UAE. Dubai Duty Free ranked world number one for duty free sales at an individual location in 2015, posting revenues of US$1,878,320 at Dubai International, The Moodie Report can reveal.

The result put the retailer’s airport operation just ahead of Incheon International Airport, whose multiple duty free retailers generated sales of US$1.8 billion in 2015. That represented a -10% year-on-year decline, driven by the MERS health crisis and disruption from a widespread change of concessionaires and allocated space in September.

(Above and below) Dubai Duty Free at Dubai International, world number one duty free operation for a single location in 2015

Together with sales of US$9.68 million at Al Maktoum International, Dubai Duty Free generated retail revenues of US$1.888 billion in 2015.

As reported, Dubai Duty Free Group (which incorporates the airport retail operation and its Leisure division) posted turnover of AED7.057 billion (US$1.933 billion) for 2015.

Commenting on the company’s return to world number one, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin said: “For the past several years, Dubai Duty Free has been listed amongst the top two or three single airport retailers in the world in terms of sales and it is great that we have reached the top placing in the world once again.”

He added: “A lot of people have worked hard to ensure our success and I sincerely thank our Chairman, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum for his unwavering support as well as our customers, partners, suppliers and our staff who do a fantastic job. I look forward to an even more successful year in 2016.”

In 2015 the retail operation recorded close to 27 million sales transactions, an average of 74,000 per day, across both Dubai International and at Al Maktoum International. Over 78 million pieces of merchandise were sold in the 12 months.

Dubai Duty Free expansion plans continue in line with development at Dubai International Airport, where the retail operation will grow to 33,000sq m with the opening of Concourse D next month.

At Al Maktoum International, the 2,500sq m operation will grow in line with the big development plans of Dubai South, which will ultimately cover some 80,000sq m.

(Above and below) Despite a MERS-ravaged year and severe disruption caused by sweeping changes to the concessionaires’ line-up from September, Incheon International Airport still posted an impressive US$1.8 billion in duty free sales last year, making it the world’s second-highest grossing duty free location