Dubai's 'Toyota Building' is back: Iconic billboard reinstated on popular demand

First set up in 1981, the iconic red-and-white logo had been a landmark for generations



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A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 27 Jun 2022, 10:48 AM

Last updated: Mon 27 Jun 2022, 10:38 PM

An iconic billboard atop a building in Dubai that had been around for decades is making a comeback “on popular demand”. Al Futtaim announced that the red-and-white Toyota logo on top of the Nasser Rashid Lootah Building on Sheikh Zayed Road is being reinstated.

The giant billboard, which was first installed in 1981, became so popular that the tower came to be known as Toyota Building even though there is no showroom or service centre of the Japanese automotive manufacturer close by. The billboard was removed in 2018, when the advertising contract expired.

As part of its relaunch, the brand hosted the Toyota Building Photowalk, a culturally immersive experience. Fans were taken on a cultural exploration of the wider neighbourhood around the Toyota building, with the opportunity to test drive a car. Each participant received a free disposable camera to capture memorable moments throughout the session, which ended at the Nasser Rashid Lootah Building.

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.

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Historic photographs of Dubai spanning four decades show the building as a constant reference point during the city’s dizzying transformation into a modern metropolis.

“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.

“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,” Wijnen said.


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