Record year for Dubai Duty Free


By Rory Jones

Dubai Duty Free expects to double its sales to more than Dh10 billion (US$2.72bn) by 2018, having reached record heights last year as millions of tourists visited the emirate.

Dubai Duty Free
Dubai Duty Free

The airport retailer enjoyed its best sales performance yet last year, with revenues up 15 per cent to Dh5.3bn. Colm McLoughlin, the executive vice chairman, predicted sales this year would touch Dh6bn.

“We can look back on 2011 as a great year in which the operation went from strength to strength and sales soared to a new high,” he said. “Our retail operations are positioned well in the airport, we offer good value and we have a very good team of staff. We expect to double our sales from this year’s level in about 2018.”

Last year’s figures maintain Dubai Duty Free’s position as the single largest airport retailer in the world in terms of turnover.

Mr McLoughlin said nearly 50 per cent of passengers leaving the airport buy from duty free, compared with about 20 per cent in other major aviation hubs.

The retailer recorded more than 22.4 million sales transactions with an average of more than 61,000 sales purchases per day at an average transaction value of US$48 (Dh176).

Dubai Duty Free benefited, along with the rest of the retail market in Dubai, from an influx of free-spending tourists from Russia and China.

The emirate was also helped by the Arab Spring, which persuaded many tourists to holiday in Dubai rather than elsewhere in the region. More info