In The Press

South Asia’s first Downtown Duty-Free Mall to open in August at Port City


Creating a historic economic landmark, South Asia’s first Downtown Duty-Free (DF) Mall, now being constructed at the Colombo Port City will be opened in August this year.

The Downtown Duty-Free will offer duty free shopping to tourists as well as Sri Lankans and expatriates returning from overseas giving them more choices of shopping. The venue will also elevate Sri Lanka as an even better shopping destination for tourists. Downtown Duty-Free is also expected to attract a huge clientele from neighboring countries especially India as the huge mall will be even bigger than the Mustafa Complex in Singapore which is a preferred destination for Indian tourists.

Indian travelers currently need to have a Singapore Visa prior to their arrival and if they are travelling to Sri Lanka an online visa system is available and this would be an advantage to woo Indian shoppers to the Downtown Duty-Free,” an official from the Colombo Port City said. Two leading Duty Free Operators have already consented to open shops at this venue along with several other foreign and local players. The Commission also oversees the construction of the region’s first to be operated by two of the world’s leading DF operators, positioning the Colombo Port City as a regional shopping destination, the Commission stated. Colombo Port City Economic Commission, set up in June 2021 by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is now looking at the possibility to offer a revised, enhanced Duty-Free allowance from Sri Lanka passport holders who return back to the country.

In addition the Downton Duty Free the International Financial Centre (CIFC) too would come up along with several other investments. Browns Investments, (investment arm of the LOLC Group,) and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC) are the investors of the CIFC project. The project shall consist of two residential complexes, a corporate complex, and a service apartment complex.

“Other projects planned within the Colombo Port City include a hotel development project, yacht marina, and an apartment complex.” When completed about 80,000 people are expected to live in the new city, which will offer tax holidays for those who invest and do business there.