DAFZA Commercity at Gitex 2018
Agency: Action Impact
Client: Dubai Airport Freezone Authority
Event Name: GITEX 2018
Agency Website: www.actionimpact.com
The three cornerstones of CommerCity, a 2.1 million square feet joint venture between Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) and WASL Asset Management Group. Located in the Umm Ramool area of Dubai, CommerCity is a new ‘free zone’, an area with incentives to attract businesses. In the case of CommerCity – eCommerce businesses specifically.
The Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) is an annual consumer computer and electronics trade show exhibition hosting over 100,000 visitors and now fills the entire DWTC complex, currently consisting of 10 exhibition halls comprising a million feet of exhibition space.
CommerCity’s objectives and with it the brief for their stand was to provide an environment that stimulates creativity to attract direct foreign investments in line with the Dubai Plan to develop a sustainable economy based on innovation built upon the business, social and logistics cornerstones and foundations.
DAFZA tasked the Action Impact team to develop a seamless, welcoming and open design for their GITEX stand that drew inspiration from CommerCity’s brand and styling with a futuristic approach.
With so many messages and details, we needed to focus on simplifying the brief to have any chance of achieving cut-through at a busy and competitive GITEX in 2018.
GITEX is a challenge. Visually and audibly.
Attracting attention and demonstrating a clear message with clarity and immediacy in amongst the cacophony of exhibitors is always the challenge.
Rather than compete with the GITEX noise, we took a different approach. By pairing back the architecture and content and focusing on one primary message over all others, those walking past or attending the stand would, at a glance, understand what CommerCity was and what it represented.
Those then attracted to the stand could delve deeper for a fuller understanding and immersion.
CommerCity is a free zone, which, historically have always been in or near ports and associated with the shipping of goods. For this reason, a shipping container took prime position, hovering over the stand and impossible to miss either close up or from afar. No ordinary shipping container though as this is no ordinary free zone, but one focused on eCommerce. The container was designed to be a canvas for key messaging with a graphic language of clear lines consistent across all content on the stand and woven in the architectural design.
This elegantly simple mechanic became the backbone of the stand’s design and content – facilitating three visitor types.
Those with a passing interest couldn’t help but notice this was a new free zone – the design of the stand made this clear without needing to explain anything.
Those with prior knowledge, could find the stand easily and then visit one of the three zones upon it, created to demonstrate the three cornerstones of the free zone: business, social and logistics.
Those sold on the development could meet with CommerCity senior management to discuss their businesses and needs with a view to agreeing to occupying the development or invest in the area.
CommerCity is about ease of business in the digital world, our stand design and the content we created mirrored this effortless simplicity.
The activation was executed using a design treatment of clear lines, or ‘contours’. Diffused video strips were used to build these contours into the architecture and content on all screens and interactive devices mirrored the contour styling.
The bright white contours highlighted both the structures on the stand and the content on screens – blending the physical world and digital content into one seamless visitor experience.
The heart or centerpiece of this stand, promoting a new electronic dawn, was a full-sized digitalized sea container hovering over the stand. High resolution LED screens and a sea container were fused together by our multi-disciplinary studio to ensure that the container always remained recognisable as a shipping container, even when content demonstrating CommerCity’s three clusters: business, social and logistics was being displayed.
Almost 50 square meters of LED, coupled with nearly 300m of custom designed video strips were used to create the seamless activation. Our technical team spent a month working with different technologies and partners to develop video strips that delivered the clearest and most seamless impact across the stand.
This combination of technology was programmed to deliver a video and light show that changed constantly throughout the day – ensuring that no visitor ever saw the same show or sequence more than once. The CommerCity stand was constantly evolving, constantly changing. An ethos running through the very heart of CommerCity’s entire reason for being.
It is this dedication to detail and perfection that sets our team apart and that has resulted in us maintaining long term client relationships in a region where loyalty and retention is seldom seen.
CommerCity’s stand was visited on the first day of GITEX by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai & Chairman of the Executive Council and was keen to understand more about the free zone’s potential once on the stand.
As a result of the stand’s presence at GITEX, interest in the Umm Ramool area – the area where CommerCity is based, saw a 120% increase in people and businesses looking to do business there according to independently published figures.
“Starting from a low base, we’ve seen a steady increase in interest in interest in Umm Ramool as more listings come onto the commercial market there.” said Dina Mohammed, head of data science and analytics.
These impressive results coupled with a refreshing design approach meant our client, DAFZA were incredibly appreciative, leading to further work and collaboration between our two organisations.
Whilst helping DAFZA was our primary aim and task, knowing we have played an important part in attracting an extraordinary amount of inward investment into Dubai has been an added bonus and a reason so many well respected private and public sector originations continually approach us for measured, appropriate and creative solutions that deliver tangible results and we look forward to continuing that trend for many years to come.