Dubai Duty Free (DDF) sales are expected to cross the $2 billion mark in 2015. Annual sales are projected to hit $1.9 billion (Dh6.95 billion) in 2014 as it was another busy and successful year that saw a number of significant developments for the operation.
Established on December 20, 1983, DDF has witnessed significant increases in its annual sales every year till now and has become the leading airport retailer in the world. It crossed the $100 million mark sales in 1992, touched $500 million in 2004 and crossed $1 billion in 2008.
DDF was announced the largest single airport retail operation in the world based on sales figures of $1.8 billion in 2013, annual sales analysis by Generations Research revealed last October.
DDF marked its 31st anniversary with a 25 per cent discount on merchandise across three days — from midnight on December 17 until the operation's anniversary on December 20. Total sales for the three days topped $51.74 million.
Over the years, DDF's retail operation has grown dramatically, in line with the expansion plans of Dubai International Airport and the airlines, in particular Emirates.
At DDF, 2014 began with the extension of The Irish Village. The Irish Village, which is part of DDF's leisure portfolio, increased its outdoor capacity by 70 per cent. DDF is also a supporter and partner of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).
DDF also supports sporting events held inside and outside the UAE. Sponsor of the UIM XCAT world series of powerboat racing, the retail operation supported the first leg held at the Dubai International Marine Club. DDF also supported the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which was won by Scotland's Stephen Gallacher. The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, a WTA premier event, was won by Venus Williams while Roger Federer won his sixth crown in the tournament in February 2014. The Dubai Duty Free Men's Open 2013 was named ‘The ATP World Tour 500 — Tournament of the Year' by the ATP.
In April, DDF received the ‘Best Airport Travel Retailer of the Year' and ‘Best New Shop Opening' at the DFNI Global Awards for Travel Retail Excellence in London.
In May, for the 13th consecutive year, DDF received the ‘Best Airport in Duty Free Shopping' at the Business Traveller Middle East awards ceremony. In the same month, the $1.5 million Dubai Duty Free Sports Complex was officially inaugurated at Lycee Jean Baptiste Pointe du Salbe in Haiti.
In June, DDF's submission on its $1.75 billion syndicated loan repricing was recognised as ‘Best Restructuring in the Middle East' by EMEA Finance Awards held in London.
In September, Colm McLoughlin, DDF executive vice chairman, was honoured for his ‘Outstanding Contribution for Business' at the 5th CEO Middle East Awards in Dubai. In October, McLoughlin was presented with the ‘Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award' for his success and support of the Irish community in the UAE by Irish President Michael D Higgins.
In December, DDF won the Global Traveller's Award for ‘Best Duty Free Shops' by the publishers of US-based magazine Global Traveller at an event held in Los Angeles, USA.
Source: Khaleej Times