Dubai Al Maktoum International Airport

Dubai Al Maktoum Duty Free Shopping

Dubai’s new Al Maktoum international airport has a long way to go before it can live up to its billing as the “world’s biggest airport. The United Arab Emirates’ newest airport has only been open for passenger traffic since late October this year. It’s currently handling just a handful of direct flights from mainly low-cost airlines. This low-key start is part of a phased expansion of Al Maktoum international, which will eventually see it handle over 160m passengers by 2027.Well, that’s the theory, anyway. An entire city is being constructed about the fledgling airport with the aim of creating an enormous duty-free trading zone, which will connect East and West as never before. For the moment, however, it’s easy to see why any airline might be reluctant to switch from the existing Dubai international to the new airport. Al Maktoum international is located some 50 kilometres away from Dubai in the scorching desert with no fast transport links into the city.From a passenger’s perspective it’s clear the airport has yet to get its act together. Al Maktoum international’s website is focused on how the airport will look in the years to come and not how it is today. Want to find out how to get into Dubai? Forget it. Interested in learning what shops and restaurants there to while away your time when waiting for your flight? Ditto.

That’s a pity as Dubai Duty Free, the award-winning retailer at Dubai International and the world’s most famous duty-free shop, has already opened a sizeable 2,500 square metre store at Al Maktoum. The selection of duty-free cigarettes, fragrances and liquor is actually very good. Tobacco prices are very low by European standards, for instance. A 200-stick carton of Rothmans King Size Lights is just $14.44, while Winston King Size are also cheap at $15.

Dubai World Centre Al Maktoum AirportThe fragrance assortment is equally broad with all the designer names and newest launches on shelf such as Burberry Body Gold ($68.06), a limited-edition fragrance launched in time for the end of the year festive season. If you want to buy a gift for your wife or girlfriend, why not try one of the many Middle Eastern fragrances available such as Amouage, Designer Shaik, Oud Boutique or Al Hunaidi? They tend to be rich, powerful scents often with woody and spicy notes mixed with heady floral elements.The liquor offer is dominated by Scotch whisky, which continues to be very popular throughout the Middle East. Look out for the new and travel-retail exclusive Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve ($68.06), rich and creamy on the palate, and the super-premium Royal Salute Diamond Tribute ($270), which was launched to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.