Last week on June 1st, one of our most exciting international retail design projects to date – the Discovery Aquarium – opened for business in the Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates. The vision for this store is the result of a partnership between Emaar Entertainment and Discovery Consumer Products in a first-of-its-kind retail initiative. The concept for the design is rooted in conservation and philanthropy, centred around a unique retail experience and awe-inspiring footage of marine life – with the main storefront suspended over an aquarium.
Barber have been working closely with the Discovery Channel Licensing team to develop this epic new flagship store concept which features the world’s largest media screen and is entered through a huge aquarium filled with exotic marine life.
Once inside the store, visitors are greeted by screens showcasing a range of Discovery Channel media, with mid-level customer touch points, including kiosks where they can order online or browse a range of innovative and exclusive Discovery brand offers.
At the centre of the store, the focal point of the retail environment is a fully functional submarine, which compliments a range of aquarium-themed retail products. As you can imagine we have had tremendous fun working on this project and the blue sky freedom afforded by the Discovery Channel’s development team really allowed us to push the boundaries of customer experience and retail design to create a truly unique retail environment within this prestigious location.
Speaking about the project, the International Licensing Creative Director at the Discovery Channel expressed their enthusiasm for working together with Barber on this unique opportunity:
“The Dubai Aquarium store project is a unique opportunity for Discovery to showcase our brand to the largest Mall in the world and we needed to work with a forward thinking and innovative retail design agency. With Barber we were able to create a bespoke customer journey within the store, amplify our brand message plus retain the integrity and brand experience consumers would expect from Discovery. Innovative, experiential and much more…”
Paul Hamilton, General Manager and Curator of Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, describes the motivation for the setting:
“Our partnership with Discovery and their world-recognised brands, reflects our vision of connecting our guests with the natural world, and is also a part of Emaar Entertainment’s mission to continually strive to enhance the visitor experience. [The] opening of the new Discovery store at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is just the beginning of our partnership and we look forward to sharing the exciting initiatives we have planned for the upcoming months, including the upcoming launch of our exciting new and interactive ‘Shark Week’ exhibit.”
Amanda Turnbull, VP Country Manager, Discovery Networks MENA adds:
“Discovery has been satisfying curiosity for more than 30 years, providing on-screen experiences that entertain, inspire and educate audiences across the world. Through our new partnership with Emaar Entertainment and the opening of the Discovery Channel store, we can take the best of Discovery off-screen and provide a fun, innovative and interactive brand experience for our local audiences.”
The Underwater Zoo, located on Level 2 of the mall offers an interactive approach to educating guests of all ages on the ecology and sustainability of marine life. The experience consists of three ecological zones: Rainforest, Coastline and UAE Night Creatures, where a variety of aquatic animals are featured including Penguins, Crocodiles, Piranhas, Giant Spider Crabs, Water Rats, Sea Horses and Sea Jellies.
If you’re planning a visit to Dubai in the near future then do go and check it out – you can find out more about the aquarium on their website: thedubaiaquarium.com