From abra rides to ayala dancers and oud & handpan drum performers, from a spice bazaar to a fisherman weaving his net, from local world-class artists capturing the essence of the UAE’s evolution to a vibrant retail and F&B mix. Souk Madinat Jumeirah offers all these and much more.
Dubai Retail – the retail management arm of Dubai Holding – created Souk Madinat Jumeirah as an authentic Arabian bazaar to mesmerise UAE residents and visitors. The development underwent a comprehensive renovation to further build on Souk Madinat Jumeirah’s offerings.
Nicola Walsh, head of marketing for Dubai Retail describes the new phase of Souk Madinat Jumeirah as a sort of a ‘renaissance’ rather than refurbishment. “Today it is all about great user experience within a retail space, which must be frictionless, seamless and entertaining,” she adds.
As part of the expansion and enhancement process, a new zonal design has been created to focus on F&B, retail, entertainment, art and culture.
At the heart of this “renaissance” are artworks and installations showcasing the culture of the UAE, by weaving together heritage and tradition with emotions and technology. Souk Madinat Jumeriah collaborated with seven Emirates-based artists to recreate a modern-day souk through their artworks. Artists who formed a part of ‘Souk Seven’ include Amalie Beljafla, Amrita Sethi, Fathima Mohiuddin, Laila Masri, Mona Fares, Noora Al Mazroui and Zeinab Al Hashemi.
The F&B portfolio has expanded too. Souk Madinat Jumeirah houses over 25 restaurants and cafés. A new 5,380 sqft restaurant deck, the Souk Boardwalk, is a beautiful wooden floating restaurant deck with additional waterfront seating. The Souk Boardwalk features some of the much loved as well as up-and-coming F&B brands set against the stunning view of the Burj Al Arab.
“Alongside F&B, there will be a line-up of daily and seasonal cultural and entertainment activations. Design changes include a series of covered walkways to create a year-round leisure and retail experience. Wider facility enhancements include upgrades to transportation links and access points, such as a new coach-drop off area and dedicated taxi bays,” Walsh elaborates.
“With so much in store, what is being showcased is just the first phase of the myriad developments to come – from an expanded heritage area to additional entertainment and retail experiences. Towards the first or second quarter of 2020, we will unveil the Central Courtyard that is now covered alongside the arterial corridor. There will be a theatre too, combining art, culture and technology,” Walsh concludes.
Words by Katie Streten Experiential Strategy Director, VMLY&R COMMERCE Throughout the last year,June 13, 2021 | By Shruthi Nair
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