Portland closes a gulf with Arab retail jobs

Portland Design has sealed the contracts on four major retail branding, identity and interiors projects in the Middle East this week, which could together be worth as much as £500 000 to the consultancy.

The deals represent Portland’s first major breakthrough in the region, following its establishment of an office in Dubai two years ago. Precise details of the projects are closely guarded, but chief among them is a commission to integrate the public face of a multi-use marina, also in Dubai.

The 2km-long site is to feature six separate tower blocks housing retail, leisure, commercial and property interests.

Portland will handle the wayfinding, signage, identity and sub-branding for each building. Concept designs have already been drawn up, but the work will not be completed until 2004.

Another brief is to devise the identity and interiors for the roll-out of a department store brand. Various jointly owned retail outlets in a Kuwaiti shopping mall have come together as a single concept store, a project already overseen by Portland, and the client plans to present the same brand offer in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Bahrain next year.

The consultancy is also handling the identity, signage and interiors for a luxury goods wholesaler in Oman that is repositioning in the retail arena. The company will launch ten Portland-designed stores in February 2003.

The final project is the roll-out of a chain of discount stores, stocking end-of-line ranges, for Kuwait’s leading shoe retailer. Portland will develop a separate identity plus interiors for the newly branded stores, due to open on late spring.

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