Dubai Duty Free’s first foray into border shop retailing was firmly underscored on Thursday with the official inauguration of its Hatta border shop. Located next to the Customs and Immigration offices at the Hatta-Oman border, the new retail unit covers some 42 square metres and provides travelers with a 24 hour service. Speaking at the official inauguration, which was attended by senior government officials, Colm McLoughlin, executive vice-chairman of Dubai Duty Free, said: “When we were first approached with the idea of establishing a border shop here at the Hatta-Oman border, we thought that the timing was good as there are plans in place to expand capacity at the border check points. So, while we have started with a relatively small retail unit, we would definitely be happy to grow this in line with the plans that are in place.” McLoughlin went on to thank the government officials who had facilitated the opening of the border shop, which first opened on May 24, 2012. “I would like to thank the officials from the Dubai Immigration Department and from Dubai Customs who have helped the team at Dubai Duty Free to ensure a smooth opening of the inaugural retail area at the Hatta border.” Lieutenant Colonel Talal Ahmed Al Shangeti, deputy assistant, director of Ports Affairs from the Ministry of Interior, said: “We are honoured today to be part of this distinct project. The opening of Dubai Duty Free at the Hatta border is definitely a great service to the passengers at the borders and a service to tourism in Dubai and the UAE. Having such a universal reputation due to the tremendous variety of product and the high sales, Dubai Duty Free will for sure contribute to revive the area.” Dubai Duty Free announced an 11 per cent increase in sales for the first half of the year with turnover reaching Dh2.818 billion ($772 million) and placing the operation well on track for annual sales of Dh6 billion ($1.64 billion).