Aljoud Lootah teams up with Dubai Airports to create ‘local’ seating concept

Emirati designer Aljoud Lootah has teamed up Dubai Airports and design agency Ochre to design and test airport seating that is rooted in local culture.

The new seating concept has the potential for a future roll out at Dubai International Airport (DXB) as well as the future Dubai World Central (DWC), set to become the world’s biggest 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.”

Future Seating Concept DXB

Lootah came on board the project with the aim of developing designs that showcase Dubai’s culture to passengers, using Emirati design influences to create a ‘sense of place’.

In 2015, as part of the first Dubai Design Week, Lootah created an installation called Yaroof that was erected on the beach in Jumeirah Beach Residence, inspired by Yaroof fishing, featuring octagonal frames and arabesque patterns reminiscent of the shape of the fishing nets.

“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 installation is currently being used as part of the demonstration area for passengers to view, accompanied by short stories and vignettes to further amplify the Dubai experience.

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.