Head of Tourism and Hospitality, Dubai Holding & Chairman
World Travel & Tourism Council
Gerald Lawless started his career with Forte Hotels which culminated in him setting up and growing Forte’s operations in the Middle East.
After a 23-year career with Forte Hotels, he joined Jumeirah in 1997 and helped establish it as one of the premier luxury hotel brands in the world. 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, Mr. Lawless went on to become President and Group Chief Executive Officer of the Jumeirah Group.
At the beginning of February 2016, having served for 18 years at the helm of the Jumeirah Group, Mr. Lawless assumed a new leadership position responsible for tourism and hospitality in Dubai Holding, the Group’s parent company. Mr. Lawless is also a Chairman Elect of the WTTC and will assume the role at the Annual General Meeting in Dallas in April 2016.
Mr. Lawless is a Graduate of Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland and holds 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., and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is Chairman Elect of the World Travel and Tourism Council; a member of the Global Agenda Council for the Future of Travel and Tourism of the World Economic Forum; a fellow member of the Institute of Hospitality; a member of the International Advisory Board of the Ecole Hôtelière Lausanne. Mr. Lawless is also Chancellor of the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and Honourary President of the Jumeirah Group.