ME airports thrive on retail sales

Retail sales accounted for 49% of Middle East airport’s non-aeronautical income in 2013, higher compared to all other regions and the global average of 27%, states Airport Council International. Globally, total airport revenues increased by 5.4% touching $130.9 billion in 2014.

The Dubai Duty Free, located at Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central, clocked approximately $2 billion in sales last year, a 7.36% increase over 2013. On the other hand, Abu Dhabi Duty free posted $270 million in sales last year.

With an aim to cash in on the year-on-year rise in passenger traffic – Dubai International handled 70.4 million passengers in 2014, while 20 million passed through the Abu Dhabi airport – the UAE airports continue to invest heavily in expanding their retail offerings.

Interestingly, while the Middle East airports reported 8% of non-aeronautical income from car parking, the US airports made 39% of non-aeronautical revenues from car parking and only 8% from retail sales in 2013.

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