Doha, QATAR – Qatar Duty Free has taken the top prize at the 2010 Duty Free News International (DFNI) Awards for Travel Retail Excellence.
The Qatar Airways subsidiary won the title Travel Retailer of the Year 2010, beating strong competition from DFS Group, Dubai Duty Free and Nuance-Watson in Singapore.
The award was presented at a glitzy event held at the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel in London. Nominated for the first time ever, Qatar Duty Free claimed top honours on the back of its strong performance over the past 12 months and continued growth in the travel retail sector.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the award was especially significant given the challenges faced by the travel industry.
“This award is a great feather in the cap for Qatar Duty Free, and one that recognises all the hard work and dedication put in to providing passengers at Doha International Airport with a rewarding shopping experience.
“Qatar Duty Free is a significant contributor to Qatar Airways Group and is clearly leading the way in duty free shopping in the region as this award demonstrates. Qatar Duty Free places emphasis on catering for every budget, not just the high end, because we have many types of travellers coming through Doha, all of whom are willing to spend, and it is this diversity that sets us apart from our competitors,” said Al Baker.
In 2010, Qatar Duty Free celebrates 10 years as a major Duty Free retailer. Despite the global economic downturn, Qatar Duty Free has posted an annual sales increase of 25% compared to same period last year, marking significant growth for the Doha-based company.
Qatar Duty Free Senior Vice President Keith Hunter, who collected the award in London, said that retail demand in the Middle East region was increasing.
“Qatar Duty Free has made significant inroads into the travel retail industry in the past few years. As more and more people travel to and through Doha International Airport, we create more opportunities for ourselves,” he said.
“We have conducted hugely successful shopping promotions and have given away numerous brand new luxury cars, as well as made four US dollar millionaires. These promotions have been well received and we look forward to enhancing and expanding them in the future.”
Qatar Duty Free recently expanded its operations at Doha International Airport, more than doubling the shopping space at Qatar Airways’ exclusive Premium Terminal.
About Qatar Duty Free:
Qatar Duty Free is a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, and operates within the departures, arrivals, VIP lounge and the Premium Terminal of Doha International Airport. Qatar Duty Free is one of the Middle East’s most outstanding success stories in recent years. It has invested more than US$1 million in refurbishing the existing retail facilities within the departures and arrivals area. For more information, visit www.qatardutyfree.net
Qatar Duty Free has been experiencing continued and significant growth in recent years, currently operating over 2000 sqm of retail space. Qatar Duty Free has a bright future and will establish a new home at New Doha International Airport when it is scheduled to open in 2011. For more information, visit: www.ndiaproject.com
About DFNI Awards:
The DFNI Global Awards for Travel Retail Excellence is one of the travel retail industry’s premier award functions held annually to recognise the duty free operator that sets new standards in duty free operations.
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132