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Global Brands Magazine Interview with Mr. Thabet Musleh – Senior Vice President of Qatar Duty Free

Mr. Thabet Musleh

Global Brands Magazine was pleased to have the opportunity to interview Mr. Thabet Musleh – Senior Vice President of Qatar Duty Free.

1. What are your top priorities for Qatar Duty Free in the next 5 years?

I think our top priorities is continuing to grow the business in Doha as well as looking for opportunities to expand outside of Doha. We are continuing to be the best in retail and bring in innovation, new brands and technology and be a leader in travel retail. Sustainability is another critical aspect of QDF’s future. With environmental concerns gaining traction worldwide, travelers are increasingly seeking eco-friendly options. Qatar Duty Free acknowledges its responsibility to contribute to a sustainable future. The company is committed to reducing single-use plastics, implementing energy-efficient practices, and supporting local eco-friendly products in its retail offerings.

2. How do you plan to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty?

I think through the work we’re doing with Qatar Airways and Avios as well as QPoints is a great way to promote and expose our unique offering at the LV lounge at the new spa that’s coming, this will attract loyalty and customer satisfaction because they’re one of a kind opportunities

3. What are your thoughts on duty free shopping?

I think duty free shopping is no longer just about shopping. It’s all about experiences, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to build.

4. What are your thoughts on the future of duty-free shopping?

The future of travel promises exciting prospects, with increased passenger numbers, enhanced connectivity and integrated experiences becoming the norm. I believe technological innovations like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and personalization technologies will be revolutionizing the way passengers interact with QDF.

5. How does competition arise within an airport and how do you distinguish from the competition?

I think it’s all about being very unique. And I think that’s what makes QDF different than everyone else. We see the uniqueness in the sense of unique experiences, unique offers and unique brands.

6. How do you plan on scaling the business in the next 10 years?

We have big ambitions for the next 10 years, launching an extraordinary commerce proposition and always investing in launching new experiences and amazing partnerships with iconic brands. It is also about replicating the successes we have in Doha and taking them outside of Doha.

7. What are your goals for Qatar Duty Free in terms of brand positioning and customer awareness?

Our goals for QDF are to elevate the brand; it’s around making sure that we are a brand that holds a whole load of exciting and relevant brands and we become the reference in travel retail where everybody wants to become part of our journey.

8. How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the duty-free industry?

At QDF we don’t look at duty free we look at the retail and global position and that’s how we find out about trends in retail. Our benchmark is not what the duty free operators are doing.

9. What are your thoughts on the role of technology in the future of duty-free shopping?

Innovation and technology lies at the heart of Qatar Duty Free’s mission. The role of technology is very important, but it’s to complement what we do I think bricks and mortar will always be important. People always want the experience. People always want to be able to taste feel, smell products, digital and technology will complement it and not take away from it. By partnering with worldwide brands and investing in cutting-edge technologies, I am making sure that QDF is constantly redefining the travel retail experience ensuring that every passenger’s journey is as enjoyable as their final destination

10. How do you measure the success of your team?

I’m very lucky to have an amazing team that works in QDF and everything that you see day today in the airport is achieved through all the talents we have been nurturing along the years as well as via bringing external expertise allowing us to constantly push the bar and elevate the passenger experience. And all of the success of Qatar duty free is down to the amazing team that we have and that’s how we measure success. We win together we lose together but we win more than we lose

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