duba.JPGWhile it has been ten days since I returned, I find my self often thinking about the week I spent in Dubai late last month.

Dubai is a city of tremendous contrasts: massive wealth and poverty, searing temperatures and vast spaces which are air conditioned, a huge tourist mecca yet devotion to Ramadan and other Islamic truths, sand everywhere yet building as if the city is on a foundation of rock, water is the new real-estate, bikinis in resorts and cover-up rules for on the street.

One place I think about a lot is the indoor snowfields at The Mall of the Emirates. Here at this shopping mall is a massive ski run, snowfields and a bob sled run (see photo). While the temperature outside is a sweltering 43+ degrees, inside we are in snow jackets and pants and playing as if it is winter. While it is incredibly over the top, it reminds me of how important it is to couple entertainment with retail.

I was reading recently about the psychology of shopping and that the more enjoyable the experience the more easily people spend. They certainly focus on that in Dubai. Technology can play a role in helping retailers focus on the shopping experience. Point of sale systems can be more than about recording a sale transaction. This is, in part, where I think about the Dubai experience – how we can help our retail partners improve the entertainment experience for consumers and thereby help drive better business outcomes. It is something we are working on.

retail in Dubi is like the counter and the snow fields. Over the top. Too much so in many cases for here. However, I did see some businesses with models which could fit here nicely. I’ save those thoughts for another time.

Footnote: if you do the bob sled run, lay down flat. Using your head as a break on the ice wall is not good.