Abu Dhabi Airports yesterday awarded contracts to two of the world's most innovative duty-free operators, Aer Rianta International and Lagardere Capital, to provide duty-free concessions in the Midfield Terminal Building (MTB).
The Aer Rianta International group (ARI), a leading airport retail management company with operations at airports in Europe, New Zealand, North America and the Middle East, will design and operate duty-free space dedicated to perfumes, cosmetics, skincare, sunglasses and jewellery. Lagardere, a global leader in travel retail, will oversee the tobacco, confectionery, and fine foods categories, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Capital Group.
The tender process started in February last year. Retail operators were asked to submit concepts which would capture the essence of Arabian hospitality, combined with retail execution that would offer sensational shopping experiences to the 30 million passengers who are expected to use the MTB when it opens.
Ali Majed Al Mansouri, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, said, "Offering an unrivalled, sensational travel experience to passengers sits at the heart of everything we aim to deliver at the Midfield Terminal Building - the future gateway to the capital city. We received several very strong bids for these contracts, but Aer Rianta International and Lagardere Capital came up with ideas that will set new benchmarks in airport retail. We selected these two companies as their technologically-advanced, unique concepts were perfectly aligned with our ambitions. With them both on board, we are confident that the MTB retail offering will impress travellers, creating a distinctive sense of purpose and sense of place that they will want to experience again and again."
Commenting on the win ARI CEO Jack MacGowan said "This is a very proud moment for ARI and its partners worldwide and I'd like to pay tribute to the entire ARI project team who worked tirelessly on this submission. Delivering ADAC's vision of "Sensational Experiences" was at the heart of our proposal and we are excited at the prospect of seeing our innovative designs, marketing campaigns and retail concepts brought to life at the new Midfield Terminal. I'd also like to commend the team at Abu Dhabi Airports for challenging the traditional conventions of the airport / retailer relationship. This really gives us the best opportunity to create an iconic duty free offering and ultimately convert many more passengers to customers," said MacGowan.
"Lagardere Capital, a Joint Venture between Abu Dhabi Capital Group, an Abu Dhabi based Investment Company, and Lagardere Travel Retail, a global travel retail leader, is honoured to have been selected by Abu Dhabi Airports as a core Duty Free operator at the Midfield Terminal Building in Abu Dhabi" said Jassim Alseddiqi, Board Member of Abu Dhabi Capital Group. "We have created a bespoke Duty Free vision for Abu Dhabi airports: "Bringing Abu Dhabi to the World". Our mission will be to enable passengers using the Midfield Terminal Building to discover the essence of Abu Dhabi, experiencing the combination of a rich heritage and an exciting modern future throughout our world-class Duty Free retail proposition."
Dag Rasmussen, Chairman and CEO of Lagardere Travel Retail stated: "Lagardere Capital is extremely grateful to be awarded the Midfield Terminal Building Duty Free concession and is looking forward to creating the ultimate Duty Free experience for passengers. We have created for Abu Dhabi an innovative concept with the ambition to create a multi-sensory shopping experience that is an extraordinary fusion of iconic brands entertainment, technology and culture, with a unique Abu Dhabi touch. We are confident that the Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal stores will no doubt set new benchmarks for the industry."
The MTB is the iconic new terminal under construction at Abu Dhabi International Airport that will increase the overall capacity of the airport to more than 45 million passengers per year. It will feature a total of 28,000 square meters of Duty Free space, comprising of 18,000 square meters of retail and 10,000 square meters for food and beverage outlets.