Top Travel Retailers Report (continued)

Dubai Duty Free

2021 Sales (million)


2021 Rank


The story of Dubai Duty Free, as well as being a tale of stellar sales growth since its founding in 1983, is also one of resilience. The state-owned travel retailer – the world’s largest at a single airport – has always bounced back fast from crises that have hit the travel market, from Gulf Wars to financial upheavals and now COVID-19.

From US$2 billion in 2019 sales slumped to US$700 million in 2020, but climbed again to US$976 million (€858 million converted using our 31 December exchange rates) in 2021. As Dubai International reasserts its status as the leading airport worldwide for international passenger traffic, and with big investment continuing in its retail space, Dubai Duty Free is on course for a rebound to around US$1.6 billion in sales in 2022.

Proud past, glittering future: Dubai Duty Free is rebounding fast as travel ramps up

The company has built a reputation on a strategy of serving all needs across the price spectrum, boosted by strong promotions and allied to excellent service. The recent big expansion of its luxury boutique portfolio, including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier and Dior, signals a qualitative leap in these categories – while maintaining an offer that appeals to a wide audience.

With Chinese not travelling in 2022 – they were previously 4% of travellers but 17% of retail turnover at DXB – the challenge is replacing this vital group. Strong Saudi spend, sales to Israeli visitors (permitted since late 2020) and the return of UK, Indian and other flights to critical markets are helping to make up some of the shortfall.

Luxury leap: Louis Vuitton at DXB Concourse B

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The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 313 | 28 July 2022

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 14 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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