Website of the Week: Qatar Duty Free – 24/04/08

Website of the Week – Qatar Duty Free

QATAR. Last week Qatar Duty Free, a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, unveiled its redesigned website,

“My brief for the website was to keep it simple yet classy,” says Qatar Duty Free’s newly promoted Vice President Krishna Kumari, who personally supervised the theme and feel of the new-look site.

And true to form, Ms Kumari manages to deliver a classy and upmarket layout and design that reflects the luxurious shopping experience for which Qatar Duty Free is known.

The revamped site, while still in the early stages of development, is underpinned by sleek graphics and flash animation, projecting a very modern sensibility.

The home page opens with understated elegance as the visitor is greeted by the Qatar Duty Free logo above the tagline “˜A World-Class Destination’, alongside luxury product images that highlight the site’s premium positioning


The home page opens with understated elegance as the visitor is greeted by the Qatar Duty Free logo above the tagline “˜A World-Class Destination’.

The retailer’s intent to appeal to an international audience is underlined by the use of its logo without the customary Arabic subscript, as well as the website’s purely English offering (the Qatar Airways website is available in both English and Arabic).

Three luxury product images flash in sequence, highlighting Qatar Duty Free’s premium positioning: Bvlgari rings, a Mont Blanc watch and a Vertu mobile phone.

On the right hand side of the mostly black and white coloured home page is the content menu, which lists the following: About QDF, Luxury Car Draw, Millionaire Draw, Location Maps, Contact Us and Join Us.

Clicking each of the links on the menu separates the page into three horizontal segments. The topmost segment displays the Qatar Duty Free logo and tagline against a rich purple background. The middle segment is where the visuals appear in slow and fading sequences, a pace that encourages a pleasant and laid-back browsing experience. The bottom segment, with its crisp white background, is where the text is displayed.

The visuals offer a nice preview of the actual shopping grounds and bring to life an otherwise lengthy piece of text


The information provided in this section is extensive, and sums up Qatar Duty Free nicely in the first paragraph: Qatar Duty Free, located at Doha International Airport, is a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, and operates within the departures, arrivals, VIP lounge and the Premium Terminal of Doha International Airport.

There is also a comprehensive list of the various product categories available within the 1,100sq m airport retail area. A brief description of one or two sentences of the individual categories is also provided.

These categories include Liquor and Tobacco, Perfumes & Cosmetics, Cosmetics, Ladies’ Fashion Accessories, Sunglasses, Jewellery and Luxury Gifts, Men’s Fashion Boutiques, Food & Refreshments, Cameras, Electronics & Mobiles, Music and DVD, Watches, Bookshop/Souvenirs/Gifts, Travel Luggage, Toys and Gold shop.

The visuals in this section offer a nice preview of the actual shopping grounds. There is one image of the exterior of the building, and interior photos include shots of perfumes & cosmetics, toys, watches and fashion accessories. These images bring to life the otherwise lengthy piece of text.

The site shines the spotlight on Qatar Duty Free’s hallmark raffles – the Luxury Car and the popular Millionaire Draws


The site also shines the spotlight on Qatar Duty Free’s hallmark raffles – the Luxury Car draws and the popular Millionaire Draw.

Under Luxury Car Draw are images of the two cars currently being raffled and on display at the departures of Doha International Airport: the Mercedes CL 500 and the Range Rover Sport Super Charged.

The One Million US Raffle launched in May 2006 has enjoyed significant success. Each draw is made after 5,000 tickets are sold. Both departing and transiting passengers at Doha Airport are able to purchase raffle tickets, each priced at QAR950. The retailer is currently selling tickets for the third raffle.

The visuals for this section are attention-grabbing, with one of them showing “˜ONE MILLION US DOLLARS’ in glittering gold font and another of the latest prize draw, showing Ms Kumari with the million dollar cheque and two Qatar representatives holding giant car key mock-ups. The draw, which turned one passenger into an instant millionaire and another two into luxury car owners, represented the first time Qatar Duty Free has held three raffles on the same day.

Visitors are informed that raffle tickets can only be purchased at Doha International Airport for now, but Qatar Duty Free will soon develop a payment gateway to allow customers to buy tickets online.


The website also features location maps directing visitors to the various categories at the airport. However, the two maps shown are only for Departures – the ground floor and the mezzanine floor – even though Qatar Duty Free also operates in Arrivals, the VIP Lounge and the Premium Terminal.

The location maps shown are static and show basic directions to the various categories, which are marked by colour

The two maps are static and show basic directions to the various categories, which are marked by colour. Arrows are shown for simple orientation. A larger or enlargeable image will give a clearer picture, as some of the smaller text tends to be less than legible.

It will also be helpful if visitors are given a directory of the shops available.

The website also provides contact information for both passengers and visitors interested in joining the company.

Overall, the Qatar Duty Free website manages to exude sophistication with the use of flash navigation, sleek images and a classy black, white and deep purple colour scheme. The use of fading images, coupled with the lack of music, contribute to the leisurely browsing experience. The site is – for now – still mainly an information source about Qatar Duty Free, but the company has announced plans to further enhance it with additional features.


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