I was back at the Rolls-Royce boutique sooner than anticipated, and I had an agenda.
It is just over three weeks since the world’s first ‘Rolls-Royce Boutique’ was opened to the world. Situated at the gateway of the City Walk Main Street, the vectorized pixel-animation screens of the boutique walls showcased the visual splendour of the brand to those stopped at the lights – mirroring the future of walls itself. I was here at the launch and now yet again – purportedly to click a picture I missed out during the inauguration.
The Boutique is more about the RR lifestyle rather than the automobile itself. So it is only appropriate that the new space is located at the latest hotspot of luxury and leisure in Dubai – the City Walk – rather than one of the automotive avenues. Just as the venue celebrates fine fashion, art and cuisine, the Rolls-Royce boutique too does it in style, exclusively for its patrons. The concept is created in the same spirit as the Rolls-Royce Summer Studio in Porto Cervo, Sardinia or the marque’s Centre of Excellence in Goodwood, England.
The concept is important to Rolls-Royce Motors, as was told by the presence of Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, at the inauguration ceremony amidst officials including Stathis I. Stathis, Managing Director of AGMC, the authorised representatives in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates. As the CEO of the brand said, “Dubai is an important part of our brand’s success story, and it has been among the top five markets in the world for Rolls-Royce for three consecutive years… Our success in Dubai and the rest of the world is borne of an intimate understanding of the lifestyle requirements of the world’s most discerning patrons of luxury. True luxury houses like Rolls-Royce must therefore constantly strive to innovate and inspire.”
I turn from the nearby signal get to the parking space behind the line of buildings; but Rolls-Royce customers benefit from year-round valet parking.
Built on a multi-million dollar investment from AGMC, the 7,300 sq. ft. facility on two levels has curated spaces like an Inspiration Studio, Bespoke Atelier, Interactive Spirit of Ecstasy, Pinnacle Café, Affinity Partner Display and Virtual Reality Configurators. There is also space for the staging of one-of-one motorcars or newly-launched collections.
The Inspiration Studio is where one-of-a-kind examples of Rolls-Royce motorcars will showcase the possibilities offered by the marque’s complete bespoke palette. There is an Interactive Spirit of Ecstasy Wall, which uses motion-capture technology to briefly transform patrons into the iconic statuette that adorns the façade of every Rolls-Royce motorcar, and an interactive configurator for customers to shape their bespoke vision.
If this concept is all about giving life to one’s own Rolls-Royce, nowhere is it celebrated more than the Bespoke Atelier. Filled with bespoke textures, themes and colours, the space offers customers the opportunity to explore their imagination taking cues from the displays of paints, marquetry, exotic woods, leathers, piping, tread plates and accessories such as picnic hampers and Gold-plated ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ sculptures. The centerpiece is a piece of original art from Syrian artist Khaled Al Saaei, depicting the Spirit of Ecstasy in Arabic Calligraphy.
The Affinity Area will be home to other luxury brands by invitation, to display their rarest and most unique items for a short period. Roberto Coin adorned the space when I was here last and the selections from a luxury fashion boutique in Jumeirah were spread over an open boot like a quaint old-town vendor.
Finally, I was in the luxurious yet cosy atmosphere of The Pinnacle Café. The patrons of the brand may use this place to relax, meet up or even host business meetings. It was time for my real agenda to unfold. Beaming at the barista over the gleaming counter, I ordered a strong, steamed coffee, complete with the Rolls-Royce signature sprinkled atop the cream. I carefully clicked pictures of the cuppa and settled to sipping from the same. I love this coffee perhaps as much as the Sultan of Brunei loves his cars!
It was 10 pm.
It was time to leave the night to glow in the fountain of light that would dance on the walls.