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Life & Style

All-time record: Dubai Duty Free registers sales of over $2bn in 2023

  • Top five selling categories for the year were perfumes followed by liquor, gold, cigarettes & tobacco and electronics
Published January 5, 2024
Photo: Dubai Duty Free
Photo: Dubai Duty Free

Possibly one of the most popular duty-free destinations in the world, selling a range of confectionary, chocolates, gold, tobacco and electronics, Dubai Duty Free (DDF) achieved an all-time record sales of AED7.9 billion ($2.16 billion) in 2023.

This represented a 24.39% increase over the previous year and 6.40% up on pre-pandemic in 2019, DDF said in a statement published on Thursday.

The development comes as Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs reported a record-breaking influx of travellers during the holiday season.

In terms of top source markets, India was number one with AED973 million sales, followed by Russia (AED759 million), China (AED564 million), Saudi Arabia (AED512 million) and the UK (AED373 million).

Just from December 27, 2023, to January 1, 2024, over 1.2 million passengers entered and exited Dubai through its air, land, and sea ports.

December 30, 2023, marked the peak of this travel surge, with 224,380 passengers in a single day.

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Dubai’s Media Office said this “confirms the city’s status as a global hotspot” and “underscores its appeal as an international destination.”

Duty Free sales breakdown

Taking a closer look at the DDF numbers showed that December finished with record monthly sales of AED807.6 million, an 8.37% increase compared to 2022. These were fueled by Dubai Duty Free’s 40th anniversary 25% sale on 20 December, which resulted in a shopping spree of AED54.1 million over 24 hours.

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Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, said: “We are thrilled to have achieved our target sales for the year, a record month in December and a record year in 2023, which culminated with our celebrations of our milestone 40th Anniversary.”

The top five selling categories for the year were perfumes followed by liquor, gold, cigarettes & tobacco and electronics.

With sales of AED1.366 billion, perfume contributed 17% of total sales and retained its position as the top selling category. Sales of liquor reached AED1.13 billion and accounted for 14% of the total annual sales.

In terms of top source markets, India was number one with AED973 million sales, followed by Russia (AED759 million), China (AED564 million), Saudi Arabia (AED512 million) and the UK (AED373 million).

According to its statement, looking ahead, DDF will continue to enhance its retail operation which includes major refurbishment plans in Concourse B, which will be completed early this year.

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According to DDF’s website, it was founded in 1983, and “has grown into one of the biggest single travel retail operators in the world” employing some 5,500 people.

In addition to its retail operation, Dubai Duty Free operates a Leisure Division which includes The Irish Village in Garhoud and Studio One Hotel, The Century Village, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium and The Jumeirah Creekside Hotel.

It also hosts sporting events including the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

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NXT Jan 06, 2024 02:44pm
Could the Pakistan CAA learn anything from this? No, because we are paragons of propriety and virtue!
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