Qatar Duty Free (QDF), owner and operator of all retail and catering outlets at Hamad International Airport (DOH), scooped the top prize of Airport Retailer of the Year at the 2023 Frontier Awards in Cannes, France.

QDF 02

At the glamorous black-tie event – often referred to as the ‘Oscars’ of the travel retail industry, attended by leading retailers, brands and airport authorities in the world – Qatar Duty Free was the most awarded company with three trophies. Airport Retailer of the Year was the most coveted title, with QDF winning the accolade for the very first time.

The judges recognised the unparalleled ambition and excellence in the management of QDF over the last 12 months. They were also awarded with

  • Best New Shop Opening for Timevallée
  • Outstanding Contribution for Senior Vice President Thabet Musleh

HIA Chief Operating Officer Badr Al Meer called their recent recognition a ‘most magical moment’ for Qatar Duty Free. He said that it really is the pinnacle, and they feel very humbled and extremely proud of the recognition. Al Meer said that the retail offer at the airport is diverse, surprising and truly unique.

Our passengers are responding with brilliant reviews, high levels of participation and excellent commercial performance. I believe we have raised the bar to a whole new level, and the proof is in the pudding. Spend per passenger is up +49%. However, we’re only just getting started.

According to QDF Senior Vice President Thabet Musleh, these awards are truly for an exceptional team. He said they are incredibly honoured to receive the prestigious accolades.

From our vision and ambition, walking the talk through to world-class execution with countless firsts, exclusives and unique experiences, Qatar Duty Free is fully committed to setting new standards.

Speaking on behalf of the four thousand-strong QDF team, Musleh whole-heartedly thanked DFNI, the judges, their partners and the wider industry for the recognition. He said that at QDF, they strive to truly offer something for everyone, with exceptional experiences, service and attention to detail.

Musleh said that the award is the result of extraordinary partnerships between their amazing staff and the great brands that they collaborate with. He said they have a pipeline of more ground-breaking partnerships and innovation that will continue to push boundaries, challenge convention and maintain their position as a true leader in airport retail and catering.

In closing, he circled back and dedicated the award to their amazing people.


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