Dubai Duty Free opened for business on December 20th 1983 and has grown to become one of the leading airport retailers in the world with sales turnover of Dhs5.9 billion (US$1.6 billion) in 2012.
Its founding principal of providing travellers with a first class retail experience in a shopper-friendly environment and a diverse range of products still holds true to this day.
Employing over 5,700 people, the operation has consistently raised the benchmark for airport retailing in the Middle East.
To date, Dubai Duty Free has received over 250 industry awards which bear testimony to the operation’s retail success including the 2012 Frontier Awards for ‘Best Airport Retailer of the Year’ which was won by the operation for an unprecedented sixth time; the ‘Best Airport in Duty Free Shopping’ presented at the Business Traveller Middle East Awards, the Global Traveller US magazine Award for ‘Best Duty Free Shop’ and the ‘Superbrands Awards for Excellence in Branding’ received from Superbrands Council.
The operation was also honored at the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Award as ‘Patrons of the Arts’ in April 2012 for its contribution towards cultural and arts initiatives in Dubai.
Also in April, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free was honored with the ‘DFNI 25th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement in Duty Free Award’ by Duty Free News International (DFNI) and by Esquire’s Man At His Best ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award in November, both for his outstanding contribution to the travel retail industry over the years.
With the opening of Concourse A in January 2013 which is dedicated to Emirates Airline’s A380 fleet, Dubai Duty Free now operates 26,000 square metres of retail space across Terminals 1, 2 and 3. The opening of Concourse A will be followed within 3 to 4 years by the opening of Concourse D.
Meanwhile, Dubai Duty Free’s Leisure Division which operates the popular Irish Village and the Century Village, opened its first hotel - the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel. The 292-room five-star property is managed by Dubai-based Jumeirah Group.
Dubai Duty Free also inaugurated its first border shop located next to the Customs and Immigration offices at the Hatta-Oman border in July last year. The retail unit covers some 42 square metres and provides a convenient stop off point 24/7 for travellers crossing to and from Dubai.
Whether it is on the golfing green, the tennis courts, the racecourse or even the high seas, sponsorship and the support of international events has been an integral part of Dubai Duty Free’s marketing strategy since 1983.
A supporter of golf for many years, Dubai Duty Free is a proud sponsor of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the Ladies European Tour Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, held every year at Emirates Golf Club.
In addition to this, Dubai Duty Free hosts a series of high-profile golf tournaments, including the annual Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup, Dubai Duty Free UAE Nationals Cup, Dubai Duty Free Golf Cup and Dubai Irish Golf Society tournament.
Away from the golfing fairways, the firm tennis favourite with UAE tennis fans and a global TV audience is the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, owned and organized by Dubai Duty Free. The event comprises a WTA Premier 5 tournament played back-to-back with an ATP World Tour Series 500 Tournament.
Dubai Duty Free is a founding sponsor of the Dubai World Cup, the richest horse race in the world. International horse racing has provided an excellent medium for Dubai Duty Free to capture the global media attention and the Dubai Duty Free Stakes in the UK in April, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup (Ascot) in August, the Dubai Duty Free International Raceday in September are part of the operation’s racing sponsorship in the UK. The operation is also the title sponsor of one of the biggest races in Europe, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, which is held at the Curragh Racecourse in Ireland each June.
By supporting so many events at the highest level and all around the globe, Dubai Duty Free is effectively promoting Dubai’s sporting, leisure and business facilities, which are second to none. And with more and more world-class sportspeople choosing Dubai to showcase their talent, there is set to be much more to come in the future.
Corporate Social Responsibility
In 2008, Dubai Duty Free established its own Corporate Responsibility (CR) department in-house under which the Dubai Duty Free Foundation is managed. In addition, the CR department is committed to reducing the Environmental impacts and health and safety risks associated with the storage and retailing of goods. It is the Company’s policy to operate an Integrated Management System in accordance with ISO 14001: 2004 and OHSAS 18001: 2007.