digital case study

A website for Dubai’s first shopping mall


Wafi was the first shopping mall in Dubai, and has a loyal following amongst both UAE nationals and expatriates. With competition heating up, Wafi recognised that tourism was crucial to its continued success. So, in 2007, two developments were opened: Raffles Hotel (the first in the Middle East) and an underground souk, called ‘Khan Murjan’. Nucleus was appointed to create a new English / Arabic website to support and promote the enhanced offering.


We built this around Ektron’s CMS400.NET content management software using much of its ‘taxonomy’ feature, which allows for content to be tagged for display in relevant contexts. The content architecture was based around the core brand proposition: ‘Art, Fashion, Food, Entertainment, Lifestyle’ and the design makes great use of the stunning photography that Wafi had commissioned.

In addition, a full online retailer directory was developed, for visitors to search by category, by name or by brand stocked. A system was devised to allow each retailer in the mall to update their own page of content via a ‘smart form’, including current promotions.


The website launched in November 2007 and doubled visitor volumes as well as pages viewed in the first year.

“Nucleus has created a world-class design that provides easy-to-use content and intuitive navigation to create awareness and impact with international and Arab visitors, even before they have touched down in Dubai.”

Victoria Smith, Wafi Group Marketing Director