distance the longest-serving leader in the duty free industry.
This story carries other notable links between Dubai, the UK and the duty free industry. The pictured meeting took place yesterday at day two of the 24th Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend at Newbury Racecourse outside London. Her Majesty’s horse in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden Stakes Division 2 was Gold Stick (bred by Dubai ruler H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin stable), which ran a commendable fourth.
Poignantly, Division 1 of the same race was won by Fox Chairman, a previously unraced 3yo owned by King Power Racing. That organisation was created in 2017 by King Power International Founder and Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, killed so tragically in a helicopter accident near the grounds of Leicester City Football Club on 27 October last year. The horse that bore his title did him proud.
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