Souk Nook

Do the needful

Food and Beverage
Middle East
Strategy, Brand, Digital

Dubai's F&B scene is exceptionally competitive and creating a new café concept that stands out from the crowd, is a challenge.


Mercure, part of hotel group giant Accor, approached JansenHarris to create the brands for five new restaurants within their hotel located in Dubai's old town precinct. During recent years, this area has undergone extensive redevelopment with many new hotel chains and restaurants opening in the area. With the vast majority of them being in the mid-price bracket, café brands must prioritise visibility in an already saturated market.


To win over customers, we needed to create a brand that was vastly different to anything else in the area. Branding that evoked a sense of place considering that the venue 's locale was right where Dubai's story began, the Creek. Nestled amongst gold traders, chai hawkers, fish mongers and wooden dhows, our concept came to life.


The name we devised - Souk Nook - combines the Arabic word for market with the English word, denoting a cosy hideaway. The brandmark is an eclectic mix of typefaces inspired by shopfront signage and burlap space-bag lettering. A deliberately chosen colour palette of black and white keeps production costs low when printing on kraft paper, while the vibrant pop of orange injects life into the brand. Original pen and ink illustrations of rickshaw drivers, chai walas, spice traders and carpet sellers, peppered with common phrases that can be heard shouted throughout Dubai’s souks, add to the authenticity and playfulness of the brand.

Brave Moment

While the client initially bought into a different concept, we convinced them that this concept would be unlike anything else in the city and that it would capture customer's hearts.

"I appreciated that they took the time to really understand our ambitions, the story and the end goal. Each time we were presented a new concept I was blown away by the detail and the care".
Julia Schamne

Cluster General Manager, Ibis Styles, Adagio, Mercure


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See Other Work

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