Indians traversing through Dubai International Airport and Maktoum Airport can now shop at the duty-free lounges using Indian currency. This concession which came into effect on July 1 makes India the 16 countries to be allowed to do so. Indian rupees in the denomination of Rs 100, 200, 500 and 2000 will be accepted, however, if the change has to be tendered it will be only in UAE Dirham.

Shopping at duty-free shops at the airport in Dubai now just got easier for Indians.  The Indian currency will now be accepted at all three terminals of Dubai International Airport.  This has commenced since July 1.

According to the Gulf News, UAE, Indian visitors will not have to convert the Indian rupee to Dirham to shop at the Dubai International Airport as well as Al Maktoum Airport.  A Dubai duty-free staff confirmed that they have now started accepting the Indian rupee, however, if the change has to be tendered it will be in Dirham.

According to the Khaleej Times, , duty free officials confirmed that the Dubai Duty Free shops have started accepting the Indian rupee from July 1, and the same will be accepted at all points of sale (POS) of Dubai Duty Free Terminal 1, 2 and 3 of the Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport.”At present the following denominations are being accepted: 100s, 200s, 500s (only the new one as earlier one is out of circulation) and 2000’s,” they stated.

They also added that “When paying Indian rupee the change will be in UAE Dirham.  Only the US Dollar, Euro, and Sterling Pound are being exchanged in the same currency.”

According to Gulf News, UAE earlier Indian tourists had to convert the Indian Rupee to Dollars or Dirham or Euro to make purchases at the duty-free shops at this airport.  An Indian tourist has hailed it ‘as a great move and will benefit us immensely.”The Indian rupee will become the 16 currency to be accepted for transaction at the Dubai duty-free shops since they commenced in 1983. The Dubai duty-free travel retail operator market has grown over the years and is one of the biggest in the world today. Celebrating its 35th-anniversary last year on December 20, 2018, and has already crossed the $2 billion mark.

Spread over 38,000 sqm of retail space at the Dubai International Airport and 4,000 sqm at Al Maktoum International, the Dubai duty-free has not only raised the benchmark for airport retiling but is expected to grow exponentially with the development plans of Dubai south.  In 2018 it recorded an annual sale of US$ 2.015 billion, with Indians accounting for 18% f its business. Dubai International Airport employs over 6000 people from 47 different countries. Of these, Indians account for the second highest group of employees.  Of the original 100 which joined in 1983, and the 25 persons still in service there are referred to as ‘pioneers’.    

It is estimated that nearly 90 million passengers passed through Dubai Airports last year, of which 12.2 million were Indians. Most of these were from Mumbai, Delhi, and Cochin.

Source: Khaleej Times | Gulf News | The National

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