Emirates In Flight Duty Free Shopping
Dubai is a shopper’s paradise. This desert metropolis is full of shopping malls and souks. And of course, Dubai airport boasts the best-known duty-free store on the planet: Dubai Duty Free. It’s no surprise then that Duabi-based Emirates Airlines runs a big shopping business too. In fact, the airline achieved duty-free sales of over $60m (£40.1m) last year.
Emirates’ shopping business isn’t confined to the normal inflight duty-free catalogue. Yes, passengers can shop from the sizeable ‘Emirates Duty Free Collection’ catalogue, but the airline also runs an online retail operation called www.emirateshighstreet.com, which ships to over 60 countries worldwide. It is open to anyone as long as they enroll in Emirate’s Skywards frequent flyer programme (membership is free).
Emirates also runs seven official Emirates Merchandise stores in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These shops are aimed at kids and aviation enthusiasts. They sell replica model aircraft, cabin crew dolls, banded bags, clothing, as well as branded gifts such as mugs, key rings and fridge magnets. Note that three of stores are located at Dubai airport (two in Terminal 3, and one in Terminal 1). Browse the full product range at www.emiratesofficialstore.com, but be aware that the site will only deliver purchases within the UAE.
Emirates Duty Free Collection
It’s a big shame that Emirates passengers can’t pre-order their purchases or view the Emirates Duty Free Collection magazine anywhere on the emirates.com website. It’s true the inflight catalogue contains many of the same products as the www.emirateshighstreet.com, but there are plenty of products in the magazine that aren’t on the site.
So when you get onboard and finally have the magazine in your hand, what will you find? Well, the latest 2013 brochure offers a superb range of women’s and men’s fragrances. Many of them are newly listed onboard. New additions for women include Moschino Pink Bouquet ($70/£46.80), Fame by Lady Gaga ($76/£50.85) and Dahlia Noir by Givenchy ($116/£77.60).
What we particularly like is that all the fragrances are conveniently categorised into four main types according to their smell. The four types are woody, fruity, floral and oriental. It’s a simple but effective guide for shoppers, especially as is no chance onboard to smell the scent before you buy.
Jewellery is Emirates’ biggest onboard seller, generating around a third of total sales. Thus Emirates Duty Free Collection features a big collection of predominantly gold costume jewellery in often quite elaborate, decorative styles. Much of the jewellery sold onboard is made by the airline’s own Amanda Suarez house brand. Other more widely available jewellery brands available include pearl specialist Misaki, Buckeley and Tateossian.
Watches are another strongpoint for the in-flight duty-free offer. Emirates’ own in-house brands Roberto Paggio and Eduardo Verde offer a wide range of men’s and women’s styles. Prices range between $100 and150 (£66-100). Other watch brands available include Montine, Thierry Mugler, Aviator, Montblanc, Guess and Cerrutti.
We particularly like the newly listed Sturmanskie Gents Yuri Gargarin watch ($125/£83.60). It is an exact replica of the watch the cosmonaut wore on that first famous space flight in 1961. Soviet retro doesn’t get any better.
In-flight duty-free is often a great place to pick up last-minute travel accessories and compact electronic devices that might be useful at your destination. For instance, the E25 Dual Sim mobile phone at $99 (£66) can take two SIM cards: your normal network provider’s, and a local one at your destination so you can make cheaper calls while you’re away.
We also like the portable HandyScan Compact & portable scanner ($125/£83.60), which can wirelessly scan documents and letters and business cards in seconds, and then convert them into electronic form, which can later be accessed on a computer.
Emirates High Street
Emirateshighstreet.com offers customers a much wider range of goods, which includes far more bulky items that would never fit on a duty-free trolley. These outsize products include bags, holdalls, backpacks, a colourful, but expensive sledge at $89.95 (£60), a kids balance bike at $164 (£109.70), and even a badminton set at $130 (£87).
The site also offers plenty of items for the home including an Electrolux Espresso machine at $179 (£120), a Philippi Fire Table Fireplace at $145 (£97), a Bosch cordless screwdriver at $75 (£50) and a Fat Boy Outdoor beanbag at $352 (£235.50). As our examples show, the range of products available on EmiratesHighstreet.com is rather random and prices aren’t cheap. One good thing is that Skywards members can pay for goods with their air miles.
One other point to make about Emirateshighstreet.com is that the site also offers users a limited, but good selection of wines and spirits. Alcohol bought on the site can only be picked up on arrival at Dubai airport. The supplier is Emirates-owned Dubai airport wine-store Le Clos. The range includes great wines from New Zealand, Spain and South Africa, as well as Peller Estate ice wine from Canada, Nikka whisky from Japan, and Zubrowska Bison Grass vodka from Poland
Emirates at a glance
Emirates Duty Free Collection offer a wide range of fragrances, watches and jewellery.
Emirates High Street delivers to over 60 countries worldwide.
Skywards members can pay for goods on Emirates High Street with their air miles
Emirates doesn’t offer an online pre-order service for Emirates Duty Free Collection
Emirates Duty Free Collection doesn’t sell cigarettes, sunglasses or alcohol