Abu Dhabi Airports Company awards duty free contracts for Midfield Terminal

Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac) has awarded contracts to two firms to operate the duty free section of the new Midfield Terminal Building, which is due to open in December 2017.

Aer Rianta International, a Dublin-based operator of duty free and airport retail outlets in Europe, Middle East, North America and New Zealand, will design and operate the section for perfumes, cosmetics, skincare, sunglasses and jewellery, Adac said.

Aer Rianta employs 3,500 people worldwide and last year had a managed turnover of about US$1.03 billion, according to its website

Lagardère Capital, a joint venture between investment company Abu Dhabi Capital Group and Paris-based travel retailer Lagardère Travel Retail, will operate the tobacco, confectionery, and fine foods outlets.

Lagardère Travel Retail is part of the Lagardère group, a conglomerate that includes the publishing house behind Paris Match and Elle magazines, according to its website.

“We received several very strong bids for these contracts, but Aer Rianta International and Lagardère Capital came up with ideas that will set new benchmarks in airport retail,” said Ali Al Mansoori, the Adac chairman.

The Dh19bn Midfield Terminal complex will be 70 per cent complete by the end of this year, according to Mr Al Mansoori.

The terminal will have 28,000 square metres of commercial space.

Abu Dhabi International Airport is expected to experience a sharp bump next year, with passenger traffic growing from last year’s 20 million to 24 million this year.

The airport’s growth in passenger traffic is expected to continue through to the opening of the Midfield Terminal in 2017, when through traffic is expected to be 30 million.

Adac has projected that traffic at the expanded airport will grow to about 48 million passengers by 2025.

Growth in passenger numbers at Abu Dhabi International Airport has been helped by Etihad’s steady increase of flights. The carrier launched its first service from the airport in 2003.


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