Aer Rianta checks into Abu Dhabi with 10-year contract
Aer Rianta International (ARI) has won a major 10-year retail contract for Abu Dhabi Airport's new terminal.
The Irish company will be responsible for the retail of perfume, cosmetics, skincare, sunglasses and fashion jewellery at the Midfield terminal. The contract begins in December 2017, when the state-of-the-art terminal is due to open.
Aer Rianta International, a subsidiary of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), is the second Irish company to benefit from the construction of Midfield. Cavan-based insulation maker Kingspan was responsible for supplying insulated wall panels for the terminal that could withstand harsh desert conditions.
ARI was awarded its contract by the Abu Dhabi Airports Company. The Abu Dhabi Airport is the second largest airport in the United Arab Emirates after Dubai, and is also the home base of Etihad Airways.
The Abu Dhabi airport handled just under 20 million passengers last year. Twelve million of those were transfer passengers.
The new terminal will be able to handle up to 30 million passengers a year and boasts 28,000 sq m of commercial space. The entire duty free area at the terminal extends over 7,500 sq m.
"Winning the Abu Dhabi concession reinforces our position as the leading multi-location retailer in the Middle East and we, together with our partners, are looking forward to working alongside Abu Dhabi Airports Company to deliver a unique and world class customer experience," said Jack MacGowan, chief executive of ARI.
He said it was one of the most competitive tender processes in recent travel retail history.
"It caps off a very successful year for ARI following on from our success in entering the Asia Pacific market by securing the Auckland contract and the hugely successful commercial redevelopment of T1 in Dublin airport," he added.
ARI provides retail services in airports all over the world, at locations including Beirut, Delhi, Auckland, Montreal, Barbados, as well as Dublin and Cork. It also owns 20pc of Dusseldorf Airport in Germany.
Last year, ARI's operations generated profits of €18.1m, which was down on the €29.4m it made in 2013.
But the DAA said the fall masked what was a solid performance, as the 2013 figure had included more than €17m in exceptional profits and profits from discontinued operations. It pointed out that sales at continuing locations rose 10pc in 2014.
ARI also owns a retail business in Cyprus. It controls a total of 5,000 sq m of retail space in Larnaca and Paphos airports.