Dubai Duty Free’s Colm McLoughlin to retire

Dubai Duty Free’s Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin is to retire


Dubai Duty Free’s Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin is to retire at the end of May after 41 years at the helm of the company and 55 years in the travel-retail industry.  

McLoughlin will maintain an advisory role and will remain as Chairman of the Dubai Duty Free Foundation.

Ramesh Cidambi, current COO of Dubai Duty Free, will become Managing Director from June, reporting to H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Duty Free.

Salah Tahlak, current Joint COO, will become Deputy Managing Director of Dubai Duty Free. 

McLoughlin was a member of the original consultancy team from Aer Rianta, the Irish Airport Authority, which was contracted by the Dubai government to launch the new duty free operation in 1983. Reporting to then Director General, Mohi-Din BinHendi, he remained in Dubai as General Manager of the new operation, becoming Managing Director in 2011. He was later named Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free and its subsidiary businesses, which include The Irish Village restaurants, The Century Village, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium and the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel.

Under McLoughlin’s leadership, Dubai Duty Free has grown from a business of $20m in 1984 to $2.16bn in 2023.