The new kid in town is The Beach Mall at JBR adjacent to The Walk. The Beach is spearheading the new retail trend in Dubai: European Style open air shopping areas. In contrast to the mega shopping malls like Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates street malls offer a more open shopping and leisure experience . A similar shopping area CityWalk is currently expanded in Jumeirah just across Burj Khalifa. Another is planned at Akoya Drive – a Rodeo Drive-inspired street of shops and cafes complete with the UAE’s first outdoor ice skating rink.
The Beach at JBR consists of four plazas connected by an esplanade offering shops, restaurants and a cinema as well as beach facilities. Only half of the retail outlets have opened yet, but the ambitious DooH network is unique to Dubai and well worth a detailed look.
As an open-air mall LED-installations are the preferred choice of technology. Meraas Development selected Hill Advertising as their exclusive DooH-Partner. Hill installed more than 20 LED totems with LCD touch displays on the backside. The totems are fitted with China LED and don’t adapt to brightness automatically. Unfortunately that leads by creative with white background to unreadable advertising.
The LCD’s on the backside of the screens offer single touch functionality. Only a few features are currently available like way guiding, weather, prayer times and the immense popular photo app. Hill is jumping on the trend Selfies and offers a photo application. After the photo has been taken it takes a couple days to land in my email box. Some of the screens also show black spots due to intense sun and improper cooling. In the afternoon some displays were almost too hot to touch. But to be fair – the mall is currently in the soft opening phase and the mentioned technical challenges can still be rectified.
In addition two huge video walls facing the street and one facing the beach which also doubles as an open air cinema in the evening. Both video walls offer very high resolution and are very impressive during the day as well at night. Throughout the mall Hill has installed additional smaller LED walls all showing paid for third party advertising like BMW; HTC, Sony, Etisalat and mall store openings.
In the underground garage additional LCD-based totems are currently installed. A first trial showed revealed additional features like calendar of events and ticket services.
Another highlight is the LED animated cinema façade which offers an emotional entry portal to the mall. All in all are the digital signage installations at The Beach a welcomed addition to Dubai’s DooH networks