November 15 2016  |  Retailers

Bahrain Duty Free opens first Johnnie Walker House in Middle East

By Hibah Noor

Diageo Global Travel and Bahrain Duty Free unveil first ever Johnnie Walker House in Middle East

Diageo Global Travel has unveiled a new Johnnie Walker House retail showcase at Bahrain Duty Free, in collaboration with Aer Rianta International (ARI). 

The store is located in the newly renovated Bahrain Duty Free Departures area, and represents the first permanent Johnnie Walker House in the Middle East.

It is described as a multi-sensory embassy designed to educate and inspire travelers. 

Dayalan Nayager, Managing Director, Diageo Global Travel, said: “The Middle East is a key location for super deluxe Scotch whisky and therefore critically important to the Johnnie Walker House global expansion strategy.

“I would like to thank our partners Aer Rianta International and Bahrain International Airport for the collaboration. Bahrain International is a key international travel hub, forecasted to welcome 7 million passengers in the 2016 calendar year, with strong passenger growth predicted in the coming years.

“This growth, combined with the escalating demand for luxury spirits in travel retail, offers a prime opportunity for Johnnie Walker to deliver an innovative shopping experience to travelers, as well as giving them access to some of the world’s finest Scotch whiskies.”

Built around the theme of ‘Whisky Conversations’, the Bahrain store seeks to combine luxury whisky innovation with art, design, rich heritage and culture.

Features include a whisky scent bar, where travelers can appreciate the liquid’s subtle flavors and aromas; and exclusive personalization and gifting opportunities through gwps and customized labeling. 

To celebrate the launch, the boutique will offer a number of limited editions, including John Walker & Sons Master Blenders Collection and the limited-edition designs of Johnnie Walker House Willow Collection. The full Johnnie Walker colours range is also available.

Andre Chong, Global Head of Johnnie Walker House, said: “Travelers are increasingly looking for luxurious shopping experiences that both educate and inspire them, and with the opening of Johnnie Walker House Bahrain we continue to respond to this demand as we step up our investment in luxury retail activations.

“Exclusivity is integral to Johnnie Walker House and Johnnie Walker House Bahrain is no different. It offers shoppers an unforgettable experience; we tell the story of our spirits through knowledgeable brand ambassadors and impactful retail theatre, fulfilling our ambitions to bring joy back to the journey by helping to make the purchasing process one of ease.”

The standalone luxury boutique occupies 15 square meters, with an architecture that merges innovative design with the brand story, aiming to immerse travelers in a part-gallery, part-museum experience.

Bassam Al Wardi, General Manager, Bahrain Duty Free, said: “Bahrain Duty Free and ARI are committed to providing customers with engaging brand experiences in a luxury environment, and this stunning whisky emporium realizes this aspiration. It’s a fantastic addition to our recently renovated Departures area and the perfect showcase to entice our growing passenger base to explore and enjoy this iconic brand.” 

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