Dubai Duty Free (DDF) is a tax-free shopping haven located at Dubai International Airport. It is a shopper’s paradise, with tens of thousands of products from all over the world on offer.
Whether you’re looking for cosmetics, fashion, perfume, liquor, or chocolates, you’ll find something to tempt you at Dubai Duty Free.
The world’s biggest single airport retailer celebrated its 38th anniversary in 2021 with annual sales of $976 million. The top five selling products for the year were perfumes, alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco, electronic goods, and gold.
Dubai Duty Free forecasts annual sales in 2022 will increase by over 40 per cent to $1,400m as passenger traffic through the world’s busiest international airport begins recovering from the pandemic.
Shops and Products
Dubai Duty Free shops are located in all three terminals, in both arrivals and departures. All stores are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Duty-free items can also be purchased on Emirates flights.
The product range is diverse and includes:
- Alcohol – Brands and products available include whisky (Bushmills, The Famous Grouse, Glenfiddich, The Glenlivet, Glenmorangie, Jack Daniel’s, Johnnie Walker, Laphroaig, Passport, Royal Salute, Talisker, etc.), champagne (Dom Perignon, Krug, Laurent Perrier, Moet & Chandon, Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot, etc.), Cognac (Courvoisier, Hennessy, Martell, Remy Martin, etc.), gin (Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, Hendrick’s, Oxley, Tanqueray, etc.), vodka (Smirnoff, Grey Goose, Absolut, etc.), rum (Bacardi, Captain Morgan, Havana Club, Takamaka, etc.), tequila (1800, Jose Cuervo, Kah, etc.), wine, and beer.
- Chocolate – Butlers, Ferrero Rocher, Godiva, Hershey’s, Kinder, Lindt, Toblerone
- Cigarettes – Packs of the most popular brands such as Benson & Hedges, Dunhill, Marlboro, Players, etc.
- Cigars – Boxes of cigars from America, Europe, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Cuba.
- Electronics – Products available include camcorders and digital cameras (Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, etc.), laptops and computers, video games (Nintendo, Sony, etc.), and mobile phones (iPhone, Samsung, Huawei, etc.).
- Gold and Jewellery – Gold bars (18, 22, 24 carats) plus items from jewellers such as Dhamani, Swarovski
- Leather Goods – Handbags, purses, and wallets from all the top names.
- Luggage – Suitcases and bags by Delsey, Jump, Samsonite, and others.
- Watches – Timepieces from all the top watchmakers including Aigner, Breitling, Fossil, IWC, Michael Kors, Omega, TAG Heuer, Tissot, Versace
- Perfumes and fragrances – Brands include Amouage, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera, Creed, Dior, Elizabeth Arden, Hermes, Givenchy, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jo Malone, Lacoste, Lancome, Paco Rabanne, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Tom Ford and many more.
- Sunglasses – Designer sunglasses by Carrera, Emporio Armani, Maui Jim, Ray-Ban, and many others.
- Toys – Lego etc.
Perfume is the most popular product sold at Dubai Duty Free, accounting for around 20% of annual sales in 2021.
Duty Free Limits
According to the official Dubai Customs website (in February 2022), travellers can bring in the following quantities of goods free of duty:
- Gifts with a value of less than AED 3,000
- 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500 grams of tobacco
- 4 litres of alcohol or 2 cartons of beer (one carton equals 24 cans, each not greater than 355 ml)
- Personal belongings
These limits apply irrespective of where the goods were purchased i.e. they include items purchased at Dubai Duty Free in the arrivals area.
Passengers leaving Dubai and making duty free purchases in departures should be aware of the duty free limits in their final destination. For example, passengers travelling to the UK from Dubai enjoy the following duty free allowances:
- 42 litres of beer
- 18 litres of wine (still)
- 1 litre of spirits and liquor higher than 22% alcohol, or 2 litres of fortified or sparkling wine or other alcoholic drinks under 22% alcohol
- 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco
- £390 of other goods including perfumes and souvenirs
This information was obtained from the official HM Customs & Revenue website in February 2022.
Most other countries have similar limits.
Dubai Duty Free Prices
The most common question most passengers ask is whether they are better off purchasing products at Dubai Duty Free, at another airport, in their home country, or in Dubai itself.
There is no single definitive answer. It depends on the product itself, which country the passenger is from, the airport they are flying from, exchange rates, discounts, and so on. The best way to decide is to carry out careful research based on individual circumstances.
The Dubai Duty Free website has an online store that lists prices for many of its products. Visit the website (link at the end of this article).
There are several websites that can help determine the prices of goods in Dubai itself:
- Jumbo Electronics website lists prices for laptops, TVs, mobile phones, cameras, camcorders etc. Branches include City Centre Deira, Dubai Mall, City Centre Mirdif, and the Mall of the Emirates.
- Sharaf DG is another big electronics retailer in Dubai. Store locations include BurJuman, City Centre Deira, City Centre Mirdif, Ibn Battuta Mall, and the Dubai Mall.
Passengers from the UK can check out the prices online of fragrances, alcohol, and beauty products at many UK airports using the World Duty Free website.
Travellers from other countries should be able to find similar websites.
To compare prices it’s necessary to convert the price to dirhams (AED). Real time exchange rates for the most popular currencies used by travellers to Dubai can be found here.
Dubai Duty Free was founded on 20th December 1983. Every year massive discounts are offered on the anniversary of its founding. In 2021 the discount was 25 percent on a wide range of items.
Dubai Duty Free is known for its luxury shopping, but what some people don’t know is that they also offer lotteries. If you’re lucky enough to win, you can take home some amazing prizes.
The Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire draw is one of the largest prize pools in the world, with a whopping $1 million up for grabs.
The Finest Surprise draw offers participants the chance to win luxury cars such as Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Jaguar, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, or Range Rover.
Tickets can be purchased at Dubai International Airport or online at the official Dubai Duty Free website.