Saudia Arabia’s KKIA unfurls T3 duty free expansion

By Luke Barras-hill |

King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) has unveiled the first stage of its much-vaunted duty free expansion project across Terminals 3 and 4.

His Excellency Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej, President of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and Ayman Abu Ababa, CEO of Riyadh Airports Company (RAC), inaugurated the overhauled duty free market – understood to be partially open at this stage – at Terminal 3 earlier this week.

The visit coincided with an inspection of the site to develop the international Terminals 1 and 2.

Lagardère Travel Retail runs duty free exclusively in T1 and T2 under its existing concession contract, which it won as part of a consortium with Saudi Airlines Catering Company (SACC) and Arabian Ground Handling Logistic Company in 2016, with rights extending to the new T3 and T4.

TRBusiness has reached out to Lagardère Travel Retail and RAC and aims to bring you further comment and images of the new T3 duty free market in due course.

In comments shared with Saudi Arabia’s Al Ekhbariya television channel carried by local and regional media including Saudi Gazette, Gulf News and Zawya, GACA President Al-Dualiej confirmed the leasing or rentable areas of the duty free zone have increased to around 4,700sq m versus more than 2,000sq m previously.

Travellers will encounter a range of international and local products spanning the likes of perfumes, electronics and leathergoods available under Lagardère Travel Retail’s Aelia Duty Free fascia, dubbed ‘Riyadh Duty Free’.

Commercial upgrades ‘set to complete this year’

In a LinkedIn post, Abdulaziz Al-Asaker, Chief Commercial Officer at RAC, confirmed that the first phase duty free expansion at T3 and T4 falls within the framework of development plans for the airport’s international commercial halls, all stages of which are due to complete in 2024.

“A total area of more than 3,000sq m has been allocated to increase travellers’ shopping options and enhance their experience in the travel lounges,” stated Al-Asaker in the post.

“The expansion has contributed to increasing the number of products from 4,000 to 6,000 for the first phase of the project, which enhances growth opportunities and contributes to improving the services provided to travellers and visitors.”

GACA and RAC inaugurated the new duty free marketplace in the international Terminal 3 on 2 April.

He adds that on completion of the project, the number of available products are expected to reach 8,000 and contribute towards enhanced revenues.

GACA first announced the development projects for Terminals 3 and 4 in 2019, with RAC marking a soft-opening of Terminals 3 and 4 in November 2022.

In a trade exclusive video interview with TRBusiness in the months before, Abudulaziz Al-Asaker said travellers would be treated to a commercial ‘masterpiece’ and never-seen-before assortment (you can watch the full video and read an extensive interview via the links at the footer).

The terminals are able to accommodate approximately 13 million passengers annually, supporting the airport’s total capacity.

The crowning of the new duty free space in April coincides with the launch of new F&B tender packages across T1 and T2.

Click on the links below for further background…

READ MORE: Riyadh Airports Company announces new F&B tender packages for KKIA

READ MORE: ‘Nothing less than best in class outlets and shops at new terminals,’ says KKIA

READ MORE: Interview with Abdulaziz Al-Asaker, Riyadh Airports Co

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