YKONE AGENCY OPENS THE FIRST FULLY INTEGRATED INFLUENCER MARKETING HUB IN THE MIDDLE EAST
YKONE announces the opening of the largest creative hub in Dubai – inclusive of a creative studio, coworking café, connected meeting rooms, and amphitheatre to welcome creatives from the region and beyond
Internationally renowned influencer marketing agency YKONE today announces the opening of the first-ever YKONE House, a unique multifunctional space that combines a creative production studio, co-working space, connected meeting rooms, and a mixed-retail and café space, all-in-one. The 500sqm hub occupies a prime location in the heart of Dubai Design District, becoming the first studio and biggest creative hub in the city’s most buzzing district.
Set to redefine the standard for digital nomadism, YKONE House is designed as a fully integrated influencer studio – a multi-functional space that melds digital connectivity and co-working with retail and production. YKONE CEO Olivier Billon’s vision for the space was inspired by the new ways of working that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “Although we were all far from the office while working from home, I couldn’t help but notice YKONE employees’ enhanced wellbeing and proactivity during their time away from the office. In a time of stress and uncertainty, the one comfort was the ability to work remotely and connect from anywhere, at any time. Digital nomadism was no longer a figment of the future, it was now a must in our everyday lives. As an entrepreneur, I also saw an opportunity for our business to become more agile, offering multi-disciplinary services and solutions – for our clients but also for our teams. This is how the idea for YKONE House was born. We knew we wanted to be a part of the change, and this meant becoming pioneers in defining the future of the workspace – creating a place where creativity, retail and co-working could all coexist in perfect harmony.”
Commenting on the YKONE House launch, Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director of Dubai Design District (d3), said “At d3, we are always seeking new ways to enable the creative community and rethink the regular. It is why we are delighted to welcome an internationally renowned influencer marketing agency like YKONE to our community. Their addition to our eclectic and inclusive ecosystem reinforces d3’s reputation as a global destination for talent where creativity, collaboration and innovation converge.”
Since opening in 2014, YKONE Middle East has quickly evolved into a strategic regional connector of the GCC, Asia and Europe. Composed of a team of 16, YKONE Dubai oversees the offices of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bangalore and Mumbai as the regional headquarters. Throughout the past decade, the agency has accompanied the region’s most prestigious brands including Miu Miu, Gucci, Dior, Rimowa, Chalhoub Group, Visit Abu Dhabi, and Visit Dubai, among others. Thanks to the agency’s triple-digit growth, YKONE Middle East could take on a huge expansion of its services and location with the opening of the first-ever YKONE House, the region’s first fully integrated influencer and content creation hub.
YKONE House will be home to a plethora of exclusive features thanks to its unique disposition. The studio’s 9.5m-high ceilings allow for the production of both horizontal and vertical video formats, while the abundance of natural daylight gives way to beautiful opportunities for content creation and imagery. The bespoke studio caters to everything from TikTok creation to editorial shoots for luxury brands. On one side, the chic 75sqm studio will welcome luxury brands and influencers, while on the other side a co-working area will provide all the comforts of a home away from home, such as complimentary coffee. The café area also doubles as a food studio that allows F&B outlets and brands to produce content and viral recipe videos, accompanied by an on-site kitchen for any technical requirements. To complete the full set up, an on-site hair, makeup and fitting room is conveniently located behind the studio for models and influencers to get glam, while an equipment room houses five Sony cameras and an array of lights, soft boxes and reflectors for photography and videography.
On the same floor, YKONE House boasts a connected meeting room that can be used for remotely managed productions. The high-speed connection and state-of-the-art equipment allows for creative directors abroad to seamlessly lead international shoots in the studio, with the click of a button. What’s more, the studio space can be converted into a 50-person amphitheatre and event space to host brands and influencers alike. The modulable area can be used for panel discussions, masterclasses, trainings, meet and greets, as well as brand events and pop-ups. A world-class sound system by French audio experts Devialet rounds out the experience, ready to fire up any playlist with high-quality sound.
On the upper level, a one-of-a-kind co-working space awaits, with a handmade marble table that seats up to 15 people. YKONE team members as well as content creators can reunite here to brainstorm, work and chat over coffee. On the same level, another kitchen and connected meeting room allow for maximum comfort and productivity.
Designed by Lebanese architect Fadi Sarieddine, the multifunctional mixed-use retail space was a project unlike any other. Fadi said, “Ykone space was a unique project as it marries the functions of a working space, a studio space and a café area for complimentary coffee. I have designed the space that celebrates all three functions while allowing them to interact visually and spatially. The main feature, the timber slat cladded staircase, aims at stitching the mezzanine with the ground floor with its continuity to become a functional wall on the mezzanine.”
Launched in early December 2021, YKONE House’s mission is to become a revolving door for the region’s most creative minds. In the studio, content creators and brands can make their visions come to life with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. In the co-working area, meetings can turn into business deals over a cup of coffee. In the amphitheatre, panel talks and pop-up exhibitions can result in a wealth of knowledge and shared information. Whether you come for a coffee, stay for a meeting or book a time slot at the studio, YKONE House is a collaborative space where all creatives can meet, work and connect together with no limits.
In honor of the opening, a free-stance talk and interactive event will take place on January 19th and 20th. Hosted by two leading Arab creatives Ali Cha’aban and Shaweesh, YKONE House’s first inaugural event with revolve around the theme of ‘bridging cultures’, with a focus on Saudi Arabia and how influencer marketing and content creation are key components to bridging the gap between cultures. The two artists will also create special artworks to exhibit in the space exclusively for the talk. Contributing to the panel talks will be BOLD Management talents Korrii – Sudanese creative and photographer, and Dee Mohamud – Somali content creator and fashion blogger.
Calling all creatives: be sure to pay a visit to YKONE House, and leave with even more ideas than you came with.