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Travel retail record smashed in Dubai

The most expensive single wine purchase in travel retail was recorded over the weekend at Dubai’s luxury airport drinks shop, Le Clos.

The buyer, who has not been named, snapped up eight bottles of Bordeaux for just under £70,000, or the price of a Porsche 911.

Among the wines selected on Sunday, 22 August, were Pétrus 1947, 1961 and a magnum of 1959.

The store is located in the exclusive Emirates Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport, and the sale nearly doubled the previous international duty free record achieved for an individual purchase of wine.

This sale is testament to a revival in demand for luxury wines in travel retail.  

Andrew Day, CEO of Maritime Mercantile International (MMI), which owns and operates Le Clos, said: “This year we had huge interest in our en primeur release and have continued to see strong sales to wine aficionados and collectors alike who are looking for the highest quality products, trusted provenance and exceptional customer service.

“We’ve seen a noticeable increase in customers purchasing high value items for gifting but also for personal consumption or to diversify their investment portfolios,” he added.

The travel retail fine wine milestone is even ahead of mid-May’s world auction record set at a Christie’s sale in Geneva.

The Swiss sale saw a six bottle case of Paul Jaboulet Ainé’s Hermitage La Chapelle 1961 go under the hammer for more than £66,350, or over £10,000 per bottle.

The rare case smashed its estimate of £36,000 and was bought by an Asian private collector.

Patrick Schmitt, 26.08.2010

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