France’s Lagardere Group has been awarded a contract to operate the duty free shops at the two international terminals at Riyadh’s King Khaled International airport (KKIA).

Each of the terminals offers a retail space of 1,020 square metres, according to Saudi aviation regulator General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca).

The decision to appoint a private retail operator is part of Gaca’s initiative to raise “the level of services for the traveling public and invest in the terminal facilities and develop them in line with the needed requirements,” the aviation regulator said in a statement.

Lagardere was awarded the deal after meeting all the needed administrative and technical requirements. Gaca did not disclose the names of the other companies who made an offer for the contract.

Lagardere operates several duty free shops internationally, including the shops at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport.

The Riyadh airport processed more than 22 million passengers in 2015, which is nearly twice its capacity. The last upgrade of the airport was undertaken in 1983.

Terminals 1 and 2 at the Riyadh airport cater to international flights, while Terminal 3 caters to domestic flights. Terminal 4 is unused and Terminal 5 was completed in 2015 and began soft operations in June.

There are plans to redevelop all four of the older terminals. A sixth terminal is planned once the redevelopment work on the first four has been completed.

Gaca put forward a plan early this year to privatise all airports and their operations by 2020.