UAE. Dubai Duty Free has been named “˜Retailer of the Year’ at the annual Drinks Business Awards held recently in London, where the airport retailer competed with the likes of British supermarket chain Waitrose.

The Drinks Business Awards, which celebrated its tenth anniversary this year, pay tribute to the most innovative and well-run companies within the drinks industry.

Dubai Duty Free was recognised for defining excellence in drinks retailing in 2012 in all retail channels (both tax and tax free). Judges praised the retailer for “its quality of service, excellent merchandising and specialist selection of wines and spirits”, which accounted for sales of US$235 million in 2012.

“Dubai Duty Free had a thorough understanding of its customer base and demands which is matched by peerless staff training and an exciting range of exclusive product promotions,” they noted.

Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin said: “This award marks a great achievement for Dubai Duty Free, which was competing against some of the UK’s biggest high street chains in the selection process. Congratulations to our Purchasing team who submitted the entry and to our shopfloor staff who are both knowledgeable and passionate about our business.”

At The Drinks Business Awards last year, the Dubai Duty Free Purchasing Team received a special commendation in the “˜Retail Buying Team of the Year’ category.

(From left) Dubai Duty Free Senior Category Buyer Ajay Bhatia, Dubai Duty Free Vice President of Purchasing Saba Tahir, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin, and Dubai Duty Free Manager -Purchasing & Vendor Support Sharon Beecham with the coveted Drinks Business Award 2013