Dubai Duty Free sales soar above $2bn

A picture take on September 14, 2017 shows a general view of the Duty Free shop at Dubai's International Airport. (AFP)
Updated 30 December 2018
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Dubai Duty Free sales soar above $2bn

DUBAI: Annual sales clocked up by Dubai Duty Free (DDF) hit 7.3 billion dirhams ($2 billion) on Saturday morning, the emirate’s airport retailer said in a statement. 

The sales figure marks a record for DDF, which reported 7.05 billion dirhams in sales in 2017, although the rate of growth has slowed. The retailer reported sales worth 6.6 billion dirhams in 2016.

“2018 has been a good year for Dubai Duty Free, and we have been building up toward the $2 billion sales figure all year,” said Colm McLoughlin, CEO of Dubai Duty Free.

“We have been tracking the sales figures hour by hour over the past couple of days and it is fantastic to have achieved this figure before the end of the year.”

A Danish couple, purchasing a 1,999 dirham camera, pushed DDF through the $2 billion barrier — and were presented with a $2,000 gift card. 

Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said last month that he expected more than 90 million passengers to use Dubai International Airport this year.


Tunisia to almost double gas production this year

Updated 18 January 2019
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Tunisia to almost double gas production this year

  • The project will be jointly owned by Austria’s OMV and Tunisian National Oil Company ETAP
  • It will include investments of about $700 million

TUNIS: Tunisia will almost double production of natural gas to about 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day this year, the industry and energy minister, Slim Feriani, told Reuters on Friday.
The country’s gas output will jump from 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) when the southern Nawara gas field comes onstream in June, Feriani said.
“We will raise our production by about 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent when the Nawara project in the south will start,” Feriani told Reuters in interview.
This project will be jointly owned by Austria’s OMV and Tunisian National Oil Company ETAP with investments of about $700 million.
Feriani also said Tunisia was seeking to attract about $2 billion in foreign investment to produce 1,900 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in three years. “We will start launching international bids for the production of renewable wind and sun energy. We aim to produce 1,900 MW by investment of up to $2 billion until 2022,” he said.
This would represent about 22 percent of the country’s electricity production.
PHOSPHATE
Tunisia also plans to raise production of phosphate from 3 million tons to 5 million in 2019, he said.
Raising the output will boost economic growth and provide revenue to revive its faltering economy, the minister said.
Phosphate exports are a key source of foreign currency reserves, which have dropped to levels worth just 82 days of imports, according to Tunisia’s central bank.
Tunisia produced about 8.2 million tons of phosphate in 2010 but output dropped after its 2011 revolution. Annual output has not exceeded 4.5 million tons since 2011.
Feriani said lower production has caused Tunisia to lose markets and about $1 billion each year.
Phosphate exports were hit by repeated protests in the main producing region of Gafsa, where unemployed youth demanding jobs blockaded rail transport.