Qatar Duty Free

‘21 in 21’ – Qatar Duty Free celebrates anniversary with major investment

Qatar Duty Free (QDF) is marking its 21st anniversary this year in grand style by unveiling a major investment and an enhanced retail portfolio of 21 new shopping and food & beverage outlets. The ‘21 in 21’ project embraces a range of tastes and budgets. It is designed to elevate the existing multiple award-winning duty free and dining experience at Hamad International Airport (HIA), transforming it into a premier global destination in its own right for international air travellers. The new outlets, which will be located in both the departure and arrival areas, are being opened on a phased basis. The enhanced ‘21 in 21’ offer will include renowned global brands, several convenience and travel essential stores – including a ‘Big Value’ duty free shop offering products tailored to a budget-conscious consumer – and an enhanced dining offer.

Qatar Duty Free is aiming to hit new heights in its 21st anniversary year, with more big investment planned

The improvements will make QDF the perfect place for all passengers to wind down with some shopping therapy and culinary delights between flights, the travel retailer said. In a statement, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “We aim to offer an unrivalled retail and dining experience in a unique environment for all our passengers travelling through HIA – the best airport in the Middle East and the third-best in the world – and introduce our customers to an enhanced Qatar Duty Free shopping experience.” HIA Chief Operating Officer Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer said: “The latest expansion of QDF’s retail portfolio is part of its joint effort with HIA to provide passengers with a diverse range of retail and culinary experiences. “HIA’s expansive commercial space offers brands the opportunity to reach out to a truly global audience. We are always looking to diversify our offering to curate memorable retail experiences for all.”

Qatar Duty Free Vice President Operations Thabet Musleh and Martin Moodie chat about the latest big projects in the acclaimed Harrods Tea Room at Hamad International Airport. [Picture: Y Lee]

Qatar Duty Free Vice President Operations Thabet Musleh said: “In celebration of 21 years of award-winning accomplishments and delivering a five-star service to customers, this major investment marks the start of a new chapter in QDF’s history and demonstrates our continuous commitment to providing a world-class duty free experience.” As the images show, Qatar Duty Free pledges to deliver a diverse array of new brands and concepts to its global traveller audience in the months ahead. The company outlined the details to The Moodie Davitt Report during two recent visits.

A “stunning” new perfumes and cosmetics store is promised as part of the vibrant new look in the South Node. Below. Big Value and Day2Day concepts. All renderings courtesy of Qatar Duty Free.

A new-look perfumes and cosmetics store will include the first Christian Louboutin boutique, making QDF the world’s first travel retailer in the world to offer the luxury footwear to fragrances brand created by the famed French-Egyptian fashion designer. Also new later this year will be another first for HIA, with renowned UK toy retailer Hamleys making its debut at the airport. Also in the South Node, QDF is further clustering key categories together, for example with a much-enhanced zone for women's fashion. An existing Coach store will move to the site occupied by Paris Saint Germain (which in turn will move to a new location) and its space will be taken by Victoria’s Secret. These brands sit near the multibrand store that features MCM, Aigner, Furla and Longchamp. Michael Kors will also move into this zone. Opposite this line of shops will be a Polo Ralph Lauren store offering men’s and women’s and kid’s goods; this is set to open by Q1 2022 (in an area occupied currently by consumer technology). The world’s first Adidas airport store and Q-Denim – a multi-brand men’s denim store – have opened in recent weeks, the latter with brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Havaianas, Diesel, Calvin Klein and Armani Exchange. They will be joined shortly by Qatari fashion brand Kashkha. Close by, a new airport pharmacy has opened as part of an upgraded services zone. Other brands to come to this area soon will include Samsonite and American Tourister. Arrivals duty free will be boosted by a new look and feel and a larger shopping footprint, featuring a wider selection of products and an impressive selection of global brands for travellers arriving in Qatar. Qatar Duty Free has also chosen to take its news, books and convenience offer (currently run by WHSmith) offer in-house. This will be run under the newly created Day2Day brand and will include a limited fragrance offer from L’Oréal and others.

In-house concept Q-Denim opened in recent weeks, as part of a big expansion drive in existing space. Other key openings nearby included Adidas, Hugo Boss and an airport pharmacy. The retailer is also developing a women's fashion zone anchored by a multibrand store that houses Furla, MCM, Longchamp and Aigner.

A diet of diversity and delight

QDF promised “something for all” in an enhanced food & beverage offer, including grab-and-go eateries for those on the move, plus a range of dine-in outlets and fine-dining concepts to satisfy those customers with more time to spare. As reported, Qatar Airways signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this April to create a joint venture with Autogrill subsidiary HMSHost International, the world’s largest travel-related food & beverage operator.

Their first joint project will see a new Food Hall completed by early 2022 in the South Node, with full details to follow soon.

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The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 299 | 17 August 2021

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 15 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail

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