Top 5 Duty Free Airports in the World

Why do international travellers love the duty free retailers found at airports and even in the air? Simply because you can purchase luxury items without the value added tax of the local country, provided you are taking the items out of the country.

Your items that are normally subject to added sin tax are often a lot cheaper at the duty free as they haven’t been levied with the high government tax normally associated with these types of goods. Most items bought at the duty free retailers fall into three categories :

  • cosmetics and fragrances
  • alcohol
  • tobacco products.

So if you travel internationally often, the following are the best duty free airports in the world.


Seoul Incheon International Airport

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Seoul Incheon International Airport

Number five is Seoul Incheon International Airport in South Korea with 90 duty free shops. You can also purchase duty free from several retailers within Korea but these goods are then sent to the airport for you to collect on your way out of the country.

You can even make purchases online, with designated places for pick up of your goods before departure. Shops are open from first flight in the morning until the red eye flight in the evening.


Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

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Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

Fourth place is the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in France. With 280 shops selling all the divine goodies that France is known for. Whether you are looking for some designer shoes or a bottle of French wine, you can find it all at the large number of duty free retailers at this airport.

Brand names such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Longines and Chanel are just a few of the brands of cosmetics, clothing, jewelery, shoes, perfumes and luggage available here. You can also treat yourself to some delicious cheeses and foie gras or even some onion chutney to take home.


Hong Kong International

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Hong Kong International

Hong Kong International slips into third spot as one of the best duty free airports as well as being home to one of the largest passenger terminals in the world. This duty free breaks the mould of the usual high end goods sales by offering items from lower end , more affordable goods up to the more expensive products.

Books, arts, crafts, clothing, travel accessories, cameras and other electronics round up the shopping experience which would normally only offer cosmetics, perfume, fashion, jewelery, liquor and tobacco. They also offer a pricing guide ensuring that your duty free would not cost you more than if you purchased the same item at a downtown shopping outlet.


London’s Heathrow Airport

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London’s Heathrow Airport

Second place is taken by London’s Heathrow Airport. One of the busiest airports in Europe with a duty free taking up 48 thousand square meters.

You can even reserve goods to be collected on short stopovers, saving you time and money. The duty free boasts 17000 items from souvenirs to the usual designer brands.


Dubai International Airport

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Dubai International Airport

Drum roll please! First place spot is Dubai International Airport. As one of the busiest airports in the world, it is also the biggest airport retailer in the world. With Beer, Cigars and Liquor making up a large percentage of sales, followed by perfumes and cosmetics, watches, cameras and accessories.

They also run lotteries to win cars, motorcycles and cash. December 20th marks the 33rd anniversary of the duty free and discounts of 25% or more can be had on items during a 24 hour time period. Dubai Duty Free was named “Brand of the Year” for the second time in 2016 at the prestigious World Branding Awards in London. You might even be lucky to catch a flash mob similar to the one in 2011.