A record number of travellers passing through the capital’s airport powered sales to an all-time high at Abu Dhabi Duty Free last year.
Sales rose 10.3 per cent in 2015 to Dh1.5 billion, with 23 million passengers using the airport, thanks to the concurrent growth of Etihad Airways.
The airline was responsible for nearly three-quarters of traffic through Abu Dhabi ast year, as the hub model of transferring passengers from point A to B via Abu Dhabi is proved successful.
For the retail category, growth was up 7 per cent year-on-year to Dh1.07bn. Meanwhile, food and beverages sales grew by almost 26 per cent. The services sector rose by 15.2 per cent. Advertising, a component of the services sector, showed 26.8 per cent growth.
Sales of perfumes, cosmetics, food and confectionery dominated growth at Abu Dhabi Duty Free. Sales of luxury watches increased by 185.1 per cent, while sales of sunglasses grew by 13 per cent, books and magazines had a 9.6 per cent rise, and food and confectionery increased by 7.3 per cent, figures showed.
Abu Dhabi Duty Free is preparing for the opening of Midfield Terminal by the end of next year. It said that it would award all commercial contracts for the new terminal this year.
The Midfield Terminal project, which began in September 2012, is part of Abu Dhabi’s broader plans to increase tourist traffic under the capital’s 2030 strategy to diversify the economy. By the end of 2015, about 70 per cent of the Midfield Terminal was already completed.
Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter