One World Duty Free, and Port City Colombo have signed two agreements to operate Sri Lanka’s first-ever downtown duty-free store. The signature-ceremony was held at the Colombo Port City Economic Commission’s office last week. The two companies said their partnership will bring to life a preeminent global duty-free retail destination in Sri Lanka.

ODF’s first retail store outside of Singapore

According to the partnership agreement, ODF is set to develop and operate a 1,250 square metre duty free store at Port City Colombo, offering a curated mix of international brands spanning Beauty, Wellness, Spirits & Wines and Fashion. ODF’s first retail store outside of Singapore will be nestled within a 7,000 square metre shopping oasis, Port City Duty Free Mall, primely positioned amidst a throng of international prestige hotels and casinos that promise a diverse and affluent customer base of tourists, expatriates, and locals.

Construction of the ODF store is slated to commence from mid-2023, with trading planned to kick off by year’s end. “ODF Port City Colombo will offer travellers a purpose-built shopping environment enhanced by the company’s innovative approach to smart retail,” said the Singapore-owned omnichannel retailer in a statement.

In our partners at Port City Colombo, we recognise a level of ambition which is perfectly aligned with One World Duty Free’s game-changing approach to duty-free retail. The opportunity to showcase our credentials on the world stage and contribute to the creation of a landmark destination in Asia is a key milestone in One World Duty Free’s journey of progressive expansion across Asia,” said Keira Zhang, Founder & CEO of One World Duty Free.

New gateway to South Asia

Anticipating a sustained resurgence in tourist arrivals following the COVID pandemic, Port City Colombo is set to accelerate Sri Lanka’s economic development by creating a new gateway to South Asia through a range of state-of-the-art infrastructure, including commercial and residential buildings, recreational facilities, a financial district, and a modern transportation network.

Developed in collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka, and CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd (CPCC) as a public-private partnership, Port City Colombo is Sri Lanka’s biggest development project funded by foreign direct investment to date. With major investment plans for travel retail, entertainment, and leisure facilities Port City Colombo aims to become a prime tourism and shopping choice “on par with landmark destinations such as Singapore and Dubai.

In order to make our vision for Port City Colombo a reality, we have sought out best-in-class partners that can bring fresh thinking and innovation. One World Duty Free’s technology-led ethos and commitment to delivering memorable consumer experiences will play a critical role in ensuring we deliver a compelling retail offer to travellers from across the world and thus the Commission’s vision of creating Port City Colombo as a world-class touristic shopping destination,” commented Dr Priyath B. Wickrama, Director General of the Commission and Commission Member of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission.