Dubai Airports has teamed up with Dubai based design agency Ochre and Emirati designer Aljoud Lootah to design and test airport seating with the potential for future roll out at Dubai International (DXB) as well as in the airport of the future at Dubai World Central (DWC) which is destined to become the world’s biggest and best airport.
“We’re always looking for ways to innovate and improve the passenger experience. As part of an airport-wide programme, we are exploring options to upgrade seating options for passengers at our boarding gates,” said Gideon Ruig, Head of Customer Experience at Dubai Airports. “And because we value our customers’ opinions, we have set up a demonstration area in Terminal 3 where we are inviting passengers to have a seat, and let us know what they think.”
Seating configurations offered in the proof of concept installation accommodate a range of passenger needs including resting, leaning and working as well as arrangements which cater to groups or families who wish to be seated comfortably together. But it’s not just about the seats themselves, it’s also about the environment surrounding them.
“As part of these experiential experiments we are also striving to weave a better ‘sense of place’ within the airport to showcase Dubai’s culture to passengers. As such our design was inspired by authentic Emirati design influences,” added Ruig.
And that’s where Emirati artist and designer Aljoud Lootah comes in. In 2015 she created her iconic “Yaroof” installations inspired by Yarooffishing which feature octagonal frames and arabesque patterns that depict the shape of Yaroof fishing nets. These installations are accompanied by short stories and vignettes to further amplify the Dubai experience.
“What captivates me most is the process of Yaroof fishing. I remember seeing the fishermen on the shores in the late afternoons when I was a child in the rural areas. They would stay for hours pulling the nets down to the shore and it created a beautiful picture,” said Aljoud Lootah.
The demonstration area is located at economy check-in close to the immigration check point in Terminal 3. Customer feedback will be monitored in the weeks ahead and taken into consideration when final designs are developed.