Dubai International Airport’s hugely popular Duty Free, has announced that it will henceforth accept Indian Rupees (INR) as an official currency. The Indian Rupee is the 17th international currency to be officially accepted at Dubai Duty Free. Effective  from July 1, 2019, Indian travellers can use their home currency in Terminals 1, 2 and 3 of Dubai International Airport as well as the Al Maktoum International Airport.

How does this benefit Indian travellers?

Indian travellers will no longer have to convert their Indian Rupees into, say, dollars or euros, or dirhams, before conducting a cash transaction, as this often meant extra conversion charges and bank commissions.

Duty Free spokespersons also said that only notes of 100, 200, 500 and 2000 will be accepted and change will be given in UAE dirhams.

This move is a wise one, given that almost one fifth of Dubai Duty Free’s US $2 billion sales come in from Indian passengers. This move also proves the growing importance of Indian travellers, and the large volumes of Indian traffic passing through Middle Eastern airports.

“This news is extremely practical for frequent flyers who transit through Dubai International Airport as we often make quick purchases, between short layovers, and we no longer have to worry about converting money, or mixing up currencies to make a purchase. I can literally just use the cash in my wallet, or swipe my Indian credit card,” says Gaurav Jain, a Mumbai-based marketing professional and Emirates’ frequent flyer.

Since its inception, Dubai Duty Free has pegged itself as one of the world’s most passenger-friendly retail zones. Today, the retail zone resembles a department store, offering products across every segment from beauty and electronics, to luxury fashion and accessories. This move will certainly encourage more Indian passengers to shop at Dubai International Airport. Airlines like Emirates, Air India and Spicejet, are also in a constant race to increase the number of seats between India and the UAE.