Dubai Duty Free now the largest airport retail business in the world

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By Robin Chatterjee,Senior Associate Editor  www.gulfnews.com

Dubai: Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman, Dubai Duty Free (DDF), is an accomplished time traveller.

     Image Credit: Gulf News Archives     View of Dubai Duty Free at The Dubai International Airport Turminal one.
Image Credit: Gulf News Archives View of Dubai Duty Free at The Dubai International Airport Turminal one.

The Irishman who helped set up DDF in 1983, in what was once the first of Dubai’s three airports, and took the brand to a position where even the sky seemed within limits, traverses back and forth over a span of three decades upon the path that he has contributed in fashioning into the making of a super brand in the world of retail.

DDF has been growing since its inception in terms of business, profits and manpower. As it stands between completing 30 years in the business and spreading its retail penetration even wider, thanks to the growth of Dubai’s aviation industry, McLoughlin testifies that he and his team now oversee the largest airport retail business in the world.

He has another confession to make. It is in keeping with the constant innovations that the brand makes in reaching out to its ever widening base of customers.

“We are always on the lookout for new trends and innovative ways to do business,” said McLoughlin. “If something new arises we will watch for it and be ready for it. We have a study group going on at the moment and at the end of February we will have a full launch of 3,000 products available online. Customers can go in and pre-order and collect their goods at the arrival and departure lounges in the airport before they board flights. We will test this idea to gauge its merits and demerits and if we can do more to improve it then we will. The technical infrastructure for the launch is almost in place.” More info