Passengers passing through Abu Dhabi airports last year spent a record Dh809.5 million (US$220.3m) on gifts, cigarettes, perfume and many other Duty Free items, it was revealed yesterday.
Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) said that Duty Free revenues increased by a staggering 24 per cent last year compared with 2011, setting a new record for the company.
The company said this was partly driven by a big increase in passenger numbers. Last year, the airport's numbers grew by 18.9 per cent with 14.7 million passengers.
ADAC added that it expected Duty Free revenues to more than double to reach Dh1.5 billion by 2017, when the new Abu Dhabi Midfield terminal is scheduled to open, boosting capacity to 20 million passengers a year.
Speaking at the opening of Trinity Forum 2013, the airport commercial revenues conference, Mohammed Al Bulooki, the ADAC chief commercial officer, said that the figures also showed both passengers buying more expensive items in Duty Free than they had the previous year and buying more items in total.
Mr Al Bulooki told the 300 delegates at the conference that new airport projects set to be completed this year included a new Armani store, while Burberry planned to double the size of its airport concession.
The news follows Dubai Duty Free's announcement last month that it made Dh5.9bn in revenues last year.
It said sales included 23,000 iPads, two tonnes of gold and more than two million bottles of perfume as the 57 million passengers passing through Dubai International lifted sales to an all-time high.
These generated almost Dh1.5bn in profits last year, more than that of retail brands such as Harrods and Selfridges.