UAE. Travel retailer Dubai Duty Free (DDF) has established a strategic partnership with Chinese provider of travel services, C-Trip, to promote its shopping offer to Ctrip’s customers travelling to Dubai from China.

The deal reflects the importance of Chinese travellers to DDF – they account for nearly 15% of DDF sales but only account for around 4% of the passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest for international passenger traffic.

From left to right: Regional Business Development Manager Ctrip Scarlett Xing; Assistant Manager – DDF Resourcing and Manpower Planning Sunshine Bian; DDF Vice President – HR Service Delivery Mona Al Ali; DDF Chief Operating Officer Ramesh Cidambi; SVP of and CEO of Ctrip Global Shopping Christine Zhang; Executive VP/Global Shopping CEO of Ctrip Michael Liu; PR in Charge of Ctrip Shuo Zhang; and Account Manager of DDF at Ctrip Ruby Lan.

Customers of Ctrip – China’s leading online travel agency – will enjoy a 5% discount on a wide range of items when shopping at DDF’s stores, and this particular promotion will run until end of 2018 (terms and conditions apply).

NASDAQ-listed Ctrip has over 300 million active members worldwide, and one out of every five tickets purchased by Chinese nationals for travel abroad is bought from Ctrip. Meanwhile, DDF is the world’s number one travel retailer in a single location with sales of US$1.93 billion in 2017.

Pay-off from ‘Dubai Week in China’

Dubai Duty Free’s partnership with Ctrip started during a meeting at ‘Dubai Week in China’ in October 2016. This event aimed to increase the cooperation between companies in Dubai and China.

The agreement was signed at Ctrip’s offices in Shanghai and the ceremony was attended by senior officials from both companies including DDF Chief Operating Officer, Ramesh Cidambi, and Senior Vice President of and CEO of Ctrip Global Shopping, Christine Zhang.

Commenting on the partnership, DDF’s Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Colm McLoughlin, said: “Our tie up with Ctrip has been very successful and we strongly believe that through this initiative we can interact directly with travellers before they fly and help them make informed purchasing decisions at Dubai Duty Free.”

At the signing ceremony, Cidambi said: “We believe our strong partnership with Ctrip will benefit thousands of Ctrip customers that travel to Dubai each year and shop at Dubai Duty Free.”

Zhang added: “We are pleased with our partnership with Dubai Duty Free and who have provided Ctrip members with an excellent shopping experience in the past. We are glad that our members will continue to enjoy these exciting facilities and offers through this partnership.”

Also present at the signing ceremony in Shanghai, China were: DDF Vice President – HR Service Delivery, Mona Al Ali, DDF Assistant Manager – Resourcing and Manpower Planning, Sunshine Bian, together with Ctrip Executive VP/Global Shopping CEO Michael Liu, Regional Business Director Scarlett Xing, PR in Charge of Ctrip Shuo Zhang, and Account Manager of DDF at Ctrip Ruby Lan.

DDF says that over the next three years it will look to deepen integration between its marketing plans and Ctrip’s reach with Chinese customers.