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Dubai Duty Free

DDF invests over Dh100m to increase retail area

Published: 04/05/2007 12:00 AM (UAE)

Dubai Duty Free

Dubai: Dubai Duty Free (DDF), the exclusive retailer at Dubai International Airport, is investing more than Dh100 million into expanding to its total retail area as extensions to the airport open.

The current 8,000 square metres of retail space brought in total sales of approximately $700 million in 2006. By November the company will be ready to open around 11,000 square metres in concourse two of terminal three and a further 6,000 square metres in concourse three, which is scheduled to open in 2009.

"Obviously everyone wanted more space than they were allocated, but we're happy with what we've got," said George Horan, deputy managing director, Dubai Duty Free.

Passengers can look forward to around half a dozen new retail brands being unveiled, he added.

The huge increase in shopping space has led to expectations that sales will hit $1 billion in 2009. The target could be achieved sooner if passenger number growth accelerates above current projections of eight per cent per year, said Horan.

Recruitment drive

The company recently reported a 28 per cent increase in first quarter sales to Dh730 million ($203 million), driven by increased demand for perfume, its top-selling category. Transit passengers snapped up 530,000 bottles of perfume in the first few months of 2007, worth Dh100 million or 14 per cent of total revenue.

The company is currently on a recruitment drive to service the expanded retail area, aiming to add 1,000 people to its staff count for the November opening. Staff costs are additional to the Dh100 million the company is spending on basic infrastructure for its new retail offering.

"We anticipate that we'll write off that investment in around five years," said Horan.

The average spend per departing passenger is a healthy $41, compared to just $6 per passenger for arrivals, a figure the company aims to drag up to $10 after expanding and improving its arrivals duty free shops in last summer.

By Robert Ditcham, Staff Reporter


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