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house of vans dxb.

The time we built a skatepark in the sky.

The mission:

To bring one of the world's top branded event franchises to the Middle East for the first time, in an only-in-Dubai way.

The meaning:

We decided this one was going to be all about the real local skate scene, not influencers. We embraced the Deira-based skate scene and flipped Dubai's swanky VIP culture to cater to our superfans instead.

The moment:

A skatepark in the sky, built in DIFC's swankiest penthouse, the three story shell unit that we dressed up to look like a glitzy penthouse taken over by the local skate scene. Local live music stage, global skate teams and workshops, live fashion customization, and food and drinks gone wild, this was a local skate kids dream come true.

16 live performances from local talent had the crowd chanting in Arabic, English, Tagalog, and more.
The Vans global skate team wowed, taught, engaged, and cheered on the local skate scene, from youth to adults.

The magic details:

  • A fully functioning skatepark built to standard on the 43rd floor of Central Park Towers in the posh Financial District
  • On-the-spot dirty shoes contests that shamed shiny white clean Vans and celebrated scuffed up skated-in and drawn-upon shoes with cash prizes
  • Waffle makers brought in from Vans global offices to nod back to the shoes waffle-sole heritage
  • Countless moments of local kids learning to skate from global greats
  • One of the liveliest live music stages in recent history in the city
  • Kids skating thru the lobby of one of Dubai's most premium buildings

impact

VIPs crashed the party, and local skater kids finally got their moment to shine.

reach

7.3 million impressions

result

3.4 million organic reach

Once you walk past the signs marked with “this building is not for skating” and “skater’s helmets must be worn,” you get taken to the 44th floor of the building via an ear-poppingly quick lift. Inside, the space was of a grand industrial ilk with 30 foot high ceilings — complete with chandeliers — blending in with the partly rundown decor. The result was a building that felt like a mashup between seminal 1975 documentary Grey Gardens and a local skatepark. 
An event to remember <...> It took Vans two years of work to give life to House Of Vans in Dubai, but according to both the attendees and the organizers, the event lived up to the expectations. In the innovative and futuristic frame of the pearl of the Arab Emirates, Vans was true to itself, managing to unite and blend two apparently distant worlds.