Shurooq – Sharjah Investment and Development Authority

Turning Mleiha into an irresistible tourist destination

Shurooq – Sharjah Investment and Development Authority

Attracting the right target audience to Mleiha archaeological site

An ever increasing amount of visitors
A 5.0 customer rating on Tripadvisor

Awarded Bronze in the category ‘Best visual identity from the sports, travel, leisure and tourism sector’ and in the category ‘Best place or nation brand’ Transform Awards MENA.

Turning Mleiha into an irresistible tourist destination

During the last forty years the area around Mleiha in the Central Region of the Emirate of Sharjah has achieved a most important role for the archaeology and early history of the local region and for Arabia (as a whole). Even though the discoveries are of huge importance, no-one had ever heard of the site. Shurooq approached Skyne to support them to develop a brand strategy and brand identity to attract the right target audience to the archaeological site.


Branding an experience that is still covered under the sand

The must-see destination in the UAE that makes everyone want to come back for more. In the first steps of the process Skyne developed the strategy, the proposition, and a clear principle ‘Discover something new every time’ which guides all designs, behaviors and decisions when creating the brand experience. This guiding principle is based on the target audience’s behaviour and the fact that the excavation of the archaeological site is a continuous process; in fact, 80 percent of the archaeological findings is still covered under the sand. The changing nature of the site makes Mleiha the must-see destination in the UAE that makes everyone want to come back for more.


Translating ‘Discover something new every time’ into a brand identity

Since most of the archaeological findings are still to be discovered, we decided to create a visual style with hidden parts. What is not in plain sight triggers our natural curiosity; if we keep looking, our imagination will take us there. Or, to put it in other words: discover something new every time. The brand identity, including collaterals and guidelines, was further implemented in communication tools such as the website, signage & wayfinding and a corporate movie.


Mleiha was announced as the most important and largest archaeological tourist projects in the UAE of its kind

On 28th of January 2016 his Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, revealed the new Mleiha Archaeological Center. The number of visitors to the center and the archaeological sites is now steadily increasing and Mleiha has been announced one of the most important tourist and archaeological projects in the UAE. The site is now number one on the list of ‘things to do in Sharjah’ and customers rate the experience with a 5 out of 5 (Tripadvisor, April 2019).

The strategy, identity and proposition helped Shurooq connect all different archaeological sites, an ecological park, the visitor center and the local hospitality under the umbrella of one brand.

How we helped Shurooq attract tourists to Mleiha

Research & Analysis

Market scan
Target audience research
Stakeholder research
Customer journey mapping
Brand opportunities

Strategy & Story

Brand strategy
Brand positioning
Brand story
Central message
Guiding principle

Concept & Design

Brand identity design
Brand collateral design
Communication tools design
Signage & wayfinding
Website design
Corporate movie
Brand guidelines

Implementation & Activation

Project management
Collateral and signage production
Website development

“Skyne was most definitely a good choice for us at Shurooq, to help establish our new brand and achieve quality positioning.”

– Ahmed Alqaseer, CEO Shurooq

“When we started with Mleiha, we started with essentially a desert, which was then transformed from nothing to one of the top destinations in the U.A.E. We are honoured to be able to realise such a fruitful and tangible change.”

– Roel Vos, Partner Skyne

skyne siegrid square

Mleiha is now number one on the list of ‘things to do in Sharjah’ and customers rate the experience with a 5 out of 5.

– Tripadvisor, April 2019

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