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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Dubai Duty Free's (DDF) three-day anniversary sales of 2019 crossed $57 million, surpassing the previous year's record sales value of $52 million, underscoring its growing status as shopping destination of international air travellers.
DDF marked its 36th anniversary with a special 25 per cent discount on a wide range of merchandise over three days that began at midnight on December 18 and continued until the operation's anniversary day on December 20. Total sales for the three days reached Dh209.48 million ($57.39 million).
In 2018, DDF recorded Dh191 million ($52.33 million) worth of sales during a three-day discount promotion as it marked its 35th anniversary.
DDF, which recorded an annual sales of $2.015 billion in 2018, is on track to surpass that level in spite of several headwinds including the closure of a runway for several days for maintenance.
DDF said in a statement that the anniversary discount for 72 hours resulted in a spending spree at both Dubai International and at Al Maktoum International airports with sales figures on December 18 reaching $13.65 million and $13.15 million on December 19. On the anniversary day itself, December 20, sales reached $30.59 million.
Cosmetics was the highest-selling category with sales of $15.02 million during the three-day period followed by perfumes with sales of $10.29 million and watches with $9.14 million sales.
Colm McLoughlin, executive vice-chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, said the anniversary celebrations spread over three days were fantastic and received positive results across all the concourses.
"I would like to thank everyone, in particular thanks to our customers and our staff who did a great job in serving the high number of passengers."
During the three-day 36th anniversary sales, DDF's distribution centre issued 2,532 pallets of merchandise and conducted 240 trips from the warehouse to the airport.
The highest number of pallets was issued on December 19 with 931 pallets being delivered in 88 trips.
The total number of picks in the warehouse during this period was 25,637 for 923,182 units of merchandise, with the highest picks on 18th December for 418,787 units of merchandise.
Over the three-day period, cash registers recorded a total of 358,523 sales transactions with 190,208 transactions alone on December 20.
The DDF anniversary promotion is now a highly-anticipated event with many travelers choosing to travel on the days when the 25 per cent discount is offered. The first-anniversary sale DDF introduced was on its 20th anniversary in 2003.
The 36th anniversary also saw a series of celebrations in various locations over the past week led by McLoughlin; Ramesh Cidambi, chief operating officer; and Salah Tahlak, executive vice-president for corporate services, together with the other members of the executive team.
DDF staff also enjoyed a total of Dh85,000 cash prizes in the 'Staff Surprise' draw. In addition, the executive team also awarded certificates of appreciation to long-serving employees who have been with the company for 25 years, 30 years and 35 years.
DDF currently employs 6,100 staff and of the original 100 staff who joined in December 1983, 25 remain in active service.
Editorial Director of Al Khaleej Today, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Al Khaleej Today. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.
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