The iconic neon Toyota badge atop Nasser Rashid Lootah Building on Shaikh Zayed Road has been reinstated. The bright red insignia, which was first installed atop the 15-storey residential building in 1981, was removed in 2018 when the advertising contract expired. However, in that time, the building and the logo had become one of Dubai’s most iconic visual reference points, earning the tower the moniker ‘Toyota Building’.
Historic photographs of Dubai spanning the last four decades show the ‘Toyota Building’ as a constant reference point during the city’s dizzying transformation into a modern metropolis – when the surrounding Defence Roundabout area gave way to one of Dubai’s busiest spaghetti interchanges feeding into the glittering Downtown Dubai and the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa. The neighbourhood now also boasts the world’s highest hotel and the Citywalk community.
As part of its relaunch, Toyota UAE hosted the Toyota Building Photowalk, a culturally immersive experience taking Toyota fans in the UAE on a cultural exploration of the wider neighbourhood around the Toyota building, with the opportunity to test drive a Toyota car. Each participant received a free disposable camera to capture memorable moments throughout the session, which ended at the ‘Toyota Building’ for a unique photo opportunity.
Commenting on the initiative, Vincent Wijnen, Senior Managing Director, Al-Futtaim Automotive, said: “The ‘Toyota Building’ has long been a landmark for Dubai residents and visitors alike, forming an inseparable part of the visual heritage of Dubai and its dynamic history of development. We are delighted to bring back the iconic billboard from which the building derived its popular name, and hope that UAE residents accustomed to seeing the red-and-white Toyota Logo will be thrilled to see their beloved advertising once again.”
Constructed in 1974, three years after the foundation of the UAE, the two-bloc Nasser Rashid Lootah Building is regarded as one of Dubai's first residential towers – standing as a witness to history long before the era of lofty skyscrapers began.
“Since the Toyota sign first went up on the Nasser Rashid Lootah Building in 1981, Dubai has changed dramatically into a thriving global hub with the third-most skyscrapers in the world. But the spirit of the city has remained the same – resilient, welcoming and always rising above all challenges to create opportunities for everyone. That’s the same spirit that Al-Futtaim Toyota embodies, and the Toyota Building remains an enduring symbol of our deep association with the UAE. There is a lot of nostalgia and fond memories that Dubai residents associate with the billboard. Bringing it back is our tribute to the spirit of Dubai,” Vincent Wijnen said.