Can Duty Free Save Dubai?

Dubai's economy might've plummeted last month, but their Duty Free industry sure boomed. The year brought record sales - $1.14 billion dollars to be e
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Dubai's economy might've plummeted last month, but their Duty Free industry sure boomed. The year brought record sales - $1.14 billion dollars to be e

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Dubai's economy might've plummeted last month, but their Duty Free industry sure boomed. The year brought record sales - $1.14 billion dollars to be exact. Perfume was the number one money maker and women's fashion sales rose by 36% over 2008, with cosmetics, liquor and cigarettes sandwiched in between. On average, the airport rang up over 55,000 sales transactions per day. (And it helps that you can buy a BMW on the way out.)

But their phenomenal sales go against my airport instincts. I’ve spent almost twenty-four hours in airports over the past two weeks and though I painted each nail a different Chanel color and popped my head into Burberry, and my sister sprayed almost every perfume imaginable, we left with nothing but a tin of Turkish Delight from Turkey. We might not be Hermes’ target customer, but if you stick me in a terminal for hours on end and I don’t buy anything? It’d be surprising if not for the fact that everything’s utterly unappealing in an airport setting. Unless of course you’re one of the people who contributed to Dubai’s record year. Do you do depend on airports for your beauty shopping?