German payments technology firm Wirecard is set to offer Alipay as a payment option at selected retail outlets of Qatar Duty Free (QDF) in Hamad International Airport (HIA) from April this year.

QDF, a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, has more than 90 retail outlets and over 185 points-of-sale.

Wirecard said that QDF is an important destination for Chinese travellers owing to its luxurious offerings and large brand portfolio, with handbags, shoes and apparel being among the most popular offerings for these travellers.

QDF head Thabet Musleh said: “The Chinese market is very important. Thanks to our strong partnership with Wirecard, we are able to keep these high standards and fulfil the needs of our Chinese customers by offering them their domestic payment method.”

The Chinese outbound tourism also surged in Qatar in the recent times, the German payments firm said, totalling 135 million in 2016.

Wirecard head of airline sales Robert Gottinger said: “By offering Alipay as a new payment method, Qatar Duty Free benefits from a whole marketing platform to target arriving passengers from China even better. Our experience through the collaboration with other airport retailers have shown that in the first three months since the launch of the new payment method, the average amount spent by Chinese tourists has increased by 92%.”