Dubai Duty Free hits $1bn of sales in first half of 2018

DDF aims to double turnover by year-end with expansion at DXB and Al Maktoum

Dubai Duty Free reported $1bn of sales in the first half of 2018 and plans to double turnover by the end of the year. Sarah Dea / The National
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Airport retailer Dubai Duty Free reported a 10 per cent rise in sales to Dh3.67bn ($1bn) in the first half of 2018, helped by new developments at Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Al Maktoum International.

This year "has been a fantastic year for Dubai Duty Free so far,” said Colm McLoughlin, executive vice-chairman and chief executive, in a statement on Thursday. “We have continuously grown our business and are happy to see a double-digit increase for the first half."

With new retail areas operational, and other ongoing retail developments coming on-stream at both airports, DDF is set to reach the $2bn mark at the end of this year, he added.

The results build on 5.6 per cent year-on-year growth in sales in 2017 to Dh7.05bn on the back of a resurgence in tourism numbers, DDF reported in January. The figure reversed a two-year sales decline when the strong US dollar had held back growth, the retailer said at the time.


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Sales growth in the first half of 2018 was driven by liquor, perfumes, and tobacco Dubai Duty Free said.

Dubai Duty Free recorded a total of 12,769,905 individual sales transactions with average daily sales of Dh20.28 million.

Retail outlets in airport departure halls accounted for Dh3.2bn – 88 per cent of the total and an 11 per cent increase over the first half of 2017.

Sales across all concourses saw significant increases with overall transactions in Concourse C in DXB Terminal 3 up 60 per cent over last year. The uptick was mainly due to new retail areas opening in recent months as part of an ongoing refurbishment to expand the concourse to 4,700 square metres, Dubai Duty Free said.

Also at DXB, Concourse A sales were up by 16 per cent, Terminal 2 Departure sales rose 14 per cent, Concourse D sales by 8 per cent, and Concourse B by 6 per cent.

Meanwhile Al Maktoum International Airport Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) has this year completed the redevelopment of the existing departures area, with new gifts, liquor, electronics, perfume and cosmetics space. By year-end, Al Maktoum will house 4,500 sq m of Dubai Duty Free retail space, up from the previous 2,500 sq m.

The company is working to meet rising demand from Chinese visitors passing through Dubai’s airports, who account for 15 per cent of total sales. Dubai Duty Free has recruited 190 Chinese staff to service customers this year alone, it said.