On wings of growth and expansion
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO, Dubai Duty Free
Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin shares his thoughts as DDF looks forward to achieving more milestones
Published: Tue 17 Mar 2020, 8:38 AM
Last updated: Tue 17 Mar 2020, 11:00 AM
Dubai Duty Free (DDF) marked its 36th anniversary on December 20 last year, and recorded annual sales of $2.029 billion, a notable growth of over 4% that cements its status as one of the largest travel retail operators in the world in terms of turnover. Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin shares his thoughts as DDF looks forward to achieving more milestones.
"I would like to wish the Irish community in the UAE a very happy St. Patrick's Day. I am delighted to say that The Irish Village continues to do well and that we have opened a third outlet in Studio City. The Irish Village in Garhoud will 'turn green' to mark this national holiday," said Colm McLoughlin.
Major attractions of 2020
The recent opening of the new Arrivals Shop in Terminal 3 is one of the major attractions that Dubai Duty Free (DDF) had this year. The refurbishment and new shop projects that began in Concourse A in 2019 will be complete by first half of 2020, while Concourse B will begin a series of shop reconfigurations that will be complete towards the end of the year to offer more luxury for customers who expect to see more of these brands at airports.
There will be a new look for some brands and existing shops. On top of that, DDF will be supporting Expo 2020 with their own dedicated pop up at Concourse B that should be available in the second quarter, which will showcase their merchandise and help raise awareness of the event to come.
DDF will continue with its expansion plan at Dubai International Airport, which includes the second phase refurbishment of the two FoodPlus shops in Concourse B and the continued enhancement of its retail offer within the Fashion category, which will continue in the second half of the year. The introduction of a strong digital media element also enables a contemporary way to deliver promotional messages and brand support.
Gearing up for Dubai Expo 2020
McLoughlin reiterated that DDF is very excited about Expo 2020 and having visited the site late last year, he mentioned that it is going to be a fantastic event that will bring an estimated 25 million people to Dubai. "Obviously, these kinds of inbound figures provide us with a fantastic opportunity to reach a global audience and we are working with Expo on merchandising opportunities as well as a couple of other areas. We will have an Irish Village at Expo 2020 and that will be very close to the Ireland Pavilion."
DDF's priority is to continue to drive sales by working closely with our suppliers and partners on great value offers. "We will also continue investing in our retail offer both in-store and online and we are finalising some refurbishments and renovations in Dubai International which began last year, and which have had a positive impact on our business. We are highly optimistic that with the ongoing projects we should be able to continue the organic growth for Dubai Duty Free."
Strengthening brand value
Dubai Duty Free recently extended its sponsorship of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for a further two years.
"In addition, we agreed to sponsor five additional races that will benefit from significant increases in prize money. Dubai Duty Free has been the title sponsor of Ireland's premier Classic since 2008 and this extension is a very welcome development for racing," said the Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, DDF.
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is a premium race meeting, generating global media coverage. The title sponsorship of the Irish Derby is in line with Dubai Duty Free's global strategy of promoting its own brand as well as the city of Dubai.
"This sponsorship enables us to reach our potential audience and to speak to them through the medium of exciting, premium sport," he added.
Meanwhile, following the successful Dubai Duty Free Irish Open held at Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland in July 2019, the operation will return for its 6th edition at Mount Juliet Estates from May 28 to 31 and hosted by Graeme McDowell. The 2019 event, hosted by Paul McGinley, generated over $243 million worth of media value of which $74.2 million was for the Dubai Duty Free brand alone.
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2020
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships celebrated a significant milestone this year as the WTA Tournament marked its 20th anniversary. DDF is proud to have grown the ATP week, which began in 1993, as well as the WTA week into a tournament, which attracts the best players in the world each year.
"We have enjoyed so many wonderful and exciting matches throughout the two weeks of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. It was also fitting that Simona Halep won her 20th title at our 20th anniversary of hosting the WTA Tour. It was also a remarkable achievement for world number one Novak Djokovic to win the Men's week, his fifth Dubai title," said McLoughlin.
- In 2019, Dubai Duty Free recorded 24.284 million sales transactions, an average of 66,500 sales transactions per day both at Dubai International and Al Maktoum International airports, while a total of 64.578 million units of merchandise were sold
- The Dubai Duty Free Arrivals Shop, which opened in January 2020, features a total retail space of 1,100 sq m, a significant increase over a previous area of 660 sq m with improved shop visibility in the large baggage hall
- Digital screens have been added throughout the shop to support various product categories, alongside focus on visual merchandising
Colm McLoughlin and Sinead El Sibai, SVP Marketing at DDF, present trophies to the winning connections of Sovereign at the DDF Irish Derby
Jon Rahm, DDF Irish Open champion, with Colm McLoughlin
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship 2020
DDF Arrivals Shop in Terminal 3
The Dubai Duty Free management and staff during 36th anniversary celebrations in Concourse B