Day 1 Dubai: It Rained???

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A reminder that I am in Dubai this week, so posts will be sporadic, at best.

My quick impressions. Very curious place. As over the top as billed. Las Vegas without the casinos, machine gun shooting ranges, Instant Loan shops or Hondurans passing out naughty cards.

It is much larger than I thought. Main drag goes on forever, as do the concourses of the mega malls. My smartphone app says I logged 21,783 steps, just shy of 15 kms, and 90% of that was humping in from the metro stations and doing a signage-nerd walk of Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates.

There is a LOT of indoor LED in use here – that fine pixel pitch stuff that hasn’t shown up all that much in North American retail.

Saw some very ambitious stores, notably in athletic wear and, as is often the case, high-end, high margin fashion and cosmetics. Saw some really horrendous install work, as well – like a misaligned video wall that seemed JUST about ready to fall out of its mounts, which were probably drywall anchors. There are armies of cheap labor in this nation state.

Aligning with world standards, many of the kiosks in stores and most of the wow-factor in-store “experiences” involving gesture tech were down, crippled or going unused.

Those malls are not only vast, but generally beautiful and organized in interesting ways. In Dubai Mall – which by at least some measures is the biggest in the world for what it does and offers – much of it is themed. So you can go to an area where all the tech stores are located, or another that has all the banks. Speaking of the latter, queue management systems and screens seem to be a standard part of how banking gets done.

Took lotsa pix but between a local SIM card and my phone suddenly not liking WiFi and other general weirdness, they’ve not yet found their way through the ether to my cloud photo storage.

Oh yeah … one more exceptionally weird thing. The day I showed up in the desert, it rained.

Note on the glamour of travel:


Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes


12+ year-old blog and podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by industry consultant, analyst & bullshit filter Dave Haynes.
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