By Elsa Baxter
Dubai Duty Free's sales hit $1.1bn, put it ahead of London Heathrow.
Dubai Duty Free recorded sales of $1.1bn last year making it the biggest airport retail operation in the world.
The sales analysis by Generation Research places Dubai Duty Free ahead of London Heathrow and Seoul Incheon International Airport, which both saw sales hit the $1bn mark.
Sheikh 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.”
Last year the global duty free and travel retail business increased to $37bn, an increase of 8.8% over the previous year, according to the research firm, of which airport duty free sales accounted for $21.8bn.
With sales of $1.1bn in 2008, Dubai Duty Free accounts for 5% of the airport duty free business and 3% of the wider duty free and travel retail global business.
Colm McLoughlin, managing director of Dubai Duty Free said: “We are obviously delighted to achieve the number one spot based on our sales of $1.1bn.”
Dubai Duty Free celebrated its 25th anniversary in December. The retail operation now covers 15,000 square metres and has 3,500 members of staff.