The store has been open for a month already. How’s the shop doing so far?
I remember the first weeks since it opened, there was a long queue…not to enter the shop, but the other way around, which is to exit the shop – to penetrate the massive terrace. Obviously, because you’ll be getting the best views of Dubai Fountain, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai Opera, Fernando Botero’s Horse in front of the Tea shop and not to forget, ehem, the tallest tower (as of this writing), Burj Khalifa. Not bad terrace eh?
It actually looks weird that they provided two big and tall security guards on the place where you will be approaching the terrace area, and not the usual front door security, where they assign to protect the shop and customers. I believe it’s to control the number of people who can stay on the cantilevered space.
Employees are wearing cool green shirts, yes, it was made to stick. Green like Starbucks’ straws, one can easily distinguish who’s the customer from the employee.
By night, when fountain starts to throw display of song and water, you’ll see multiple number of people on terrace area, after the show, they leave. Honestly, I like more the apple store in Mall of the Emirates, only because there’s more sense of interaction.
The best part of Apple shops in UAE is there’s no cashier area where you need to fall in line and wait, all employees have their mobile-like machine where you can swipe your credit card, put your name and email address, that’s it. You just open your email for the receipt, kalas! finito! finished! It’s what other shops are trying to do now. Instead of employing one for sales and one for cashier, they manage to hire one for a function of both.
The design of shop is under Jony Ive and Foster + Partners. They said the design is a celebration of the power of the sun, by using panels controlled by the sun.
“Solar Wings” is the reinterpreted traditional Arabic Mashrabiya (an enclosed with carved wood latticework located on the second story of a building or higher, often lined with stained glass) to gently shade the outside terrace during daytime and then it opens majestically during the evening. With the movement path inspired by a falcon spreading it’s wings, the solar wings in itself a theatrical experience – an integrated vision of kinetic art and engineering.
“The opening and closing of these majestic Solar Wings is analogous to a delicate ballet recital – but on a monumental scale. In some ways it is a very spiritual experience, with the sun streaming through them and creating the most delicate and beautiful patterns of light and shade – a seamless blend of technology and culture.” – Stefan Behling of Fosters + Partners