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Fly Buy Dubai | 25 Year Journey of Dubai Duty Free E-mail


Fly Buy Dubai150

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Fly Buy Dubai (The Remarkable 25 Year Journey of Dubai Duty Free. 25 Years 1983-2008.) In 1945 Rineanna Airport, some 135 miles from Dublin, later known as Shannon International, began receiving scheduled aircraft from TWA and PanAm. The number of international carriers using Shannon rose sharply over succeeding years. The door was now open for the entrepreneurial spirit of one man to alter the course of the aviation industry.

In February 1947 Ireland’s Parliament passed an historical and extremely important piece of legislation that would be the first step towards the creation of a global duty free industry. The Customs Free Act exempted transiting and embarking passengers, goods and aircraft, at Shannon Airport, from normal customs procedures.

The father of this concept, Dr Brenda O’Regan, planned to introduce goods for sale to transit passengers. In his opinion the airport acted as an international enclave for transiting passengers and, as such, should not be liable for tax on any purchases made. In May 1947 a small shop opened in the terminal building at Shannon airport, a first of its kind in the world. Offering a host of items for sale, tax free, the goods ranged from souvenirs and Irish handicrafts to local produce.

Over the next three decades duty free spread around the globe. Yet it was only when the Irish began exporting their expertise that duty free began to emerge as an industry. December 20 1983 marks another milestone in the industry. Irish expertise had been imported into Dubai, a little known city-state within the United Arab Emirates. Dubai Duty Free was inaugurated in a region with little history of duty free, at a time when the industry as a whole was still years from reaching the impact that it enjoys today.

In the quarter of a century since then a great deal has changed. Dubai now straddles East and West, named as one of the world’s 21st century cities, a beacon of humanity and a modern example of global modernity.

Dubai Duty Free ended its first year of operations with turnover of US$ 20 million while in 2008 sales reached US$ 1.2 billion. The company began trading with just 100 staff, but today has in excess of 3,500.

Fly Buy Dubai is the story of the company’s extraordinary journey, highlighting the impact that Dubai Duty Free has had on Dubai International Airport, Dubai itself and, indeed, on the industry as a whole.

Focusing on the leadership of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free's Managing Director, the book plots an era that includes Dubai Duty Free’s breakthrough sponsorship of a water-skiing championship on Dubai Creek, through to the Dubai Tennis Championships and the famed tennis match on the helipad at Burj Al Arab.

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