Dubai Duty Free creates new Leisure division; to part-finance Concourse 4

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman, Dubai Duty Free
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman, Dubai Duty Free

By Martin Moodie

Dubai Duty Free, the world’s leading travel retailer for a single location in 2010, has created a new division called Dubai Duty Free Leisure to manage its non-retail interests. The retailer also announced that it is to part-finance the development of the new Concourse 4 due to open in 2015 at Dubai International Airport.

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman, Dubai Duty Free
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman, Dubai Duty Free

Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin confirmed both initiatives, first reported by local newspaper Gulf News at the weekend, to The Moodie Report today.

The state-owned retailer’s new division will manage several projects including the Irish Village, the Century Village, the Dubai Tennis Stadium and a new five-star 293-room hotel at the Aviation Club, all owned by Dubai Duty Free.

McLoughlin confirmed that the development of Concourse 4, part of the AED28 billion (US$7.6 billion) expansion of Dubai International Airport, will be co-funded mainly by Dubai Duty Free and Dubai Airports (whose CEO Paul Griffiths is a lead speaker at The Moodie Report/ACI-organised Power of India conference in Hyderabad on 6-8 December).

As we revealedrecently, Dubai Duty Free is on course to post sales of AED5.3 billion (US$1.45 billion) for 2011, which would be a +16% rise on the 2010 figure and a new annual record.

McLoughlin told The Moodie Report this month: “We are trading ahead of budget for the first seven months, and +16-17% ahead of last year. We’re confident we’ll maintain that rate until year-end, which would translate into AED5.3 billion in sales.

“We are also trading well ahead of the strong traffic growth at Dubai International Airport, which stands at +9% for the first seven months. Plus our penetration rate, at 50%, compares favourably to most airports around the world, as does our average sale per passenger at US$46-47.”

As reported, Dubai Duty Free posted record first-half year sales of US$698 million, a +16.6% increase year-on-year.

The company is also looking ahead to the opening in late 2012 of Concourse 3 at Dubai Airport, which will include 8,000sq m of retail space.

A full interview with Colm McLoughlin will appear in The Moodie Report’s September Print Edition.nline/online.js?js=v.1.0.6′ type=’text/javascript’>