Dubai Duty Free, the title sponsor of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted a spectacular party in the private gardens of the Ballyliffin Lodge Hotel on the Friday night of the Ireland’s national golfing tournament.
Set under magnificent tipis, the stage was set for an incredible night of food, music and entertainment. The magnificent gardens enjoy spectacular views across the Inishowen peninsula, and, thanks to its elevated position far above the sea level, guests were treated to an amazing spectacle where the sea meets the Donegal sky. The party was hosted by Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, Colm McLoughlin, and his wife Breeda McLoughlin together with Senior Vice President of Marketing at Dubai Duty Free, Sinead El Sabai, and her husband Jihad.
Guests in attendance included Russell Knox, who two days later was crowned winner of the tournament, along with Paul McGinley, Gavin Moyihan, Dylan Frittelli, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Shubhankar Sharma.
Also, in attendance was Des Smyth and his wife Vicki Smyth. Des is the official golf ambassador for Dubai Duty Free.
On what is one of the biggest nights on the social calendar every year, 150 guests were greeted by the beautiful music of pianist James Huish whose melodies fitted the occasion superbly as those who arrived basked in the glorious sunshine at a prosecco reception in the gardens of Ballyliffin Lodge with stunning views of Ballyliffin’s Pollan beach.
While beside the infamous bird of prey, Golden Eagle, Falcon and American Eagle Owls were there to be held and photographed for all guests to enjoy. The Golden Eagle, named Bru went missing two weeks prior to the event and amazingly made his way back home just days before the event, he is the only golden eagle to ever be bred in captivity.
Inside, the décor was unforgettable, inspired by the maritime setting as well as the links to the middle east, sand coloured chairs and soft furnishings combined with hints of blue and anchor motifs, set an elegant yet relaxed vibe under the tipis.
Entertainment was also provided throughout the night with a dress up corner filler with vintage Arabic clothing for guests to try on and be pictured under the stars in.
Guests enjoyed a veritable feast where a taste of Inishowen met a taste of Arabia, which included Inishowen farm beef and Murphy’s stout pie and with an Arabic twist wild mushroom arancini balls with sweet and sour sauce.
As dusk began to turn towards darkness, Extreme Rhythm Drummers grabbed the attention of attendees before fire-eaters joined them in an electrifying 30-minute performance that wowed onlookers.
James Huish and his band then performed late into the night with his unique style, capping a memorable event for all those who were there.
This annual event has been run by Dubai Duty Free each year since they began sponsoring the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2015, and they announced earlier this year that their sponsorship will carry through for at least another four years until 2022.
Speaking at the event, Sinead El Sabai, Senior Vice President of Marketing of Dubai Duty Free, welcomed the guests to the spectacular evening and said;
“We are delighted to host this event every year as it gives everyone a great opportunity to wind down at the halfway stage of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. The first two days of action on the course have been very enjoyable, and our Arabian Night’s Party is a perfect way to celebrate being here once again as the title sponsors of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
“This is our fourth year as title sponsors of this historic tournament, and we were proud to announce earlier this year that we will be continuing our sponsorship up until 2022. Being involved in major sporting events such as this is a key component of Dubai Duty Free’s marketing strategy, and we have seen the value of being involved with the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open since 2015.”
Other sports sponsorships in Ireland include, The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby which took place at the Curragh Racecourse in Co. Kildare on Saturday 30th June. The company are also sponsors of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships which it also owns and organises and the Emirates Airlines Dubai Rugby 7’s.
To date, Dubai Duty Free has received more than 600 industry awards including the Frontier Awards for ‘Airport Retailer of the Year in Single Location’, which was won in 2017 by the operation for the eighth time. For more information on the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open or to purchase tickets see www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com
About Dubai Duty Free
Dubai Duty Free which was founded in 1983, recorded first-year sales of US$20, has grown into one of the biggest travel retail operator in the world with sales turnover of US$1.93 billion in 2017.
Now employing 5,900 people, the operation has consistently raised the benchmark for airport retailing and it continues to grow. Dubai Duty Free currently operates some 38,000sqm of retail space at Dubai International Airport and 2,500 sqm at Al Maktoum International that will grow in line with the massive development plans of Dubai South, which ultimately cover some 80,000sqm of retail.
In addition to its retail operation, Dubai Duty Free operates a Leisure Division which includes The Irish Village, both in Garhoud and Riverland Dubai, The Century Village, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium and The Jumeirah Creekside Hotel.
While the successful running of the shopfloor is a major focus for Dubai Duty Free, the operation is highly committed to promoting Dubai through a series of high level sporting events including the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
To date, Dubai Duty Free has received 600 awards including the Frontier Awards for ‘Airport Retailer of the Year in Single Location’, which was won by the operation for the eighth time.
Dubai Duty Free’s Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Colm McLoughlin was also presented with several awards including the “Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award” and the CEO Middle East Awards for “Retail CEO of the Year”. In addition, he was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of the University (DUniv) by the Middlesex University Dubai, for his contribution to UAE society and outstanding service to the aviation sector as a key player in the region’s retail sector for 34 years.