Dubai: Dubai Duty Free says it expects to achieve a record $2 billion (Dh7.3 billion) in sales this year, following a record 2018 driven by traffic from China.

August was Dubai International’s biggest month ever for passenger traffic, with a record 8.3 million people flying through the hub, cementing its place ahead of Heathrow as the world’s number one airport.

Rise in DDF sales during Eid Al Adha period

The airport retailer saw its Eid Al Adha sales soar by 70 per cent compared to 2017, selling product worth over $16 million in 48 hours.

“This is going to be our biggest year ever,” said Colm McLoughlin, chief executive of Dubai Duty Free, speaking on Sunday morning on Bloomberg TV.

“Based on our traffic and sales so far, we’re going to crack $2 billion in sales this year, and we’re very excited about that.”

Gulf News reported exclusively in January 2017 that Dubai Duty Free plans to reach $3 billion in sales by 2022.

When asked about the driver behind this growth, McLoughlin noted that Chinese traffic was increasing, and their outsized appetite for spending continued unabated.

“They make up 3.7 per cent of traffic through the airport, but they account for 17 per cent of our business,” he said.

McLoughlin added that the introduction of a five per cent Value Added Tax at the beginning of the year had caused a drop in arrival sales, which make up 10 per cent of Dubai Duty Free’s total business.