WHSmith to manage stores in new Muscat Airport

1007438Business Reporter –
In partnership with the Ajit Khimji Group from Oman, WHSmith has won three tenders to run a total of seven stores in the new Muscat International Airport passenger terminal. This important move cements WHSmith’s market-leading status for News, Books and Convenience (NBC) format stores in airports across the Middle East. WHSmith already has airport stores in the UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman, with the current Oman store being located in the existing Muscat airport terminal.
These seven stores will add 5,972 square feet to WHSmith’s footprint outside the UK, with this consisting of five NBC stores, one Landside Express by WHSmith convenience store and one Memories of Oman souvenir store. The souvenir store will be the first of WHSmith’s new look and feel ‘Memories Of’ store in the region. The WHSmith Express store will also be the first of its format to open in the Middle East.
Aimen bin Ahmed al Hosni, CEO of OAMC said “this announcement comes as part of a series of previous announcements by the company about the institutions that will be present at the new airport.”
Al Hosni said that OAMC was confident that the new airport, with its opening and operation, will have a significant impact at both international and local levels. He explained that it would help elevate the Sultanate to among the best international airports worldwide and will contribute to both commerce and tourism.
Al Hosni went on to note that the company was keen to establish and build effective cooperation relations with a variety of different types of local and international companies, so to help contribute to the Sultanate’s strategy of economic diversification.
WHSmith International Director Louis de Bourgoing was quoted as saying, “we are delighted to be able to expand our business in Muscat International Airport, bringing new concepts and formats to the region. Muscat was our first overseas business in our recent international expansion and is special to us. Oman is a country we particularly like and we have a terrific partner in the Ajit Khimji Group, with whom we intend to build yet stronger ties.”
Rishi Khimji, Managing Director of Ajit Khimji Group, added “we have a long standing association with Oman Airports Management Company and this win is a reiteration of their faith in our ability to deliver world class products and services to the discerning travellers in Oman. WHSmith is one such sterling example.”