case-study

Transforming Dubai's Primary Airport

Executive Summary

Inspired by the authenticity and audacity of the city of Dubai, Landor helped transform Dubai’s primary airport from a transit stop to a delightful destination. By bringing a flavour of the city to into the airport, weary travellers became welcome guests.

 

Challenge

Airport brands around the world are not typically consumer brands, so to truly engage travellers Dubai Airports wanted a distinctive yet relatable consumer-facing identity.

Dubai Airports was initially a single brand catering to two types of audiences, B2B and B2C.

For an airport that lies at the crossroads between East and West, with 150,000 travellers transiting through its premises each day, the goal was to transform Dubai Airports into the preferred transit airport in the world. Landor’s reputation for creating brand-led growth, and in market position made it the ideal partner.

Solution

Airports around the world are not typically consumer brands, but we realised that to truly engage travellers, Dubai Airports needed a distinctive and relatable consumer-facing identity. The aim was to turn the airport itself into a rewarding destination.

This inspired Landor’s unique architecture solution for Dubai Airports, whereby Dubai Airports would be a B2B Masterbrand, with two consumer-facing destination brands under its umbrella – DXB and DWC.

The elements of surprise and delight are inherent in the city of Dubai, and these needed to be reflected in the brandmark of DXB.

Designing a wordmark including an “X” made of up arrows, with contrasting colours that serve to position the brand as playful and inviting, clearly differentiated DXB from other major global airport brands, and in so doing, helped to reveal the spirit of Dubai – a surprise hidden within.

The new brandmark became a window to the city, helping define a range of experiences in the airport that brought alive the flavour of Dubai. These included displays of local art and calligraphy, as well as concerts in the airport for example.

86.4 million

Passengers in 2019

Dubai Landor Airport

“Success is never a coincidence, it results from the hard work of people who strive to serve the people around them. Today, we have one of the best airports in the world that maintains the highest levels of efficiency and service. We are proud that we provide passengers with exceptional experiences.”

Impact

An airport brand was given a distinctive and relatable consumer-facing identity, turning the airport into a rewarding destination in its own right, reflecting Dubai’s sky-high ambitions inspired by the authenticity and audacity of the city itself.

Dubai International Airport (DXB) handled 86.4 million passengers in 2019 to retain its status as the world’s busiest international airport.

“[In 2019] we strengthened our restaurant and bar offerings here in Dubai with 44 new outlets, and also 29 new retail experiences for our customers. We’ve also signed an agreement with The Ministry of Youth to encourage Emirati entrepreneurs. DXB already has its own resident DJ and regular Music DXB concerts. Now, music lovers travelling through DXB have access to free music 24/7 via dedicated playlists … As the key gateway to Expo 2020, we have the opportunity to create a really strong first impression on the millions of visitors …” —Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports