Commercial, retail activities vital to OAMC's 2020 vision

Energy Tuesday 21/November/2017 21:53 PM
By: Times News Service
Commercial, retail activities vital to OAMC's 2020 vision

As Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC) prepares to host ACI Airport Exchange – Airports Council International’s biggest annual trade show at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre 5-7 December (supported by Exclusive Media Partner, Times of Oman), Sheikh Samer bin Ahmed Al Nabhani, General Manager, Commercial Operations, explains how a balance of Omani flavours and global brands will blend together in the retail areas of the new airport.
Muscat: The Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC) vision is for Muscat International Airport to be among the world’s top 20 airports by 2020.
It is an ambitious goal, and Sheikh Samer bin Ahmed Al Nabhani, explains that non-aeronautical revenues – from duty free, food & beverage, and other creative non-aeronautical activities, are a vital component. Commercial activities already account for over 30 per cent of revenues across both Muscat and Salalah airports.
“Commercial revenues critically determine the financial viability of an airport, as these sources tend to generate higher profit margins compared to aeronautical activities,” says Al Nabhani.
Muscat Duty Free: Travel retail exclusive brands
To define the retail strategy for the new Muscat International Airport, OAMC surveyed 5,000 travellers on their expectations, and the findings confirmed that a blend of local and global products and brands provide the best overall balance, while meeting consumer demand for quality and wide selection.
“We have come up with a unique concession programme that will appeal to the broadest range of passengers, both local originating passengers, and those who use the airport for flight connections,” Al Nabhani explains.
“To achieve the overall vision for the concession programme, OAMC needs a full range of travel retail products and services that includes an appropriate mix of international, national, local and regional concepts.
Proven local concepts and brands help to differentiate Muscat International Airport and support its unique sense of place as the gateway to Oman. We need to have a firm grasp of what it means to be global and what it means to be local.
We are committed to showcasing the culture and identity of Oman by promoting the presence of local products, making the passenger journey a memorable one.”
By increasing its stores footprint by over 300% compared with the current airport, Muscat Duty Free will be able to showcase prestigious brands in an innovative retail environment including exclusive products that are not available locally.
Food & beverages with Omani flavour: The 10-year food & beverages contract at the new Muscat International Airport was awarded to BTA – a subsidiary of Turkey’s TAV Holding – with a promise to deliver “unprecedented levels of service” to passengers.
However, in line with OAMC’s commitment to indigenous enterprise, 15% of the 5,000sqm F&B area in the new airport will be devoted to Omani small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“Passengers travelling through Muscat International Airport will have the full opportunity to sample Omani cuisine and local natural products with delicious Omani flavour,” says Al Nabhani.
“We are excited and can’t wait for travellers to share with us their delight at tasting the local Omani cuisine, so they tell us about how different it is in terms of its unique taste.” Digital engagement is also close to the heart of the commercial strategy for Muscat International Airport.
Most retail outlets will offer online ordering, while all F&B outlets will have their menus uploaded onto iPads stationed at key points allowing passengers to order from different locations within the airport and collect from the relevant outlet when ready.
“We have chosen world-class leaders in retail, leisure and dining facilities to offer their services at the new Muscat International Airport, and our partners are poised to enthral passengers by offering international, local and contemporary products and services,” Al Nabhani adds.
“Together with our partners, we are committed to generate substantial non-aeronautical revenues for the airport, transforming landside and airside space into a hub of diverse activities for passengers to experience and adore.”