Brunei • it’s getting there ....
Brunei International (BWN) is the main airport of the sovereign State of Brunei Darussalam the fabulously wealthy oil-rich sultanate which borders the South China Sea on Borneo’s north coast, and is surrounded by the Malaysian state of Sarawak.
Impressive economic growth has transformed Brunei into an industrialised nation that now boasts one of the highest GDPs in the world. The airport, however, is anything but impressive and while improvements to the airport’s look, feel, ambience and customer service are already being reported it has a long, long way to go in providing a fitting travel retail and passenger experience.
Brunei is a “dry” Islamic country, so alcohol is not sold at the airport. Arriving passengers can bring in alcohol for personal use only provided they are non-Muslim and over 17 years of age. The limits are not generous - 2 bottles of liquor and 12 cans of 330 ml beer • given you maybe staying here on holiday. You will need to declare it on arrival by filling in a Liquor Form available from any Customs Control Post.Transit passengers are advised to keep any duty free alcohol purchases from earlier legs of their journey in firmly sealed duty free bags, to avoid any risk of confiscation.
This small, functional airport has one terminal, there are several Duty Free shops at the airport, run by a subsidiary of Royal Brunei Airlines. Alcohol aside, they stock a full range of prestige products from luxury chocolates and delicacies to fragrances, apparel, designer sunglasses, jewellery and writing instruments. small, gift and souvenir stores, money changers, ATMs, a parenting room, a prayer room, convenience stores, car hire and an Internet café.
Watches get a good showing here from world-class brands like those at Rolex, Timex, Philippe Starck, Seiko or Pulsar. For that subtle sporting edge, opt for something robust from Diesel, Fossil, Oakley, Puma or a great value and colourful Breo.
Similarly with travel retail exclusives from the world’s favourite cosmetics and jewellery brands. A Pandora bracelet, Swarovski crystal necklace set or sparkling ring from Lacroix, Emporio Armani or Pierre Cardin is guaranteed to elicit the desired response. Alternatively, try the perfume and cologne counters, for new new fragrances from Thierry Mugler, Paco Rabanne, Guerlain, Dior or the apple-fresh scents of DKNY. With many collections and taster sets only available at travel retailers, this is the perfect opportunity to pick up some unique gifts.
If planning to send envy-enducing postcards home from a Southeast Asian beach, you’ll be needing two final tax-free purchases. Firstly, a new limited-edition fountain pen from Mont Blanc, Bvlgari, Namiki or Diplomat. Secondly, a pair of show-stopping sunglasses to protect your eyes in style from Gucci, D&G, Prada, Chanel or Police.
It is also wise to use Brunei Dollars for any purchases made at the airport as comments about unfavourable exchange rates and credit card difficulties continue to pepper travellers’ reviews.
See our duty free allowances guide Brunei Duty Free Allowances
Main airline operaters serving Brunei are;
- National carrier:Royal Brunei Airlines
- Cebu Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Silk Air, Thai Airways and Air Asia.