BurJuman Shopping Mall in Dubai offers Shoppers innovative Rich Media Content via Wi-Fi

Travel News Asia 17 January 2006

The BurJuman, a leading shopping mall in Dubai, has installed a unique WiFi network, which will enable shoppers to receive up-to-the minute information on stores and services within the mall direct to their cell phones, PDAs or notebook computers.

BurJuman Shopping Mall in Dubai

This is a first-of-its-kind deployment, according to Kosmo Systems, a digital media company based in Orlando, Florida, who were responsible for setting up the system, making BurJuman one of the only WiFi malls in the world offering localized content.

BurJuman continues to introduce pioneering concepts and services for shoppers and the new WiFi service is yet another example of BurJuman ensuring the customer gets the best out of their visit to the mall, said Eisa Adam Ibrahim, general manager, BurJuman.

As more and more cell phones and PDAs become WiFi enabled, visitors will expect to stay connected and updated in the mall. This service offers them the option to connect and catch up with friends in the mall, view store and product information, navigate mall maps, read up on fashion news, play games and more while indulging in an unsurpassed shopping experience, he added.

A distinct feature of the system is its ability to serve highly relevant content to the visitor. The system uses state-of-the-art technologies to determine what content would be interesting to each shopper. BurJumans WiFi channel enriches the shopping experience by making numerous services accessible and keeping the shopper informed of current events and promotions.

Each shopper who enters the mall with a WiFi enabled device will be invited to open a BurJuman WiFi Account, which will be exclusively tailored to their individual wants and needs, allowing them to receive information on offers and events which they have specifically requested from individuals and/or stores that they choose to connect with.

If one looks at the statistics, cell phones and PDAs are poised to become supercharged shopping aids for the mobile-centric population here in the UAE. By deploying a wireless network offering localized content ahead of its competition, BurJuman is guaranteed to make a stronger connection with its customers and maintain its leadership position by providing them with unique conveniences and directly influencing their buying behavior, said Richard Mayberry, managing director, Kosmo Systems LLC.

He added that currently only 12% of BurJuman shoppers own a WiFi enabled mobile phone, but with so many new WiFi phones entering the market in the next few months, that number would exceed 50% of all shoppers one year from now.

We are trying to accommodate the maximum number of phone systems and form factors, said Mayberry. Our system will work with Microsoft, Symbian (Nokia) and Linux smart phones, and can be viewed in both portrait and landscape mode. We are also finalizing a design for the Nokia 9500 and the new 9300i which we will unveil next month.

Shoppers can choose to view the system in Arabic, Russian, or English.

Kosmo Systems technology is used in professional sports stadiums and museums across the United States, but as Mayberry pointed out, These are niche markets where we often rent devices to visitors. BurJuman is a much more interesting project, because we are offering the service to a much broader audience on a full-time basis.

The WiFi Network poses great opportunities for mall tenants as well who are looking to promote their brands. Using interactive and rich media advertising methods available on the network, tenants can attract their target audience through ticker ads, button ads, e-coupons, games and mini-sites.

Mayberry also has aggressive plans for upgrades and enhancements in the months ahead.

We interviewed over 500 BurJuman shoppers to find out what kinds of services were most important to them and the one thing that came through loud and clear was to keep it simple. Shoppers were looking for an easy to use system with basic features, preferably in their native language, so thats what we focused on, initially.

As customers become more comfortable, and realize how easy the system is to use, we will start to add more features. Our goal is to release one new feature every month, he concluded.

See other recent news regarding: BurJuman, Shopping, Dubai, Wi-Fi

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