If you want to see one of the biggest transformations of the twentieth century, look no further than Dubai. In fewer than 50 years, a small desert town has become a bustling metropolis with a thriving economy and some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.

Dubai Duty Free started in 1983 and its president George Horan has been with the company from the very beginning. Like the city, the company has grown exponentially in recent years as the rich and famous flock to the oasis in the Middle East through Dubai Airport.

George, in some ways, is like the majority of Dubai’s population. They are expats from all over the world who have come to make their fortunes in the UAE and settled into desert life. George, who was born in Ireland, grew up in the west of the country in County Clare. Constantly wet and raining, incredibly green, and bordering the North Atlantic, it couldn’t be more different to the skyscrapers of Dubai.