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WTTC Summit 2011: Gerald Lawless leads Jumeirah to new heights

Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman of Jumeirah Group, is hospitality’s man of the moment. He has just rounded off an incredibly successful week in Dubai when he was honoured with the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2011 “Leadership Award”, whilst the iconic Burj Al Arab was voted “Middle East’s Leading Hotel” at 2011 World Travel Awards.

He is a panellist at this week’s WTTC Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas, and is participating in the session: “The Business of Doing Business,” alongside Doug Anderson, President & CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel; Kah Peng Aw, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board; Charles Petruccelli, President, Global Travel Services, American Express; and Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive, Virgin Atlantic Airways.

(Gerald Lawless being interviewed by BTN at the WTTC Global Tourism Summit in Las Vegas)

Gerald Lawless is incredibly well placed to share his thoughts on business travel. Earlier this month he was chosen as the recipient of the AHIC 2011 “Leadership Award” for his success in driving the Jumeirah Group forward in its ambition to become one of the most distinctive and innovative hospitality groups in the world.

The successful strategy is illustrated by the fact that the Jumeirah Group announced that average occupancy rates reached over 85 percent in Dubai beachside properties for the first four months of 2011, whilst the Group has already opened three new hotels opened in 2011, in Dubai, China and the Maldives, and at least four more to follow.

(The iconic Burj al Arab voted “Middle East’s Leading Hotel” at this month’s World Travel Awards 2011 Middle East Ceremony)

Jumeirah walked off with top honours at the World Travel Awards 2011 Middle East Ceremony held at the Armani Hotel Dubai. It won “Middle East’s Leading Hotel” for Burj al Arab and “Middle East’s Leading Meetings & Conference Resort” for the Madinat Jumeirah.

Gerald Lawless joined Jumeirah in Dubai as Managing Director in 1997. His remit was to develop a hospitality portfolio that would deliver a completely different experience. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Wild Wadi Water Park, and Burj Al Arab quickly set the standard for the regional and international growth to follow.

(Gerald Lawless and Edmund O’Sullivan discuss hospitality’s hot topics at AHIC 2011)

In January 2007, he was appointed Executive Chairman of the Jumeirah Group and continues to lead its ambitious growth to become the most distinctive and innovative hospitality group in the world. In that same year Burj al Arab was voted “World’s Leading Hotel” by World Travel Awards, a title it has managed to hold on to ever since.

Gerald spent the first 23 years of his career with Forte Hotels managing properties in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ireland and the Caribbean. In 1991 he established Forte’s Middle East office in Dubai, and oversaw growth in the region from three to twenty hotels in six years.

He is an Honour’s Graduate of Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland and was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management by the Johnson & Wales University, State of Rhode Island in the U.S.A.

He is a member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and a Fellow member of the Institute of Hospitality (formerly HCIMA). In addition, Gerald is a Member of the Board of Directors of DIFX, Member of the Board of Directors of Tatweer, Member of the Dubai Holding Executive Committee and Member of the Board of ENDP. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of The Emirates Academy.

Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman, Jumeirah Group @ WTTC Summit 2011 from Breaking Travel News

The WTTC Global Travel & Tourism Summit takes palce at the Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, 17-19 May 20011. To find out more visit