Just another day at Dubai Duty Free

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.


Every picture tells a story. Or in this case a myriad of stories. Our image was snapped early on a Saturday morning at Dubai International Airport as we rode up the escalator towards the gate.

The picture captures the incredible throng of people and the sheer buzz that constantly pervades the retail area at Dubai Duty Free – where annual sales are likely to hit the US$1 billion mark this year or next.

Retail to the left, retail to the right. And retail in the middle. And yet the area never seems to attract the familar criticism made of airports of being ‘overshopped’. Why?

Maybe it’s the clear signage to the gates, the visibility of the information desks and the number of helpful staff walking around in Dubai Duty Free uniforms. Maybe it’s the fact that while retail is all pervading it’s not obstructive. If you don’t want to shop you can very easily see where you need to go to.

And maybe it’s because Dubai Duty Free offers something for everyone – from milk powder to Montblanc, from basics to bling. Most of all, we think, it manages to offer excitement and spectacle. The grand panoramas help but underneath the spectacular facade you’ll find that a whole lot of simple things have been done well. And that, as any organisation will testify, is not simple at all.

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