Dubai Duty Free assists in hosting major Irish trade mission to UAE

Supporting Ireland abroad: (L-r) Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon, Dubai Duty Free Vice President-Marketing Sinead El Sibai, Gillian O’Neill, Breeda McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Jumeirah Group President and CEO Gerald Lawless, Minister Richard Bruton and Lorraine Martensson

UAE. A major trade and investment mission from Ireland to the Middle East – including senior government figures – concluded on 9 January with an event hosted by the Irish Business Network (IBN), including senior Dubai Duty Free executives. The reception was held in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and the Embassy of Ireland, UAE.

The mission, which was headed by Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, attracted many Irish companies keen to strengthen commercial ties with the region.

Ireland’s premier Enda Kenny speaks at the Irish Business Network event this week

The IBN social event attracted over 550 guests to the Dubai Duty Free-owned Jumeirah Creekside Hotel where they enjoyed an Irish themed evening. This included a welcome address from Galway man Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free. He outlined the phenomenal growth of Dubai and Dubai Duty Free over the past 30 years, which has seen the duty free operation grow from a US$20 million start-up in 1983 to a US$1.8 billion business, making it the largest single airport retailer in the world.

(L-r) Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin, Irish premier Enda Kenny, Jumeirah Group President and CEO Gerald Lawless and Dubai Duty Free Vice President of Finance Bernard Creed at the event

Ireland’s UAE Ambassador to the UAE, Patrick Hennessey introduced the Taoiseach, who provided the audience with an update on the Irish economy. The Taoiseach praised the advanced level and major achievements of the UAE and stressed that the visit by the delegation heralded a strong start to establishing strategic economics links with the UAE.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny greets Dubai Duty Free President George Horan

IBN Chairman (and Dubai Duty Free Vice President of Finance) Bernard Creed said: “This visit by An Taoiseach and Minister Bruton, coming hot on the heels of the visit by Minister Coveney last October, underlines the importance of the GCC to the Irish economy. We are delighted to have had such a high-level mission in the UAE and appreciate the commitment shown by An Taoiseach and Minister Bruton in taking the time to meet the business and wider Irish community living here in the UAE.”

The Irish community in Dubai came out in force for the high-profile reception
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