DUBAI, March 23 Dubai International Airport's
duty free operator estimates that it will lose about $2 million
in sales this year from the ban on carrying most electronic
devices on United States-bound flights, a senior executive said
Under new security measures announced this week, electronics
larger than a mobile phone will be banned from passenger cabins
on direct flights to the United States from airports in eight
Muslim-majority nations, including the United Arab Emirates,
"We estimate that the ban will cost us around $2 million in
revenue for the year," Dubai Duty Free's Chief Operating Officer
Ramesh Cidambi told Reuters in an emailed statement.
The estimate is based on sales of electronics to U.S.-bound
passengers, excluding mobile phones and accessories, for 2016
and if the ban runs until the end of the year. U.S. officials
have said the ban is indefinite.
Dubai Duty Free made $1.85 billion in total sales last year,
The chief executive of Dubai Airports, Paul Griffiths, had
earlier told DubaiEye radio that the ban on electronics covers
goods sold in the airport, including duty free stores.
The regulations, prompted by reports that militant groups
want to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets, state
that electronics larger than a mobile phone -- including laptops
and tablets -- must be stowed with checked baggage on U.S.-bound
Emirates, the only airline operating direct
flights to the United States from Dubai, will allow passengers
to hand over electronic devices at boarding to minimise
disruption, President Tim Clark told Reuters on Wednesday.
However, analysts warn that travellers, especially those who
want to use laptops to work during flights, could switch to
airlines and airports not affected by the new regulations.
Griffiths said he does not expect a significant impact to
Dubai airport's passenger numbers, while Clark said that
Emirates will monitor the commercial impact.
Britain followed the United States by introducing a similar
ban on Tuesday, though the UK restrictions do not include the
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by David Goodman)