Media Release


Basel, January 18, 2018

Inauguration of Dufry’s newly refurbished retail operation

at Sharjah International Airport

Dufry has completed its extensive store renovations at Sharjah International Airport to create a state-of-the-art walkthrough retail space covering 1,793sqm. Its official inauguration took place at a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Senior Directors from Dufry and Sharjah Airport management. The Middle East is one of Dufry’s focus growth areas, for which a whole variety of shop concepts and tailored services can be provided.

The remodeled store, which was completed at the end of 2017, features an improved layout and introduces many exciting new brands, including Benefit, Cartier fragrances, Bobbi Brown and Longines watches, to the 12 million people expected to pass through the airport this year.


Enhanced category adjacencies, such as moving fashion next to perfumery and cosmetics, and introducing a new ‘masstige’ toiletries zone offering more affordable products, helps to engage customer interest and maximize the sales opportunity. A larger format confectionery area also caters for impulse purchases of sweets and chocolates. Dufry has also introduced a wide range of luxury brands to the store’s product mix including watch brands such as Omega, Rado, Tissot and Longines and Cerruti leather bags.


Dufry has extensive Middle Eastern experience, having operated the travel retail business at Sharjah International Airport for the past 30 years. The travel retailer has drawn on its intimate knowledge of the market and the customer demographic, to ensure that innovative commercial solutions have been introduced within the engaging and exciting retail space. In this context, special attention was also given to thoroughly match the product assortment and the related services to the very different customer profiles present at Sharjah airport ranging from sophisticated luxury buyers, to more bargain oriented customers.


More passengers from Iran and Syria are travelling through the airport and also more Russians are visiting the country as tourists and Dufry has therefore tailored the product mix accordingly. To convey a stronger ‘sense of place’ all Arabic products have been grouped together as the ‘Spirit of Arabia’ to create more of a focal point in the central area of the store. Here, customers will find a more localized fragrance offer for example with more focus on oud scents, as well as an expanded selection of regional foods including dates, nuts, and Camel chocolates. 


To further improve marketing and instore communication, a new video screen wall has also been introduced within ‘Spirit of Arabia’ along with an additional 16 video screens distributed through the rest of the store, to allow category specific promotions and product launches to be showcased in various locations.


Speaking about the redevelopment, Andrea Belardini, Dufry Divisional CEO for Asia, Middle East, Australia and Eastern Europe said: “The completion of our new store marks another important step in our journey to deliver retail excellence and a world-class customer experience to passengers visiting Sharjah International Airport. With the introduction of many new brands and a striking new store space, we have taken the travel retail offer to another level for our customers and have underpinned this with significant investment in our staff training and service levels. We would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks to our colleagues at Sharjah International Airport with whom we have an excellent relationship. We are able to work very closely together and support them in their commitment to significantly improve the passenger experience at all stages of their journey through the airport.”


In conclusion, His Excellency Ali Salim Al Midfa commented: “Our main aim is to provide travelers with an enhanced travel experience at Sharjah International Airport. The renovation of our duty free shop is part of our ongoing commitment to innovation and exclusivity through unique partnerships with the world's largest luxury brands and businesses. This renovation underscores our continued commitment to providing the best services, world-class shopping and quality facilities to our passengers, while enabling our duty free partners to benefit from the continued growth of passengers and customers during the coming period.”


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