Dubai Duty Free, a prominent player in the global duty-free retail sector, has begun the new year on an extraordinary note, announcing an unprecedented sales record of AED 7.885 billion (US$2.16 billion) for the year 2023. This remarkable achievement represents a remarkable 24.39 percent increase over the previous year and a noteworthy 6.40 percent surge from the pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
The capstone of this stellar performance was the record-breaking monthly sales figure of AED 807.6 million (US$221 million) in December, marking an 8.37 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022. The month's success was further fueled by the 40th-anniversary celebrations, featuring a one-day 25 percent discount on December 20th, resulting in a shopping spree totaling AED 54.1 million (US$14.8 million).
Reflecting on the exceptional year, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman CEO, expressed his delight in achieving the target sales for 2023 and setting records in December. He acknowledged the significance of the milestone 40th-anniversary celebrations and extended gratitude to Chairman H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the dedicated staff, suppliers, media, and customers for their contributions to the continued growth and success of Dubai Duty Free over four decades.
Throughout 2023, Dubai Duty Free recorded over 20 million sales transactions, averaging an impressive 55,000 transactions per day. The operation witnessed the sale of a staggering 55.2 million units of merchandise. The top five selling categories for the year were Perfumes, Liquor, Gold, Cigarettes Tobacco, and Electronics, contributing significantly to the overall revenue.
Key Sales Categories:
Perfumes, with sales amounting to AED 1.366 billion (US$374 million), claimed the top spot by contributing 17 percent of total sales. Liquor followed closely, reaching AED 1.130 billion (US$310 million) and accounting for 14 percent of the total annual sales. Gold, Cigarettes Tobacco, and Electronics secured the remaining top positions, each making substantial contributions to the overall revenue.
Online Presence and Global Markets:
Online sales played a notable role, constituting 2 percent of the overall sales tally for 2023 and reaching AED 164 million (US$45 million). In terms of source markets, India led the way with AED 973 million (US$266 million) in sales, followed by Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and the UK.
Achievements and Recognition:
Dubai Duty Free's success is underscored by the ongoing growth of its workforce, with a total employee count now standing at 5,500. Throughout the year, the operation received 18 awards, including the prestigious Business Traveller Middle East Award, Gulf Business Retail Company of the Year, and the Global Traveler Award for Best Duty-Free Shopping in the World.
Future Plans and Commitment:
Looking ahead, Dubai Duty Free remains committed to enhancing its retail operation, with major refurbishment plans in Concourse B set for completion early this year. Scheduled renovations for Arrival shops and Concourse A will further bolster the retail experience, ensuring a continued commitment to excellence.
Dubai Duty Free's outstanding sales performance in 2023 and the record-breaking figures for December underscore the resilience, adaptability, and strategic prowess of the operation. As it continues to evolve and innovate, Dubai Duty Free remains a beacon of success in the global duty-free retail landscape, setting new standards for excellence in the industry.