The Insight

DTCM set-out to challenge the negative perceptions of Dubai received from their market research in the UK; that Dubai was ‘unfriendly, corporate and soulless’.

How do you therefore get UK residents to book a Dubai holiday when they have these misconceptions? Take Dubai to them. If you never ‘go’, you never know.

In a city where the weather is less than perfect, most people dream of sunnier climates and a break from the mundane, we wanted to give Londoners the chance to disappear to Dubai and immerse in the hidden experiences through the use of VR and immersive engagement.

The Idea

An innovative, experiential marketing campaign designed to give British holidaymakers a living, breathing recreation of Dubai’s top experiences for eight days and further boost the city’s reputation as one of the UK’s favourite holiday destinations.

Through a pocket of technology and light, beaming throughout an ordinarily grey concourse at Waterloo station, we created a virtual moment of escape which gave commuters the chance to win a 5 star trip to Dubai every day.

A fully immersive hub allowed visitors to get up close via interactive 360 video gaming, VR displays and unique optical illusions, which saw ‘mirage’ like characters seemingly appear on the concourse, from skydivers to camels. This was bolstered with a full communications marketing campaign, including influencer engagement, radio partnerships and a dedicated microsite:, that created awareness, generated intrigue and excitement. A beacon of light to attract those at Waterloo and convert them into future visitors of Dubai.

The Impact

  • 8,933 engagements at the stand
  • 60,739 hits to the website
  • 12.1M social media engagements
  • +379% more engagement than predicted
  • 7,286 registrations to the database
  • As a result of the above, bookings to promoted hotels during the activation saw an increase of 154% YOY and an increase of 146% YOY flight bookings to Dubai during the activation.
  • +146% increase in flight bookings to Dubai • Total PR reach of 60.5million