Left: Design rendering of ARI’s winning concept created by The Design Solution
Abu Dhabi Airports, the operator for Abu Dhabi International Airport in the UAE, has awarded contracts to retail operators Aer Rianta International (ARI) and Lagardère Capital to provide duty-free concessions in the airport’s new Midfield Terminal Building (MTB).
ARI will operate duty free space dedicated to perfumes, cosmetics, skincare, sunglasses and jewelry, whereas Lagardère Capital, a joint venture between investment firm Abu Dhabi Capital Group and Lagardère Travel Retail, will oversee the tobacco, confectionery and fine foods categories. ARI worked in partnership with London-based interior design firm The Design Solution to create the winning retail design concept.
Ali Majed Al Mansoori, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, said, “Offering an unrivalled, sensational travel experience to passengers sits at the heart of everything we aim to deliver at the MTB – the future gateway to the capital city. We received several very strong bids for these contracts, but ARI and Lagardère Capital came up with ideas that will set new benchmarks in airport retail. We selected these two companies as their technologically advanced and unique concepts were perfectly aligned with our ambitions. With them both on board, we are confident that the MTB retail offering will impress travelers, creating a distinctive sense of purpose and sense of place that they will want to experience again and again.”
Jack MacGowan, CEO of ARI, said “This is a very proud moment for ARI and its partners worldwide and I’d like to pay tribute to the entire ARI project team who worked tirelessly on this submission. Delivering Abu Dhabi Airport’s vision of ‘sensational experiences’ was at the heart of our proposal and we are excited at the prospect of seeing our innovative designs, marketing campaigns and retail concepts brought to life at the new Midfield Terminal. I’d also like to commend the team at Abu Dhabi Airports for challenging the traditional conventions of the airport/retailer relationship. This really gives us the best opportunity to create an iconic duty free offering and ultimately convert many more passengers to customers.”
Dag Rasmussen, chairman and CEO of Lagardère Travel Retail, said, “Lagardère Capital is extremely grateful to be awarded the MTB duty free concession and is looking forward to creating the ultimate duty free experience for passengers. We have created for Abu Dhabi an innovative concept with the ambition to create a multi-sensory shopping experience that is an extraordinary fusion of iconic brands entertainment, technology and culture, with a unique Abu Dhabi touch. We are confident that the Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal stores will no doubt set new benchmarks for the industry.”