Established in 2003, Muscat Duty Free (MDF) (a trade name of Oman Sales & Services LLC) is a 50/50 joint venture company between Oman Air and Aer Rianta International Middle East (ARIME), an arm of the renowned Aer Rianta, which is widely credited with pioneering the concept of airport duty free shopping. ARIME is the biggest international duty free operator in the Middle East region, with business interests in Bahrain, Lebanon, Cyprus, Qatar and Oman.
The current business activities of the company include:
- Duty free shops and related activities within departure and arrival areas at Muscat International Airport.
- A duty free outlet and an Internet cafe at Port Sultan Qaboos.
- Management and operation of Oman Air in-flight duty free.
The key strategy of MDF is primarily geared towards providing all travelers arriving and departing Oman with local and international products at competitive prices in an environment where customer service is paramount along with maintaining a flavor of Oman while developing a travel retail facility capable of competing with the best in the region and one Oman can be proud of.
Duty Free shops at Muscat International Airport has taken on a whole new look and product offers have been greatly enhanced since MDF taking over the operations in February 2003. MDF has nearly doubled the retail space to reach a total retail area of approximately 1,900 sq mt and now operates 9 outlets at departures and an arrival outlet at the airport. These outlets offer the best in perfumery, cosmetics, jewellery, fashions & accessories, liquor, tobacco, confectionery, food, photo-electronic products, gold and an exclusive Omani heritage area. The Omani heritage area and the Amouage perfume shop at departures have become major attractions for passengers passing through the airport, while also providing an impetus to promote Omani products. Moreover, the popular and fast growing arrivals outlet remains a star performer which enables passengers arriving into the country a last chance to pick up their duty free purchases. At MDF, passengers can also find many travel retail exclusive and special offers which are perfect for their own use as well as for gifting their loved ones.
MDF was able to maintain its steady sales growth even during the recent difficult global economic crisis period suggesting effectiveness of its marketing and promotional strategies. In fact MDF has outperformed many of the larger regional competitors in percentage growth terms, and is becoming more recognised as a serious player in the regional duty free business. The availability of leading international brands at competitive prices in a powerful display, supported by aggressive promotions and good customer service are the main drivers behind this growth.
Additional services have been extended to pre-ordering, car draw promotions and cash raffles which are becoming very popular. The pre-order facility, which is growing popular among customers, allows them to order something which they like while passing through departures and collect from arrivals on their return or vice versa.
During the second half of 2009, MDF expanded its retail space in to the newly constructed pier at the Muscat International Airport. The additional retail space secured from the airport authority has been utilized to set up a branded Amouage perfume outlet, a last minute shop to cater for customers who didn't have sufficient time to shop at the main shop and also a Gift Shop where customers can pick something special for their loved ones.
In 2012 MDF opened a dedicated Sunglasses store which is operated in conjunction “La Moda”. Here you will find high end brands such as Prada, Ray Ban, Gucci, Armani and Roberto Cavalli.
In 2013 MDF opened a specially designed Lacoste store and a Samsonite store which stocks all travel ware that you may need for your journey.
In late 2013 MDF launched their online shop. Passengers can select from over 1,500 different products, they simply pay online and they can collect their purchases at our collection points in departures or arrivals.
MDF has also streamlined customer flow through the shops by expanding and better positioning cash points, which has become resounding success as evident from the growth in sales volume over the period and customer goodwill.