Gerald Lawless is the recent CEO of Jumeirah Group, leading the team that built it into a global brand.
Lawless joined Jumeirah in 1997 as its Founding CEO. He started with a team of less than 30 employees and grew it to more than 14,500 by the time he stepped down in early 2016. During this time Jumeirah’s international portfolio expanded to 23 hotels in 12 destinations by February 2016 with more than 100 food and beverage outlets. Other company divisions included Talise (Jumeirah’s wellness brand), Wild Wadi Waterpark and The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management.
Lawless has built Jumeirah’s service philosophy on its brand promise of STAY DIFFERENT. It recognises that everyone is different which is why each of the Jumeirah properties is different and has a solid connection with its local community and culture. He personally took part in every orientation for new employees who joined the organisation through the years.
Lawless started his career with Forte Hotels which culminated in him setting up and growing Forte’s operations in the Middle East. Taking on the challenge of launching Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel, after the successful introduction of Jumeirah Beach Hotel to an eager travelling public, Lawless went on to become President and Group Chief Executive Officer of the Jumeirah Group.
At the beginning of 2016 Lawless assumed a new leadership position responsible for tourism and hospitality in Dubai Holding, the Group’s parent company. He is also head of the World Travel and Tourism Council, and is on the Future of Mobility Council for the World Economic Forum.
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