Beirut Duty Free

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Aside from being a crucial part of countries’ economy and, well, their tourism sector, airports are renowned for the duty free shops they house. This case study is primarily concerned with the Beirut Duty Free and our collaboration with them, but will also discuss the 7 major companies that own and operate the several duty free shops worldwide.

In 1947, the world’s first duty free store opened at Shannon Airport, offering Irish linen, French fragrances, German ceramics, and liquors to customers flying to North America. Since then, duty free services have grown to be among the most highly-esteemed services, selling a broad array of products ranging from delicacies to cosmetic products, apparel, technological devices, and everything in between.

Direct and Effective​

Introduction to Duty Free Services

According to an Investopedia source, host nations in most cases ask you to pay an import, retail, value-added (VAT), or municipal tax on the products you purchase. When browsing at airports, sea ports, and on global airline flights, however, you are exempt from all of the aforementioned additional expenses.

Duty free stores frequently sell premium branded, high-priced goods that imply luxury or decadence (cigars and cigarettes are available at duty free outlets) or posh tourist souvenirs from the host country.

Advertisements claim that duty free costs are 10% to 50% cheaper than traditional pricing. Because the goods would be used beyond the host country, the duty free retailer will pack your purchases and give them to you as you’re boarding your flight.

Beirut Duty Free Logo - Corporate Video

Duty free purchases made in the host nation may be charged when you return to your own country. Duty free restrictions differ based on your home country, travel itinerary, and duration of stay. Other criteria apply to the products purchased, the price of the item, and the country in which it was manufactured.

The 7 Most Prominent Duty Free Retailers Worldwide

There are many operators running duty free services around the world, but 7 of them are the most prominent and dominant in this industry. In fact, some airports are targeted for their duty-free stores that include a wider range of products than some of their competitors.


China Duty Free Group (CDFG)

China Duty Free Group, established in 1984, is the state-owned corporation licensed by the State Council to manage duty free commerce in China, one of the world’s busiest airport hubs.

Over the course of 30 years, CDFG has formed long-term alliances with over 1,000 of the world’s best luxury brands and opened over 200 retail outlets in more than 90 cities spanning 30 provinces, municipalities, and independent territories.

CDFG is now one of the major worldwide duty free operators. Looking ahead, CDFG will continue to grow, optimize, and expand China’s duty free market, relying on the enormous tourist resources of its mother company, China Tourism Group.

The CDFG will consolidate resources holistically, intensify structural transformation, and reinvent operational mechanisms. It will aggressively expand its core business into adjacent industries while dominating China’s duty free sector and aspire to become a world-leading duty-free carrier.


Dufry Duty Free

Dufry Ltd. is a publicly traded firm in Basel, Switzerland, with a history that dates back to 1865. Dufry operates on a global scale, with its corporate structure divided into three different regions: Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas.

Dufry manages nearly 2,300 duty free and duty-paid stores in airports, cruise ships, seaports, and other tourist destinations and has one of the most diverse list of brands among the other major duty free operators, which you can find here.


World Duty Free (WDF)

World Duty Free (WDF) is owned by Dufry, and they are one of the world’s top competitors in airport retail owing to an incredible collection of skilled team members.

As a subsidiary of Dufry, they operate over 2,200 stores in 63 countries across Europe, Asia and the Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Oceania, hiring 31,000 people and catering to the shopping requirements of hundreds of millions of travelers.

They provide their clients with access to a wide choice of tax and duty free items such as perfumes and beauty products, champagnes, distilled spirits, tobacco, confectionery, travel needs and fashion apparel, as well as mementos from each host country. 

Their vast product variety offers significant cost advantages over both the high street and the world’s top luxury and fashion labels.


Gebr. Heinemann

The small family firm founded in 1879 by brothers Carl and Heinrich Heinemann has grown over five generations to become a significant wholesaler and retailer for the overseas travel industry. Gebr. Heinemann now provides and operates stores in approximately 140 international airports.

Today, they run almost 500 Duty Free & Travel Value Shops and fashion label outlets under license, as well as concept stores in international airports, border crossings, and on cruise liners.

Furthermore, they sell an ever-expanding selection of foreign branded items to international airports, airlines, cruise ships, ferries, and border shops across the world.


Lagardère Travel Retail

Lagardère Travel Retail, one of the Lagardère Group’s business units, is a revolutionary worldwide leader in the traveling retail market. They have more than 160 years of expertise in travel retail after the first store opened in 1852 at Paris Gare de Lyon, and they provide unique experiences for travelers day in and day out.

