Elevating a CBD retail district into a full lifestyle brand to prevent a ‘weekend ghost town’
Dubai’s central business district is delivered through the Dubai International Financial Centre brand. They wanted to create a new retail spine to link key areas, but were keen to avoid the syndrome – common to most CBDs – where such areas are only really active during working days.
We studied global CBDs to uncover the aspects that helped them thrive outside the 9–5. We found positionings focused on lifestyle to be key, as were brands that highlighted ‘destination’ F&B, ideal for social media sharing.
DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre)
We therefore built a brand for DIFC focused on experiences, not shops, and with a value proposition designed to intrigue visitors in, rather than just talk to passing footfall.
Our core idea – ‘Enabling the exceptional’ – brought this to life, together with B2C messaging that explored the richness of the lifestyle offering. We also worked on B2B launch and communication, to help attract tenants.
Since launching in 2020, Gate Avenue has successfully become one of the city’s most vibrant destinations. For example, it was recently chosen by Art Dubai as the main venue for installations and activations during its festival.