Fine wines prosper at Dubai Duty Free

27 August, 2008
Page 12 
The Middle East's largest travel retailer Dubai Duty Free enjoyed a 40 per cent increase in wine sales by value last year thanks to the expansion of its top-end wine offer.

Volumes grew by 17 per cent for the UAE-based airport operator, which generates a round 80 per cent of its wine sales in arrivals, and added 60 new wine SKU s to its selection last year - many of them fine wines. Consequently, wine grew one percentage point during 2007 to account for 11.5 per cent of DDF's total liquor sales, making it the second -largest sub-sector after whisky.

"Our wine business is not traditional duty-free," said DDF manager purchasing and research Sharon Beecham. "We do sell quite well in departures, where we have improved the business by targeting the range more specifically to departing passengers. However, arrivals passengers keen to take advantage of the price saving remain our top customer group for wine.

"We ensure that the selection is only the best at whichever price point is on offer and we sell from US$8 up to US$2,000," she added. "The factors that have driven the business in 2007 are the additional listings and the opening of two small shops in the VIP terminals."

French wines still dominate DDF's wine sales with shiraz and chardonnay proving popular grape varietals.