The Souk, World Trade Centre, Abu Dhabi

Brief: Market Wayfinding Design

Sector: Shopping Centre

Client: Foster & Partners, Aldar

This unique development combines the atmosphere of a traditional souk with all the benefits of a modern retail development. Designed by Foster & Partners, the brief was to design a market wayfinding scheme to meet the expectations of an international audience. Built on the site of a local market, it was important that the design did not alienate local shoppers. It also needed to fit with the subsequent phases of the development, which includes hotels, residential apartments, offices and an international shopping mall.

A complex of streets and squares, The Souk is arranged across three floors as a series of distinct areas, driven by product category. Inspired by the approach within department stores, the wayfinding allows shoppers to explore and discover without feeling lost.

To reflect the culturally rooted nature of the development, the totems are embellished with a traditional fretwork design. The design also includes a reveal that communicates the story of The Souk. All adding further interest and authenticity to the experience.

Further retail oriented case studies that express the character of the brand and place:

The Lexicon, Bracknell

Trinity Kitchen, Leeds

One New Change, London


External identification signs as part of the market wayfinding scheme for the The Souk, World Trade Centre, Abu DhabiInternal views of the Souk, World Trade Centre, Abu Dhabi showing the internal bus stop style directional signsClose up image of a free standing totem sign, part of the market wayfinding within the Souk, World Trade Centre, Abu Dhabi.Close up image of bus stop directional signs designed for The Souk, World Trade Centre, Abu Dhabi

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