Middle East and Africa Travel Retail Market Size Set to Expand at Significant CAGR of 6.06%


BlueWeave Consulting, a leading strategic consulting and market research firm, in its recent study, estimated the Middle East and Africa Travel Retail Market size at USD 3.73 billion in 2023. During the forecast period between 2024 and 2030, BlueWeave expects the Middle East and Africa Travel Retail Market size to expand at a CAGR of 6.06% reaching a value of USD 5.68 billion by 2030. The Travel Retail Market in Middle East and Africa is propelled by the increasing tourists visiting the UAE, especially Dubai, and the wide variety of products available to them. The growing influx of international travelers has resulted in increasing revenues for the travel retail market. During the historical period, there were numerous new product and brand launches, which boosted revenue generation. Also, the popularity of the United Arab Emirates, particularly Dubai, as a prime luxury travel destination for international visitors, leading to its reputation as a shopping haven is expected to boost the expansion of the Middle East and Africa Travel Retail Market. Duty-free retail spaces at major airports like Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport play a significant role in further boosting the growth of travel retail market due to a high demand for duty-free goods. Notably, the Middle East’s strategic geographic position, linking all corners of the globe, is further aiding the market’s expansion by attracting more shoppers.

Opportunities – Expansion of Airport Retail Space

Airport retail space is rapidly expanding to meet the growing demand for travel retail and enhance passenger experiences. Abu Dhabi International’s new Terminal A boasts 35,000 square meters of retail and F&B space, with Lagardère Travel Retail as one of the largest concessionaires, operating 12 duty-free and six F&B outlets. This expansion follows a broader trend in the Middle East, where airports are placing greater emphasis on retail as a key aspect of their infrastructure. Dubai Duty Free, a leading airport retailer, operates nearly 40,000 square meters of retail space across Dubai International and Al Maktoum International airports. The company is undergoing significant refurbishment projects, including renovations in Concourse B and arrivals shops. This expansion is a testament to the increasing importance of airport retail, not only for revenue generation but also for enhancing the overall passenger experience. These developments reflect a broader movement in airport design, where retail is no longer an afterthought but a central component of the airport’s infrastructure. The ongoing and planned refurbishments in the Middle East highlight the region’s commitment to creating exceptional retail experiences within airports.

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Impact of Escalating Geopolitical Tensions on Middle East and Africa Travel Retail Market

Geopolitical tensions can have a multifaceted impact on the Middle East and Africa Travel Retail Market, creating challenges due to changing consumer sentiment. Despite this, the UAE and Saudi Arabia remain bright spots, driven by robust GDP and tourism growth. The current geopolitical climate has caused some retailers to face setbacks, with layoffs and consumer boycotts affecting operations. However, the outlook remains positive. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are crucial markets due to their rapid population growth and youthful demographic. To mitigate the impact of escalating geopolitical tensions, brands implement neutral awareness schemes. Dubai, as an open market, welcomes all brands, but those associated with specific political views risk losing consumer trust. Retailers remain adaptable and responsive to these challenges to succeed in the Middle East and Africa Travel Retail Market.

Middle East and Africa Travel Retail Market

Segmental Information

Middle East & Africa Travel Retail Market – By Distribution Channel

Based on distribution channel, the Middle East and Africa Travel Retail Market is divided into Airport & Airline Shops, Seaport & Cruise Line Shops, and Border Downtown Hotel Shop segments. The airport & airline shops segment holds the highest share in the Middle East and Africa Travel Retail Market by distribution channel. It is primarily due to their strategic location and high traffic volume. Airports serve as major transit hubs, attracting a diverse range of international travelers, which creates a substantial customer base for duty-free and travel retail. The convenience of shopping while waiting for flights and a wide array of products contribute to this segment’s appeal. Additionally, airports in the MEA region are investing in expanding and upgrading their retail spaces, further enhancing the shopping experience and driving sales in the travel retail market.

Middle East & Africa Travel Retail Market – By Country

The in-depth research report on the Middle East & Africa Travel Retail Market covers the region’s major countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, and Rest of MEA. The UAE holds the highest share in the Middle East & Africa Travel Retail Market and is expected to maintain its dominance during the forecast period. Dubai, in particular, is a leading airport for international traffic, offering luxurious facilities and an extensive product selection, which consistently attracts more customers each year. These international hubs draw many global shoppers, contributing to market growth. For example, Dubai is the third busiest airport in EMEA for Chinese passengers, and the number of Chinese travelers to Doha has seen substantial growth during the period in analysis.

Competitive Landscape

The Middle East and Africa Travel Retail Market is fragmented, with numerous players serving the market. The key players dominating the Middle East and Africa Travel Retail Market include Aer Rianta International Middle East, Chalhoub Group, Abu Dhabi Duty Free, Lagardere Travel Retail, Dubai Duty Free, Bahrain Duty Free, Big Five Duty Free, Beirut Duty Free, Hamila Duty Free, and Kreol Travel Retail. The key marketing strategies adopted by the players are facility expansion, product diversification, alliances, collaborations, partnerships, and acquisitions to expand their customer reach and gain a competitive edge in the overall market.

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