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Dubai airport set for massive expansion

Dubai International Airport’s staggering ambitions were revealed last week at the launch of a Duty Free retailers exhibition.

Dubai International Airport’s staggering ambitions were revealed last week at the launch of a Duty Free retailers exhibition. The exhibition, dubbed Middle East Exclusive, began on December 1 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Speaking at the launch, Colm McLoughlin, managing director for Dubai Duty Free, revealed that he intends to make Dubai the second largest Duty Free shopping location in the world.

When the new Terminal 3, and Terminal 1’s second and third concourses are completed in 2006, DDF will expand by 12 000 m2, and will be in a position to increase sales to over US $600 million per year. That would eclipse duty free sales at Changri Airport in Singapore, Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. Only London’s Heathrow airport would generate greater sales revenue.

Dubai International is currently in the early phases of a four-year, US $4 billion expansion. Two concourses are being added to the current Terminal 1 and expansion work is planned for Terminal 2. This will bring the passenger capacity for the airport up to 70 million per year. A massive cargo terminal is also being created with a capacity to handle 2.7 million tonnes per year by 2006.

There will be a total of 15 000 m2 of retail space once the project is completed. Sales of over US $600 million will be achieved if passengers departing Dubai continue to spend an average of US $34 per head. Today, only 15-20% of departing passengers buy anything on duty free shops around the world. In Dubai, the average is 42%.

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