Dubai Duty Free teams with China’s leading online travel agency to attract Chinese customers

Danielle Green
Danielle Green

A deal inked between Dubai International Airport retail group and CTRIP promises to enhance experience for Chinese travellers

A new Memorandum of Understanding signed between Dubai Duty Free and China’s biggest online travel agency CTRIP is expected to deliver a raft of benefits to Chinese air passengers.  

The agreement, signed during Dubai Week in China, reflects the importance of Chinese travellers to Dubai Duty Free, which runs retail operations at Dubai International Airport. While Chinese passengers account for 4 per cent of traffic at Dubai International Airport, spend by that same group constitutes 12 per cent of sales.

Dubai Duty Free 3
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, is positive about the new agreement

This translates to around US$100m worth of revenue at Dubai Duty Free, based on 2015 figures.

In its first phase, the cooperation will allow CTRIP members, of which there are currently 141 million, flying to Dubai International Airport, to enjoy a 7 per cent discount while shopping at Dubai Duty Free from 1 January to 30 June 2017.

Commenting on the signing, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, said: “Both the number of Chinese travellers flying through Dubai International and those shopping at Dubai Duty Free have increased substantially in recent times, and we believe that, by teaming up with CTRIP, we will interact directly with travellers before they fly, and help them make informed purchasing decisions at Dubai Duty Free.

“In line with this, our ecommerce website will be available in Mandarin for the first time, thereby providing Chinese travellers with an insight into a range of our products available online.”

Dubai Duty Free currently employ 591 Chinese nationals, representing 10 per cent of the retailer’s workforce.

Salah Tahlak, Senior Vice-President Corporate Communications at Dubai Duty Free, offers a detailed insight of the Chinese air passenger here