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NEWS Last modified on December 22, 2015

ARI and Lagardère win major duty free contract for Abu Dhabi's new Midfield Terminal

ARI has been chosen to provide the perfume, cosmetics, skincare, sunglasses and fashion jewellery categories at Abu Dhabi International Airport's new Midfield Terminal.

ARI is the international retailing subsidiary of Irish airport operator, daa.

The contract, with Abu Dhabi Airports, will last for a period of ten years commencing in December 2017.

Also celebrating is Lagardère Capital, which has won the contract to oversee the tobacco, confectionery, and fine foods categories, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Capital Group.

Ali Majed Al Mansoori, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “Offering an unrivalled, sensational travel experience to passengers sits at the heart of everything we aim to deliver at the Midfield Terminal Building, the future gateway to the capital city.
"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.

"We selected these two companies as their technologically-advanced, unique concepts were perfectly aligned with our ambitions. With them both on board, we are confident that the MTB retail offering will impress travelers, creating a distinctive sense of purpose and sense of place that they will want to experience again and again.”

Commenting on the win, ARI's CEO. Jack MacGowan, said: “Delivering sensational experiences was at the heart of our proposal and it will be especially rewarding to see our innovative designs, retail concepts and customer services brought to life at the new Midfield terminal.

"From the moment we started work on the bid submission we were energised by Abu Dhabi Airports’ commercial vision ‘to create the worlds’ best, consumer and leisure experience at an airport. It’s an ambition that is very much in tune with our own company purpose to create outstanding shopping experiences every time. 

"This focus on the customer experience defines us as a retailer and was central to every element of our proposal from concepts, through to merchandising, design and operations.
Abu DhabiMTB1

“Winning the Abu Dhabi concession reinforces our position as the leading multi-location retailer in the Middle East and we, together with our partners, are looking forward to working alongside ADAC to deliver a unique and world class customer experience."

Abu Dhabi International Airport is the second largest airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and one of the biggest and fastest growing airport hubs globally with routes to over 94 destinations in 56 countries.

The airport also serves as a base and hub to Etihad Airways, the fast-growing national flag carrier of the UAE.

Development at Abu Dhabi International Airport includes a state of the art terminal building, associated aircraft parking stands and support facilities as well as duty free shops and restaurants that will cater for a total capacity of 27.1 million annual passengers on opening day.

The new terminal will facilitate 28,000sq m of commercial space when it opens in late 2017, and the entire duty free area covers 7,500sq m in total.Midfield

Dag Rasmussen, chairman and CEO of Lagardère Travel Retail, promises: “We have created for Abu Dhabi an innovative concept with the ambition to create a multi-sensory shopping experience that is an extraordinary fusion of iconic brands entertainment, technology and culture, with a unique Abu Dhabi touch.

"We are confident that the Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal stores will no doubt set new benchmarks for the industry.”

ARI's MacGowan adds: “This is a significant win for ARI, in what was one of the most competitive tender processes in recent travel retail history. 

"It caps off a very successful year for ARI following on from our success in entering the Asia Pacific market by securing the Auckland contract and the hugely successful commercial redevelopment of T1 in Dublin airport.”


Another company celebrating today is the UK-based The Design Solution, which after working on the terminal's initial master plan for Abu Dhabi Airports was approached by ARI to help it create their design concept for the duty free space dedicated to perfumes, cosmetics, skincare, sunglasses and jewellery. 

Director, Nick Taylor, notes: “We are absolutely delighted with today’s announcement, and equally proud to have been part of what can only be described as one of the greatest duty free projects on the planet, ever!

"This was a journey where we pulled out all the stops, thought differently, and not only rose to the Abu Dhabi Airports' unparalleled challenge, but delivered innovative design even beyond our own expectations."

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