Duty free sales shoot up
BAHRAIN’s citizens are travelling more frequently and as a result duty free sales have shot up. Bahrain duty free sales so far this year showed a 22 per cent increase over the same period last year, said general manager Steve O’Connor.
“This shows people are travelling more frequently, thanks to the economic boom in Bahrain,” he told the Gulf Daily News.
“Business is growing exceptionally well. People’s salary has generally increased, and more people can now afford to travel by flights.
“New low cost carriers which have entered the market have added to the competitiveness. Anything which promotes the travel industry is good for our business.”
O’اonnor said that Bahrain Duty Free was trying to expand its operations at the airport within the limited space available.
“New areas for fashion and local dresses were opened recently,” he added. “We shall be opening a pharmacy at the departure area very shortly. Because of the restrictions imposed on carrying liquid items in hand baggages from many international airports, the business at our arrival duty free shops has increased by 30 per cent.”
O’Connor said the Bahrain Duty Free was liaising with the newly established Bahrain Airport Company to work out future expansion plans. He said the duty free outlet at Mina Salman port would be maintained there even after the opening of the new port in Hidd.
“Meanwhile, we are finalising contracts with the port authorities to open a duty free shop at the new port, exclusively for cruis liners,” he added.
Bahrain Duty Free plays a vital role in promoting the kingdom internationally, and currently employed 450 staff, 60 per cent of whom were Bahrainis.