UAE. Dubai Duty Free has revealed full-year 2017 sales of US$1.93 billion, a healthy +5.6% rise compared to a year earlier. The 12-month period culminated in record December sales of US$219 million. As reported, the company’s 34th anniversary celebration delivered sales of US$54 million over three days from 18-20 December, with a -25% discount on a wide range of merchandise.

Colm McLoughlin: Another year of growth for the Middle East’s leading travel retailer

Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin said: “We are pleased to announce such a positive year with 2017 marking our 34th year of business. The entire team at Dubai Duty Free has worked hard to provide passengers with a first class shopping experience at both Dubai International and Al Maktoum International. I join our Chairman, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, in thanking them for their efforts.”

In 2017, the business recorded a remarkable 27.2 million sales transactions, an average of 75,000 per day, while 73 million units of merchandise were sold.

By category, fragrances retained its number one position with annual sales of US$300 million, contributing 16% towards total sales.

Liquor (US$298 million) and tobacco (US$189 million) followed, with increases of +2% and +19% respectively.

Cosmetics jumped to fourth place with sales increasing by +17% to US$172 million in the year.

Other steep increases were seen in electronics, which rose by +16% to US$150 million, mainly driven by new product launches from brands such as Apple. Watches sales climbed by +13% to US$142 million, while handbags and small leathergoods sales rose by +16% to US$51 million.

Fragrances delivered US$300 million in sales, maintaining its status as the leading category at Dubai Duty Free

Sales in departures exceeded US$1.6 billion, representing 87% of the annual sales total, while arrivals sales showed a +3.6% increase over last year and accounted for 10.8% of sales.

Other highlights of the year included the opening of new perfumes & cosmetics and liquor & tobacco areas in Concourse C to complement the retail zone around the Control Tower that opened in the end of 2016. Other key developments included the opening of a Bulgari shop in Concourse B, new retail areas for liquor and Gifts from Dubai in the departures terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport and the opening of a shop in the Riverland area of Dubai Parks and Resorts.

Investing for the future: New stores at Dubai International Concourse C bolstered Dubai Duty Free’s retail footprint in 2017

Dubai Duty Free continued to expand its automated warehouse facility in 2017. It became the first customer worldwide to go live with an upgrade of Oracle Retail Systems, adding the Oracle Retail Release 16 version in July.

Looking ahead, Dubai Duty Free will maintain its busy events and promotional calendar. This includes the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to be held from 19 February to 3 March at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.