They seek to be the preferred partner of travel retail operators by designing and delivering optimal value offerings. They have become one of the most successful duty free merchants still in operation, with over 4,800 outlets spanning Travel Essentials, Duty Free Fashion, and Food service at airports, railway stations, and other venues in 42 countries in Europe and Eastern Asia.


Lotte Duty Free

With a 40-year history in Seoul, Lotte Duty Free is currently a travel retail pioneer and one of the most renowned travel partners. With 19 stores in 7 countries, including sections of Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, they are on their way to become the world’s greatest duty free retailer.


Phoenicia Aer Rianta Company (PAC)

Phoenicia Aer Rianta Co. Sal., a partnership between Phoenicia Trading Afro Asia and Aer Rianta International Middle East, manages and controls Beirut Duty Free. Their establishments, which were planned and built to the greatest international retail norms, officially began operating in 2003.

Beirut’s duty-free reputation has grown dramatically since then. It is today regarded as one of the region’s top duty-free retailers, providing amazing travel customer experiences with a core retail philosophy centered on customer care, selection quality, and affordability. Beirut Duty Free provides a wide choice of items in a well-designed shopping setting.

Beirut Duty Free

Beirut Duty Free is one of the largest travel retail firms in the Middle East, working in collaboration with Aer Rianta International, the pioneers in the travel retail industry, having opened the first duty free store in Shannon, Ireland in 1947.

Beirut Duty Free employs approximately 900 people and sells a wide range of international and local Lebanese products to suit all preferences.

Visitors going through Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport at any hour of day or night can visit the store. Beirut duty free wants commuters to relish the airport and test product lines. The organization believes that travelers’ experiences at airports should be enjoyable, whether they are at the start or end of their journey.

Because Beirut duty free isn’t as big as the others in bigger countries, they heavily rely on the media to promote their products and services. For this reason, they approached us to create an animated explainer video for them to publish, as you will read below.

Our Video-Production Collaboration with the Beirut Duty Free

As has been established, Beirut duty free depends on the media to promote their offerings in hopes of attracting a larger number of customers to make up for the relatively small area in which they operate.

The Beirut duty free offers a wide range of services, among which is their Shop and Collect initiative. This free service makes travelers’ lives easier in multiple ways. In the animated explainer video we created for Lebanon’s airport’s duty free, this service is presented and its advantages are discussed. 

The beginning of the video features the logo of Beirut’s duty free alongside the service being presented, i.e. their Shop and Collect initiative, and the video’s mascot. The explainer video’s voiceover begins by welcoming the viewers and then dives into the explanation of what a person can do thanks to said service.

The second part of the video features the mascot surrounded by different types of products that the Beirut duty free sells. 

Using Beirut Duty Free’s Shop and Collect service would allow you to reserve the items you would like to purchase before your flight, and then collect these items upon your arrival to your destination. All you need is your passport and boarding pass to store your package, which would then earn you a receipt to be used when you want to pick up your package. 

The duty free animated explainer video then features a call-to-action, calling the airport’s customer service number displayed on the screen.

By doing this 3 hours prior to your flight, Beirut’s duty free employees would reserve your items for you in case you’re running late and won’t have time to leisurely walk around to purchase the items you want “for a hassle-free shopping experience at great prices.”

The animated explainer video we created for Beirut’s airport ends on the same note it began, i.e. by welcoming viewers to the airport’s duty free area.

Interesting Facts About Animated Explainer Videos ​

How Airports Can Benefit from Explainer Videos

Much like what Beirut’s airport did, airports could leverage explainer videos in multiple ways. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Sharing the videos on social media platforms and website to relay important notices and messages in a more engaging way.
  • Bringing to life the dull how-to processes and safety measures that travelers must know (also shareable on social media platforms and the airport’s website).
  • Diversifying multimedia projects (animations instead of presentations / newsletters / brochures).


For more information on the video services that airports can benefit from, click here.


Beirut’s duty free is among the region’s most adored ones despite its relatively small size thanks to its massive product diversity and advanced services.

However, spreading word of said products and services isn’t always easy. This is why the Beirut Rafic Hariri airport contacted us to produce a video that would promote the duty free’s Shop and Collect initiative, which was pretty successful. 

Verve Videos is able to promote your brand as a whole, a specific product or service, create tutorial and demo videos on how to use them, curate your ideas into social mediafriendly formats, and much more in styles ranging from whiteboard to live-action. To benefit from this, contact us to discuss your project and get a free quote!