Premier Retail

Harvey Nichols Dubai

Harvey Nichols Dubai
Written by Roma Publications

Harvey Nichols Dubai

Virgile+Partners recently completed the design of the flagship Harvey Nichols in Dubai, located in the Mall of the Emirates. The store’s model and design strategy are now closely aligned with work that Virgile+Partners had previously developed for the brand in the UK in their Birmingham Mailbox store and Knightsbridge flagship store.

The Edgy Designer department gives a home to brands such as Roksanda, Roland Mouret, and Zimmermann. Its design communicates the innate distinctive Harvey Nichols brand character, giving it a quirky and eccentric personality inspired by the fashion collections on offer.

PREMIER RETAIL MAGAZINE chatted with Carlos Virgile and Ewald Damen of Virgile+Partners, who told us about the project in more detail.

“We have been working for Harvey Nichols in the UK for quite a long time, and Harvey Nichols has a number of partners and franchises, particularly in the Middle East. They were due to have a full refurbishment of their Dubai store. It’s a 3 level space and we introduced a number of highlights to the store, the main one being an edgy design concept. We’ve been working closely in our collaboration with the client for almost two years now on the parts we’ve designed and the façade too. The full store will be completed in the coming months.”

Housed on the first-floor level and main point of access from the mall, the 360 sqm ‘boutique’ department along the front facade acts as a welcoming beacon into Harvey Nichols.

Carlos and Ewald continued: “Harvey Nichols wanted the design to have immediate impact as you go into the fashion space. We’ve used sculptural objects within the design that are placed so they highlight seven different spaces in the store and that is what we think makes the whole thing different from other retail spaces. These areas take the customer down an organic and fluid road through the store and there’s no strict walkway to stick to.”

Furniture and hanging display devices are integrated, while unusual materials such as plaster bricks and fine wires are used to create partial screening and unusual backdrops to the exciting fashion collection.

Carlos and Ewald  finished: “One challenge was the fact that we are in the UK and they’re in the Middle East, even though we did have regular contact, we didn’t always have access to the site. However, we have a very close relationship with Harvey Nichols and it’s interesting that the imagery we helped create is now part of their global brand identity. It’s certainly important to us to work with retailer Al Tayer as they’re a very important retailer and developer in the Middle East. It was also a very fun project to do; we were given encouragement to take it to another level with design.”

The redesign of Harvey Nichols is a direct response to Dubai’s competitive luxury market and continues to be a destination for discerning and fashion-conscious customers

Harvey Nichols Dubai


Retail, hotels and restaurant design specialist Virgile + Partners is an integrated offer within the Imagination Group, the global brand and communication agency. Created in 1990, the team quickly established a sound reputation for their innovative and personal approach to design.
A specialised Retail, Hotel, Restaurants and Shopping Mall design, the team operates from its London West End base integrating interior designers, brand strategists, architects, graphic/digital designers and has presence in the Imagination global network of offices operating in the Americas [New York, Detroit, Los Angeles], Asia Pacific [Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney] and the Middle East [Doha, Dubai, Mumbai].

The portfolio of work is associated with many luxury brands such as Burberry, Yves St. Laurent, Patek Philippe, Harrods, Tsum, Chopard, Swarovski and Tiffany as well as in the hospitality sector with Hyatt, Andaz, Ritz Carlton, InterContinental and Oberoi.

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