Sales analysis by Generation Research, the industry's independent researchers, highlight that Dubai Duty Free has regained its position as the largest single airport retail operation in the world, based on sales figures of US$1.8 billion in 2013.
This is the fourth time (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013), that Generation's annual report has seen the airport operator nudge ahead to first place position, this time ahead of Seoul Incheon, Singapore Changi and London Heathrow airport.
In 2013, global duty free and travel retail sales reached a record US$60 billion, representing a 7.5 per cent increase over the previous year. Airport duty free sales account for US$34.67 billion of that business, with the remainder including ferries, border shops and airlines. Based on 2013 figures, Dubai Duty Free, as a single operator, accounts for 5.19 per cent of global airport duty free business and almost three per cent of the wider duty free and travel retail global business.
In the Middle East, the value of airport-based duty free sales reached US$3.9 billion, representing a 10 per cent increase over the previous year. Dubai Duty Free accounts for 45.73 per cent of airport sales in the region. Meanwhile in the world's top 25 countries for duty free and travel retail shopping, the U.A.E. ranked 7th, taking 4.1 per cent of market share.
Commenting on the latest research figures, Colm McLoughlin, executive vice-chairman of Dubai Duty Free, said: "We are obviously delighted to regain the No. 1 spot for the fourth time and to note that our business, along with the duty free business across the Middle East, continues to grow significantly.
"This is a dynamic part of the world in terms of airport retail and the continued investment in airport infrastructure reflects that. At Dubai Duty Free, our expansion plans continue in line with the development at Dubai International Airport (DIA), where our retail operation will reach 33,000 square metres with the opening of Concourse D next year.
"Meanwhile, at Al Maktoum International (AMI), our operation of 2,500 square metres will grow in line with the massive development plans of Dubai World Central.” Dubai Duty Free continues to witness positive sales growth in 2014 and is looking to end the year with sales of US$1.9 billion.