Dubai Duty Free launches charity foundation – 17/09/04

UAE/UK. Dubai Duty Free today unveiled internationally its new charitable foundation to help needy causes, particularly those relating to children.

The idea for the Dubai Duty Free Foundation grew out of the retailer’s initiative in giving away its entire AED 7.1 million (US$1.9 million) day’s takings to charity on the occasion of its 20th anniversary on 20 December 2003.

“I think this will grow into something very meaningful,” said Dubai Duty Free Managing Director Colm McLoughlin, who masterminded the project and for whom the desire to make a meaningful contribution on a grand scale has been a personal mission.

The Foundation has been approved by the Dubai government under the auspices of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who is also President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation. McLoughlin will be chairman and a board has just been appointed.

“We will designate certain charities, some of which will be local but most of which will be children-based,” McLoughlin told The Moodie Report.

Collection boxes will be set up throughout Dubai Duty Free’s operations to encourage travellers to donate spare change to the cause. Other fund-raising events will be developed over time.

FROM THE PUBLISHER: The Dubai Duty Free Foundation was announced at the Dubai Duty Free-sponsored race day at Newbury race course. The Moodie Report is proud to have become the first international donor to the charity under unusual circumstances. Following an interview between publisher Martin Moodie and Colm McLoughlin in which the latter announced the set-up of the charity, the Dubai Duty Free Foundation Handicap, a 24-horse, seven furlong event, was then run.

Bizarrely, given his almost legendary ability to pick non-winners, The Moodie Report’s man at trackside somehow landed a £5 each way 29 to 1 winner on the tote, called Chateau Nicol. As a result, it was with great pleasure that he made the first donation (pictured) to the Dubai Duty Free Foundation. May this be the start of something much bigger.

For an industry so synonymous with the meeting of cultures and humanity, duty free worldwide does not always enjoy the most benevolent of reputations. The Dubai Duty Free Foundation shows what is possible for an industry of such internationalism – and not inconsiderable wealth – to achieve.


Dubai Duty Free completes Charity Drive – 17/01/04

Dubai Duty Free hits US$380 million in 2003 – 31/12/03

Dubai Duty Free sets amazing sales high as anniversary celebrations see records tumble – 21/12/03

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