Dubai Duty Free to increase arrivals business with upgrades

By Charlotte Turner |

Shortly after expanding its retail offer in Terminal 2 departures – which recorded sales growth +23% in Q1 2014 – Dubai Duty Free President, George Horan reveals that DDF will now turn its attention to its arrivals business which it intends to increase in the next few years.


As previously reported, Dubai Duty Free’s first quarter sales hit $479.5m, up +10% over the same period in 2013, signalling a positive start to the year. Sales rose across all three terminals: the strongest being +23% in Terminal 2, and +11% in Terminal 3.


“Before T2 was quite congested, the gates were too close together and it was mayhem over there, but they’ve done a very nice job now with the departures in Terminal 2 and now it provides a substantially different shopping offer,” says Horan.


“Presently we’re redesigning and we’re going to enlarge the offer in the arrivals hall, to address demand. We think people will buy more liquor and cigarettes, particularly when coming into Dubai.”



The expansion and upgrade of Terminal 2 late last year provided DDF with an opportunity to extend its product range and boost sales in T2, which account for 8.3% of the retailer’s total revenue. The last phase of that development will be the opening of a new arrivals shop in T2.


Horan also reveals that Terminal 1 will see some changes as passengers arriving at the new Concourse D – to open next year – will come through to the T1 arrivals area.


But before Concourse D opens, alleviating capacity constraints and congestion, Horan admits that long delays for passengers at passport control must be addressed.


Dubai Duty Free President George Horan.



“The problem with passport control is that there are enough desks, but there doesn’t seem to have enough immigration officers. People’s expectations are enormous when they arrive here in Dubai. There are 65-66 million passengers coming through Dubai Airport, passengers are from all over the world so the security risk is enormous. I’m not exactly defending what is happening here, because, it’s true, you spend much too long in the queue and it affects travellers appetites to shop.”


Dubai International Airport, Concourse A in Terminal 3.


However, with the introduction of e-gates five years ago, Horan says that delays for passengers have been reduced. Well, at least for Dubai residents. Although Dubai Duty Free has little control over immigration, it can make its arrivals shopping more appealing to customers once they pass through passport control.


“Our problem in arrivals is the shop is in the wrong place in Terminal 3 and we’re trying to have the shop repositioned in the flow of the passenger. So we’re talking to civil aviation, or they’re talking to us about redesigning the arrivals area and if this happens we will reposition the shop so it’s actually in passengers’ footfall. They will have to go through it somehow or another.”


TR Sustainability Week: Bringing DEI into focus in global travel retail

Sustainability is a broader church than addressing environmental concerns. In this TR...

Middle East

Istanbul Airport 2022 carbon emissions fall 21% vs. 2019 as it targets 2050 net-zero

Istanbul Airport has released its 2021-22 Sustainability Report update, which shows a 21% fall...


The Sustainability Pitch Session 1: Chilly's

TRBusiness is delighted to announce the first Sustainability Pitch session of Travel Retail...

image description

In the Magazine

TRBusiness Magazine is free to access. Read the latest issue now.

E-mail this link to a friend