The world’s largest airport retailer in terms of sales, Dubai Duty Free (DDF) recorded a whopping $1.93bn in sales in 2017 compared to $20m in the first year of operations in 1984. Retail sales reached $2bn in 2018, a 4.3 percent rise over the previous year, in line with the expansion of Dubai International Airport. But executive vice chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin hopes to grow sales to $3bn and staff to 9,000 by 2022. The airport retailer’s five top selling categories for the year included liquor followed by perfumes, cigarettes, cosmetics and electronics.
2018 had marked the retailer’s 35th anniversary. McLoughlin said at the time that Dubai Duty Free will continue to enhance its retail operation in 2019 while maintaining a busy events and promotional calendar. DDF, part of the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), operates over 35,400 sq m of retail space at Dubai International and 2,500 sq m at Al Maktoum International, though the number is set to grow to 80,000 sq m. In 2018, the lucrative airport retail operator signed a four-year agreement to become an official partner of the European Tour. The move follows the announcement in May that DDF has extended its sponsorship of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in a similar deal, which is expected to take the naming rights of the event until 2022.