Dubai Duty Free celebrates as Chinese passengers return to the airport

By Kristiane Sherry |

Dubai Duty Free is celebrating as passengers from China return to Dubai following the lifting of travel restrictions.

Travel retailer Dubai Duty Free (DDF) has welcomed the first major influx of Chinese passengers into the country since pandemic-related travel restrictions were introduced in 2020.

Travellers from Beijing, Shanghai, Xianyang, Shenzhen, and Chengdu have all now headed to the Emirate. 

DDF’s HR Services Vice President Yousef Al Khalid and Wang Yi, Chinese Vice Consul General to Dubai greeted some passengers as they arrived. 

The retailer’s Chinese staff, alongside other managers and officials from the Chinese Consulate in Dubai handed out gift packs to the arriving passengers.

Items in the packs included a consulate booklet about the UAE, Dubai Duty Free promotional flyers in Mandarin and other gift items.

“China remains one of our key markets at Dubai Duty Free accounting for 7.15% of our business,” said Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO.

“We are delighted to see the growing number of Chinese travellers coming to Dubai and it was good to have this special welcome reception.”

Chinese passengers account for over 7% of Dubai Duty Free customers.

Chinese passengers account for over 7% of Dubai Duty Free customers.

Other senior team members in attendance included Salim Ibrahim, Senior Manager Retail Sales, and Sunshine Bian, Resourcing & Employee Development Manager. 

He Chao was also in attendance from the Chinese Consulate, alongside officials from Dubai Airports, Immigration and Dubai Police. 

Dubai Duty Free: efforts to attract Chinese passengers

DDF currently employs 314 Chinese staff, and is working to attract more customers from the country. 

Activities include targeted promotions and listing products specifically for Chinese New Year and the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.

The retailer is also placing dual signage in store, and offering WeChat Pay, UnionPay and Alipay as payment options.

The retailer has prepared gift packs to welcome back the passenger group.

The retailer has prepared gift packs to welcome back the passenger group.

DDF is also active on WeChat and Weibo, both major social media platforms in China. The retailer has accrued almost 120,000 followers across both networks. 

In addition, DDF was recently awarded the Best Global Partner accolade by Trip.com Group at its Global Partner Summit in Singapore. It was rewarded for its performance and strategic partnership with Ctrip, one of the businesses in the Trip.com Group umbrella. 

Last week, DDF kickstarted its 40th anniversary celebrations with a dramatic skydive above the city.

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