Dubai Duty Free opened for business on 20th December 1983 and over the past three decades has grown to become one of the leading airport retailers in the world with a turnover of US$1.888 billion in 2015.
Now employing nearly 6,000 people, the operation has consistently raised the benchmark for airport retailing and it continues to grow. Dubai Duty Free currently operates some 34,000 square metres of retail space at Dubai International Airport, including Concourse D which opened in February. The new Concourse is a modern, state-of-the-art airside facility that will serve up to 100 international airlines and 18 million passengers annually and is reached via an elevated rail system.
Meanwhile, at Al Maktoum International Airport, the operation has 2,500 square metres and will grow in line with the massive development plans of Dubai South, which ultimately cover some 80,000 square metres of retail.
While the successful running of the shopfloor is a major focus for Dubai Duty Free, the operation is highly committed to promoting Dubai through a series of high level sporting events including the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters among others.
To date, Dubai Duty Free has received over 500 awards such as “Best Duty Free Shopping in the Middle East” from Business Traveler Middle East Awards and Frontier Awards for “Airport Retailer of the Year” and “Best Marketing Campaign of the Year”. Other awards include The BURJ CEO Award for “Best Global Services” and “Brand of the Year” in Retail – Duty Free category at the prestigious UK World Branding Awards.
Dubai Duty Free’s Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Colm McLoughlin, also received several awards including the CEO Middle East Awards for “Retail CEO of the Year”, “Business Leader of the Year – Retail” from Gulf Business Industry Awards and the “Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award” presented by the Irish President Michael D. Higgins in 2014.
In October 2004, Dubai Duty Free launched the Dubai Duty Free Foundation, a charitable body founded under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, and with Colm McLoughlin as Chairman of the board. The Foundation, which aims to raise funds for worthy causes with a particular emphasis on causes that directly benefit children, has since donated funds to 37 local and 51 overseas charities including Hand in Hand for Haiti, The Moodie Report Great Travel Retail Educathlon, Smile Train and the construction of 32 houses in the DDF GK Village, located in the province of Leyte, Philippines.