Dubai Duty Free – world’s biggest single airport retail operation!

Last year, Dubai Duty Free airport recorded $1.1 billion sales, due to which it has notched the top rank for the biggest single airport retail operation in the world, based on sales analysis.

Dubai Duty Free was placed ahead of London Heathrow and Seoul Incheon International Airport (both just exceeded the $1 billion sales mark) by the independent industry experts, Generation Research.

Dubai Duty Free, which had sales of $1.1 billion in 2008, "accounted for five per cent of the airport duty free business and three per cent of the wider duty free and travel retail global business."

A double-digit growth, year-on-year in passenger traffic during June, was recorded by Dubai International Airport, or DIA, which is home to Dubai Duty Free, apart from being sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of international passenger traffic volumes. It dealt with 19.5 million passengers during the first six months, which is five per cent up from a year earlier.

A jump by 10.3 per cent was seen in passenger traffic at the airport, to 3.36 million in June, at the three terminals handled by the company.

The airport's global duty free and travel retail business soared to $37 billion in 2008 - which came as an increase of 8.8 per cent over the previous year - from which airport duty free sales comprised $21.8 billion.

Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports, said: "For the past several years Dubai Duty Free has been listed amongst the top three airport retailers in the world in terms of sales. Therefore it is a great achievement to be placed at the top."

The 2009 World Airport survey conducted by Skytrax Dubai also gave Duty Free the crown of 'Best Duty Free Shopping' in the world in June.

Nearly 8.6 million passengers at 196 airports were interviewed by the UK-based consultancy group on all aspects of their travel experience, which saw Dubai Duty Free topping in the best duty free shopping category, ahead of Singapore Changi Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol airport.