Dubai Duty Free was presented with the Best Duty Free Shops award from the publishers of US-based magazine Global Traveler at an industry gathering at Jumeirah Essex House in New York.
The annual awards ceremony, presided over by Ivana Trump, brought together more than 300 representatives from the world travel industry.
The Global Traveler Awards are the result of a reader’s survey, which attracted a record 15,828 responses. Readers gave their preference in 49 individual categories, which included airlines, loyalty programmes, destinations, hotels and airports. The 2007 survey included a “Best Duty Free Shops” category for the first time.
Speaking after being presented with the Global Traveler Award, Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of Dubai Duty Free, said: “We are delighted to receive this inaugural duty free award from Global Traveler and I would like to thank the readers for voting for Dubai Duty Free.
“The United States market has opened up dramatically with the increase of direct flights from the region and this award reflects the growing awareness of the fantastic facilities that we have here at Dubai International Airport.”
The Global Traveler Award marks the first award of the year for Dubai Duty Free, which in 2007 was named the Frontier Airport Retailer of the Year in addition to winning both the Business Traveller UK and Business Traveller Middle East award for Best Duty Free Shopping.
Dubai Duty Free announced record sales of $880 million (Dh2.9 billion) in 2007 and has forecast sales of $1bn in 2008. Retail sales were driven by gold and must-haves such as perfume. The figure represents the second consecutive double-digit increase after 2006 revenues topped the previous year’s by 20 per cent.
The opening of Concourse 2 and Terminal 3 this year, will result in the retail operation more than doubling in size from the current 7,000 square metres to 15,000 square metres.
In line with its expansion plans, Dubai Duty Free will increase its staffing levels from 2,000 to 3,000 in the coming months and will open a new head office, along with a warehouse and distribution centre in the first quarter of 2008.
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