Gerald Lawless Awarded Honorary Doctorate
Gerald Lawless with Alan O’Connell (Year 1 Shannon Student) and a model of Jumeirah’s flagship property; the Burj Al Arab.
Every year, NUI Galway awards honorary degrees to a small number of individuals who have distinguished themselves in various walks of life. At yesterday’s graduation ceremony at Shannon College of Hotel Management, NUI Galway awarded Mr. Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman, Jumeirah Hotel Group, with a Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Mr. Lawless, a native of Galway, graduated from Shannon College of Hotel Management in 1975 and has led a distinguished career in the hotel industry. He is currently Executive Chairman of one of the world’s leading luxury hotel groups, the Jumeriah Hotel Group. Among Jumeirah’s flagship hotels is the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, the world’s most luxurious hotel and frequently referred to as the world’s only seven-star hotel. The Jumeirah Group currently has 17 properties under management in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Maldives, Shanghai, Frankfurt, London, Rome and New York. By the end of 2013 Jumeirah Group intends to have a portfolio of 30 hotels.
Contribution to Industry
In addition to the success of Jumeirah as a company and the success of his personal career, Mr. Lawless has become a key contributor to the promotion of the tourism industry worldwide. 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, Mr. Lawless is a Vice Chairman of the Aviation, Travel and Tourism council of the World Economic Forum (WEF), member of the Dubai Holding Executive Committee and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates National Development Programme (ENDP). Gerald is also a Non-Executive Director at the Travelodge Board where he represents Dubai Holding, and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. Over the past two years both the WTTC and the ATT WEF councils have been working on the electronic visa proposal which would make it much easier for international travelers to visit foreign states.
In recognition of his contribution to the development of the worldwide tourism industry, Mr. Lawless was awarded a Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, by NUI Galway at the Shannon College of Hotel Management Graduation on Thursday, March 8th, 2012.