Dubai Duty Free
Dubai Duty Free (DDF)
Dubai Duty Free (DDF) operates the duty free shops at international airports in Dubai and other locations. DDF list of shops includes:
- Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali.
- Dubai International Airport in Al Garhoud
- Terminal 1 arrivals and departure areas - good range of products, especially in departure terminal after customs.
- Terminal 2 arrival (small shop) and departure area.
- Terminal 3 arrival and departure areas - excellent range of products in both arrivals and departures.
- Hatta land and road border post when entering the UAE (although you can easily walk across the road from the UAE exit point). Very small shop with perfume, cigarettes, newspaper, fluffy toys, chocolate. No liquor sales.
|Al Maktoum Airport (DWC) departures||24 hrs|
|Dubai Airport T1 arrivals||24 hrs|
|Dubai Airport T1 departures||24 hrs||Good range of products|
|Dubai Airport T2 arrivals||24 hrs||Small shop|
|Dubai Airport T2 departures||24 hrs||Small terminal, ok range of products|
|Dubai Airport T3 arrivals||24 hrs|
|Dubai Airport T3 departures||24 hrs|
|Dubai Cruise Terminal, Mina Rashid (Port Rashid)||Duty free available but not a DDF shop, and no alcohol?|
|Emirates Airlines lounges, first and business class|
|Hatta Oman border crossing||24 hrs||Small, cigarettes but no alcohol. Opened in 2012.|
|Port Rashid, QE2 floating hotel, see also Dubai Cruise Terminal||1000-2400||QE2 retail shop open Nov 2018. Not duty free?|
|Umm Ramool (warehouse and HQ, not open to public)||0700-1500||Closed Fri, Sat. Not a shop.|
- All DDF airport outlets sell cigarettes, cigars (limited range in DXB T2 and DWC), cigarettes, alcohol.
- VAT of 5% is charged on DDF purchases at arrivals shops from Jan 2018. Visitors can reclaim the VAT when exiting the UAE (minimum spend AED 250).
Dubai Duty Free birthday discounts
- 20 Dec 2083 - we're hoping for a 100% discount to celebrate the DDF 100th birthday (if we're still around). They haven't said yet if they will.
- 20 Dec 2019 - no news yet but we guess 25% discount on some items, similar to 2018. Announcement likely in the week before 20 Dec 2019. Probably valid from midnight 17 Dec to midnight 20 Dec 2019.
- 18-20 Dec 2018 - 25% discount on some items, DDF's 35th birthday.
- 18-20 Dec 2017 - 25% discount on some products to celebrate 34th birthday. Announced 14 Dec 2017.
- 18-20 Dec 2016 - 25% discount on some products, 33rd birthday for DDF. Announced 17 Dec 2016.
- 18-20 Dec 2015 - 25% discount on some products over a 72 hour period to celebrate 32nd birthday. Announced 14 Dec 2015.
- 20 Dec 2007 - from midnight to midnight, 24% discount offered on purchases to celebrate the DDF 24th birthday. Total anniversary sales were AED 46 million (21 Dec 2007 press release).
- 20 Dec 2006 - discount of 23% from midnight to midnight to celebrate 23rd birthday.
- 20 Dec 2003 - first time DDF has an anniversary sale with 20% discount to celebrate their 20th birthday.
Dubai Duty Free FAQs
Is alcohol and tobacco available at duty free shops in Dubai and UAE?
- Yes at all airport duty free shops, both when departing and arriving. Some shops might have a limited selection.
- Tobacco available at land border crossings, alcohol is not.
Can I bring alcohol, tobacco, and other items to the UAE if bought at an overseas duty free shop?
- Yes, subject to import limitations and duty free allowances.
Is it cheaper to shop at DDF than other duty free shops around the world?
- Generally much the same. Some items more expensive, some cheaper. Cigarettes seem to be cheaper than many other airports. Alcohol about the same but DDF Terminals 1 and 3 have a better selection than many places. Perfume and electronics similar prices to other airports, perhaps more expensive than some Asian or US airports if at an airport in the country of manufacture of the product you're looking at.
Is it cheaper to shop at DDF than in Dubai?
- Not usually except for cigarettes and alcohol. Both have duty of 30% or more in shops in Dubai, although cigarettes are still cheaper than most countries (US$10-$15 for a carton of 200 cigarettes in a supermarket in the UAE in 2017). Big shopping malls often have discounts making products cheaper than DDF prices. Dubai Outlet Mall has a couple of perfume shops with perfumes discounted cheaper than DDF most of the time, but for buying one bottle you won't save enough money to make it worth the time and expense of traveling there. DDF has a much better selection also.
