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This is Malta at Harrods, London UK

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March 14, 2012 1:25 pm

This is Malta’ by Christian Peregin

Translucent crabs, multicoloured seaweed, blue starfish and overflowing treasure chests stop an impeccably-dressed Asian woman and her three young daughters in their tracks.

The entire family is transfixed by the stunningly decorated shop window, which uses glass artefacts to represent the eclectic riches under the sea.

Attractive shop windows are a trademark of Harrods, London’s iconic department store on Brompton Road. But this window was not designed for Jimmy Choo or Calvin Klein.

“This is Malta”, as the caption on the corner of the window points out.

More specifically, it is a shop window dedicated to Mdina Glass and it is just one small part (though perhaps the most striking) of the extensive showcase of Malta being exhibited throughout the month at Harrods.

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, accompanied by his wife Kate and Tourism Minister Mario de Marco, was yesterday given a tour of the campaign.

“I have described Malta as a home away from home for the British visitor. Today, I can safely say Harrods is a home away from home for us Maltese,” he said.

The aggressive marketing campaign aims to attract wealthy Londoners and tourists to the island by showing off its historical and cultural opulence.

Maltese flags adorn the façade of the building and all the windows on Brompton Road feature either a high resolution image of one of Malta’s treasures or a decorative installation. One of them showcases the private silverware collection of Malta’s British High Commissioner Joe Zammit Tabona, the mastermind behind the campaign.

Inside, shoppers are bombarded with similarly striking images of everything Maltese, from the island’s beaches to its churches, ports, temples, theatres and feasts.

Even the doors of several lifts are covered with promotional material related to Malta and each receipt issued throughout March features a full-colour advert of Gozo.

Several Maltese artists were given a chance to showcase their work in an exhibit at Harrods’ prestigious Georgian Restaurant, where there is also a replica of the George Cross.

Artist Kenneth Zammit Tabona donated several of his paintings to the Duke of Edinburgh Award and these too are being exhibited to be sold from the department store.

A spokesman for Harrods said that Malta’s campaign was one of the most extensive to be carried out at the department store by a destination and so far been had an overwhelming success.

But besides promoting Malta as a touristic destination, the campaign, and Dr Gonzi’s visit, also pitches the country as an ideal place for investment.

In fact, Dr Gonzi also dined and networked with business leaders and investors yesterday, where he explained Malta’s attractiveness as an investment destination.

He spoke of Malta’s plans to sustain the pharmaceutical cluster that was being developed, the building of a life sciences park and a €200 million investment fund.

“This is Malta, an attractive investment destination and strategic partner in the Mediterranean with strong economic fundamentals, sound public finances, high quality infrastructure, generous investment incentives and an enviable quality of life,” he told potential investors.

The event was the initiative of the Maltese High Commission in London and was coordinated by Malta Enterprise, the Malta Tourism Authority and Finance Malta.



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