UAE. Welcome to a special edition of The Moodie Davitt e-Zine Spotlight Series, one that honours Dubai Duty Free’s 35th anniversary, which takes place today, 20 December.

In a channel synonymous with some of the world’s great brands Dubai Duty Free is a rarity – a powerhouse retailer brand in its own right. Ask just about any consumer around the world to list the things they most associate with Dubai and Dubai Duty Free will rank high on the list.

That awareness is down to multiple factors. Success, of course, for after all this is the world’s biggest airport duty free retailer in a single location with sales set to top US$2 billion this year. But Dubai Duty Free is far more than a retail revenue machine. It is, as that consumer reputation would indicate, a marketing masterclass, a triumph of communication of its considerable commercial, cultural, charitable, sporting and touristic virtues.

This edition explores that story and those virtues. But because the Dubai Duty Free story has been so often and well-told down the years (partly by us, we’re proud to say), we wanted to do things differently.

We decided to major on pictures, film and audio as our main platforms. We think the combined result offers a unique, nostalgic and important reflection on the extraordinary saga of a retailer like no other in the world. As we assembled the components, we began to grasp the sheer enormity of the Dubai Duty Free achievement. This is far more than a retail narrative; it is the tale of an enterprise that mirrored but also underpinned the transformation of an emirate, that held fast to its own values, and which set an agenda for others to follow.

We’re as proud of this publication as any in our own rather briefer 16-year history. Please enjoy it with our compliments.

Martin Moodie, Founder & Chairman. The Moodie Davitt Report

Dermot Davitt, Publisher, The Moodie Davitt Report