- Supermarket items - cheese, milk powder (yes it's available at DDF), noodles, chocolate, toothpaste, are all more expensive than in Dubai supermarkets - visit Carrefour as a default choice if you don't know where to go.
Can I buy alcohol at Dubai Duty Free?
- Yes, except at land border crossings. Selection is very good at DXB Terminal 1 and 3 departures, very good at Terminal 3 arrivals, and quite good at Terminal 1 arrivals. Available but limited choice at Terminal 2 departures and arrivals.
Can I buy pork at Dubai Duty Free shops?
- No, at least not that we've seen. But you can buy it in Dubai - at most Spinneys and Choithrams supermarkets, also Park N Shop. If it's wrapped properly there are no export restrictions from the UAE.
Do I need a UAE alcohol licence to buy alcohol at Dubai Duty Free?
- For departures, no. We can't say anything about your destination though. Taking alcohol to Saudi Arabi for example is not likely to be a good idea.
- For arrivals, in theory, yes. In practice no. DDF won't ask you for one, and we've never heard of anyone having a problem with customs even if they do search your bags or take you in to the interrogation room. If you do have a problem it's more likely to be because they think you have drugs, are drugged, drunk, or you've offended UAE religion or culture in some way.
- If arriving and traveling by metro, put your alcohol inside one of your bags. Alcohol transportation on the metro is not permitted, which translated into DubaiSpeak means don't make it obvious you have any and you should be fine. If you have a lot of alcohol, take a taxi instead. Walking outside in public from metro station to home or hotel with bags of alcohol is not advisable.
- If arriving and traveling by taxi you should be fine with alcohol in the DDF bags (or duty free bags from another country if that applies). Don't start drinking it in the taxi though, or anywhere in public in Dubai for that matter.
Do DDF shops enforce alcohol and tobacco purchase limits?
- Sort of. They will ask where you're going, or where you came from, and check your boarding pass. But they're not customs and immigration so they seem to be acting in an advisory capacity rather than as a regulatory authority.
- Customs on arrival in the UAE seems to have a greater degree of tolerance than most countries with respect to alcohol, cigarettes, and other duty free purchases. Up to a point. Two bottles of whisky instead of one you might get away with if you don't have any other alcohol. Or 6 bottles of wine instead of 4, and so on. Cigarette limit is high anyway.
Dubai Duty Free list of sporting events sponsorship
- Golf: Dubai Duty Free Golf Cup, DDF Golf World Cup (also a horse race at Newbury?), Dubai Ladies Masters, European Tour (partner from 2018 or 2019), Irish Open (from 2015), Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic, DDF UAE Nationals Cup, Dubai Irish Golf Society annual tournament.
- Horse racing: DDF Irish Derby, DDF Shergar Cup (Ascot, UK), Dubai Duty Free Cup (Newbury, UK), DDF Golf World Cup (Newbury?), DDF Stakes (Meydan), DDF Stakes (Fred Darling Stakes, Newbury, UK), Dubai World Cup > Dubai Turf (Meydan). Dubai Duty Free Gold Cup (Meydan, 2012, also a typo in Aug 2015 magazine for the golf event at Dubai Creek).
- Tennis: DDF Tennis Championships (Dubai).
- Dubai Duty Free GAA Irish Festival (Gaelic Athletic Association).
Dubai Duty free news
DDF sales figures 2018
Total sales overall about AED 7.3 billion (US$2 billion) for 2018. Top 5 sales categories were (in order): Liquor, Perfumes (AED 1.1 bn), Cigarettes, Cosmetics, Electronics, with about AED 1bn worth of sales in each of the first 3 categories, AED 760m for Cosmetics, and AED 600m for Electronics. Followed by Watches, Gold, and Confectionery (about AED 500m worth in each category). Reference: DDF press release 02 Jan 2019, Liquor and Cigarettes sales figures not released by DDF but based on 2017 and 2018 H1 data, our estimate is about AED 1 bn for each category.
Some sales quantity figures: 9 million cans of beer, 3m bottles of whisky, 1.5m bottles of wine, 7m bottles of vodka, gin, and other spirits and liquor, 4+ million cartons of cigarettes (that's almost 1 billion cigarettes), 16m cigars. And close to 50,000 iphones.
