Sony hopes to wash away losses with Xperia Aquatech Store in Dubai

Sony is opening an underwater shop, as it aims to boost income from premium phone sales.

Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z, which can work a metre under water, gets a soaking. Saeed Khan / AFP
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Sony hopes to make waves with its latest shop opening in Dubai – located on the seabed four metres below the surface.

It will open its first Xperia Aquatech store on December 3 to sell waterproof Sony smartphones, tablets and other gadgets.

Rüediger Odenbach, Sony's regional vice president, promised the world's first Xperia Aquatech Store would offer customers an "exhilarating and unforgettable experience".

But the Japanese electronics maker may need more than an underwater shop to impress investors, as it has forecast full-year losses of ¥230 billion (Dh7.81bn).

The company is focusing on premium mobile sales in a bid to stem further losses. It releases its second-quarter earnings on Friday, when investors will be scrutinising its annual sales target for smartphones.

Sony says trained divers will escort shoppers to its underwater shop, where it says people will “be able to stand on the seabed and breathe perfectly normally”, while browsing for new gadgets.

It is not the first attempt at underwater consumerism in the city, which has been associated with various underwater developments over the last decade – including the Hydropolis project first mooted in the early 2000s.

It was to have occupied an area the size of London’s Hyde Park and would have been buried 20 metres under water, just off Jumeirah beach. It was cancelled in 2004. Other underwater hotel projects have also sunk without trace.

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