May 31 2024  |  People

Gulf Beverages has hailed the strength of its decades-long collaboration with Dubai Duty Free

By GTR Magazine Editor



Gulf Beverages executives present Colm McLoughlin with a 44-year-old Bushmills whiskey as a symbol of deep respect and gratitude. From left: Salim AR, Gulf Beverages Chief Commercial Officer, Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free's Executive Vice Chairman & CEO; Ramesh Cidambi, Dubai Duty Free Managing Director Designate and Gulf Beverages' Group Business Manager - Travel Retail, Chirag Aggarwal

“Few partnerships in the travel retail channel have been as significant as the one between Gulf Beverages and Dubai Duty Free, setting new standards of excellence and fostering a legacy of growth and mutual respect.” That is according to drinks distributor, Gulf Beverages.

As Dubai Duty Free bids farewell to its esteemed Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Colm McLoughlin, Gulf Beverages has honoured this milestone with a notable gesture of appreciation.

A pillar of the industry

As Gulf Beverages noted, McLoughlin's tenure at Dubai Duty Free is a story of visionary leadership and transformation. Since the company's inception in 1983, McLoughlin has been instrumental in scaling Dubai Duty Free to one of the largest travel retail operators globally.

In acknowledgment of McLoughlin's contributions, Gulf Beverages presented him with a 44-year-old Bushmills whiskey as a symbol of deep respect and gratitude.

Limited to just 40 bottles, the rare 44-Year-Old is the oldest Bushmills expression ever released. The single malt Irish whiskey was crafted at the Old Bushmills Distillery, exclusively for Dubai Duty Free, to celebrate the travel retailer’s 40th Anniversary in 2023. Gulf Beverages is the exclusive distributor of Bushmills in travel retail and duty free in the Gulf Region.

Gulf Beverages’ Chief Commercial Officer, Salim AR, and Group Business Manager – Travel Retail, Chirag Aggarwal, expressed pride in the longstanding partnership, emphasizing the honor of commemorating such a significant chapter in Dubai Duty Free’s history.

A key player in travel retail

Gulf Beverages FZE was created in 2008 as a subsidiary of the African+ Eastern Group and has since emerged as the region’s premier alcohol beverage supply chain and logistics firm. Its extensive reach includes supplying travel retail duty free operators with top-tier brands of spirits, wine, champagne and beer. While its focus remains on the Gulf, the business is fast expanding across IMEA with a growing customer list in Africa and the Indian Sub-continent.

According to Gulf Beverages, its collaboration with Dubai Duty Free “transcends typical business interactions, as it is rooted in shared values of excellence and a commitment to enriching traveler experiences”. This partnership has facilitated numerous successful initiatives, including exclusive product launches and joint marketing efforts that have captivated consumers and enhanced the travel retail environment.

As a preferred distribution partner for Dubai Duty Free, Gulf Beverages has supported the growth of the travel retailer’s Spirits category from its portfolio of international alcohol brands, representing many of them on an exclusive basis in duty free across the IMEA region. The company’s range of related services includes brand management, the provision of professionally trained ambassadors, creation and execution of HPPs and innovative launches.

Gulf Beverages’ Salim AR commented, “We are delighted to celebrate our relationship with Dubai Duty Free and, especially, to recognize the inspirational leadership of Colm McLoughlin. Over many years we have worked in close partnership with Colm, Ramesh Cidambi and the Dubai Duty Free team on their mission to transform the Premium Spirits category with an almost constant pipeline of exciting launches for shoppers to enjoy, making Dubai Duty Free a go-to shopping destination for discerning consumers.

Looking forward

Gulf Beverages’ Group Business Manager – Travel Retail, Chirag Aggarwal added, “With new leadership on the horizon for Dubai Duty Free, the groundwork laid by McLoughlin has created a solid foundation for the retailer’s continued growth and success”. Gulf Beverages remains dedicated to its alliance with Dubai Duty Free, looking forward to future collaborative achievements that will persist in raising the bar in the travel retail market.


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