DDF sales figures 2017
Total sales overall about AED 7.1 billion (US$2 billion) for 2017. Top 5 sales categories (with revenue figures) were: Perfumes (AED 1.1 billion), Liquor (AED 1.1 bn), Tobacco (AED 690m), Cosmetics (AED 630m), Electronics (AED 550m). Reference: DDF press release 03 Jan 2018.
2010 DDF news update (20 July 2010 press release summary)
- Dubai Duty Free is the largest airport retail operation in the world based on analysis by Generation Research. Top three are:
- DDF with 2009 sales revenue of $1.14 billion
- London Heathrow with sales of $1 billion
- Seoul Incheon International Airport - sales figure not given.
- Dubai Duty Free sales figure is 3.3% of total global duty free and travel retail sales (includes airports, airlines, ferries, and other shops), and is 5.5% of the airport duty free sales (comments by DDF head, Colm McLoughlin).
- DDF sales for H1 2010 are $607 million, up 16% from 2009 H1, and which could indicate total 2010 sales of $1.2-$1.3 billion.
2007 information about Dubai Duty Free
20 Dec 2007 summary of press interview with Colm McLoughlin (not Colin) - DDF boss and Dubai's most famous Irishman
- Dubai Duty Free started in 1983 with 100 employees, of whom more than 60 are still working for DDF at the end of 2007.
- Opening day sales of about 160,000 dhs on 20 December 1983.
- 2008 total sales expected to be about AED 3.7 billion.
- Current floor space about 8,000 square meters in Terminal I.
- New Terminal II shop will have about 8,000 sq m, and 5,000 sq m for terminal III.
- New Maktoum International Airport at Jebel Ali will start with a 4,500 sq m shop.
- Total floor space from 8,000 to 25,000 sq m from end 2007 to about 2010.
Other information (DDF press release or news report 20 Dec 2007)
- Retail sales for 2007 expected to be about AED 3.1 billion, up 26% from 2006 with AED 2.6 billion in sales.
- Perfumes account for the largest share of sales at about 14% of the total, gold is next with 11% of the total.
- Current retail space of 7,000 sq m will grow to 15,000 sq m in May 2008 when Concourse 2 and Terminal 3 open.
- Number of staff to increase by 1000.
- Last year anniversary sales were AED 29.5 million.
- Phase I at DWC airport to open in 2009 with retail area of 3000 sq m.
- DDF head is Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
- DDF awarded "Airport Retailer of the Year 2007" at the Frontier Awards in Cannes in October 2007, for the fifth time.
- Dubai Duty Free job vacancies. Apply online on their website > Careers section, do their exam, receive a nice email message that you did well and will be contacted again when suitable positions become available, and never hear from them again ... well, that was our experience when we tried.
- Dubai Duty Free Concierge Service.
- Dubai Duty Free international outlets. In 2012 Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin said maybe one day but nothing planned. Previously DDF had made bids to open outlets at Beirut and Colombo airports.
- Dubai Dubai Free lottery draw, raffle, tickets, prizes. Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire (money), DDF Finest Surprise (cars and motorcycles).
- Dubai Voyager: Dubai Airports and Dubai Duty Free magazine and shopping directory, free at Dubai airports.
- DDF timeline and history. Founded in 1983.
Dubai Duty Free contact information
- Telephone: +971-4-2162453, toll free tel 800-4443 (in UAE), fax: +971-4-2244164.
- Email: email@example.com.
- Postal address (no zip code in UAE): Dubai Duty Free, PO Box 831, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- Location (Head Office, Warehouse, Distribution Center): entrance on 9th Street, off Marrakech St, opposite ENOC and RTA HQ building, Umm Ramool, near Dubai Festival City. Incorrect tel in some sources given as +971-4-2847000 (is for West Zone supermarket warehouse on same road), phone 04-216 2453 for DDF office.
- Parent category: Dubai Airport. Dubai tourism.
- Child pages: none.
- Related pages: DDF sponsored events. Duty free allowances. Tax in the UAE.
Last update Wednesday 30-Oct-2019
- Dubai - introduction to the city and emirate.
- Dubai Duty Free tennis championship.
- Duty free allowances for Dubai and UAE - how many cigarettes and how much alcohol you can bring in.
- Dubai World Cup horse race.
- www.dubaidutyfree.com - Dubai Duty Free website (www.dubaidutyfree.ae gives DNS error).
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