Bahrain Duty Free in expansion
Bahrain Duty Free is planning to expand its retail space following a 24-percent increase in passenger traffic in the first quarter of 2004 and a sales increase of 45-percent over the same period last year.
“We want to add another 300 to 500 sq m to the total available retail space in addition to the 200 sq m new arrivals complex opened in November last year,” said Maurice Burke, general manager.
Bahrain Duty Free is creating ‘retail pockets’ by placing key product groupings at strategic locations. It now plans to send a high level team to Middle East Exclusive, the region’s only trade show for the duty free, luxury and branded goods and travel retail market, which will be held in Dubai later this year to source new product offerings and meet new suppliers. “We were at the show last year and think it really benefits the regional duty free markets,” said Burke. “Middle East Exclusive was quite successful for its first showing and we expect it to dramatically increase in worth year on year. We will definitely be at the show again this year to source new products in high demand categories such as electronics, particularly communications and computer products.”
Middle East Exclusive 2004, organised by Channels Exhibitions, will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from November 29 to December 1. “The Middle East is one of the fastest growing regions in the world for air travel – a fact supported by statistics released recently,” said Justin Boutros, managing director, Channels Exhibitions.
“In the first three months of 2004, international passenger traffic in to the region, compared to the first quarter of 2003, grew by an incredible 40.3 per cent, according to statistics compiled by the Airports Council International. That is more than three times the global average. Domestic air travel was also sharply up year on year, demonstrating 22-percent growth, four times the world average.”
The Middle East tourism sector is also growing much faster than any other region in the world, with a 10 per cent increase in 2003 arrivals – a year that saw negative tourism growth worldwide – coming on the back of a 17-percent rise in 2002.
“Duty free outlets in Bahrain, Dubai and Oman all recorded significant increases in duty free sales in the first quarter of this year, which makes Middle East Exclusive a must attend industry show to find new product offerings,” added Boutros.
The second edition of the show has already attracted exhibitors from 12 countries featuring leading brand names from the jewellery, fragrance, drinks, tobacco, fashion and fine foods industries.
Middle East Exclusive is held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Department of Civil Aviation, Dubai and chairman of Emirates Group.
It is supported by Dubai Duty Free and the Middle East Duty Free Association (MEDFA). Middle East Exclusive is being held in association with the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup on November 25 and 26 and the MEDFA Duty Free Conference on November 27 and 28.