Brand Dubai: “Fantastic example of how a city plans ahead”

March 21, 2017 4:17 pm

Dubai emerged as a global hub for tourism, logistics and transportation in less than two decades.

The pace of its metamorphosis from a desert town to a global, Smart, sustainable city was frenetic and unparalleled. It never missed a chance to try something new and to innovate.

According to global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, Dubai is one of the world’s top five cities for imports and exports, and serves as the major business trading hub in the GCC region. Home to the headquarters of Emirates airline and two international airports, Dubai is also a major destination for international tourism. The city scores high in human capital, with a variety of international schools and many foreign-born residents.

AT Kearney’s latest report, Global Cities of the Future, a GCC Perspective, noted that recent changes in public sector administration will serve Dubai and the UAE well, with future-oriented and innovative concepts such as the Ministries of Happiness and Tolerance.

“Dubai is a fantastic example of how a city plans ahead, building on its robust progress in many areas to position itself as a leading global city. It has a high growth potential among the cities in the GCC region across all dimensions and continues to capitalise on its current capabilities and position. Its current ranking in the market is a testament to what has already been done and the groundwork implemented for continued success,” says Michael Romkey, Principal with A.T. Kearney.

The newly launched Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 aims to transform the city into a global platform for knowledge-based, sustainable, innovation-focused businesses. Foreign direct investment (FDI) continues to push the city’s business activities to global levels, while entrepreneurship and private investments are beginning to shape a culture of innovation.

Branding strategy

Today’s Dubai, the brainchild of its visionary ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his late father Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, is not all about what it has developed in its race to become a lookalike of New York or London. Beyond the several world firsts and records attached to its name and several tourism and retail options it offer, what made Dubai stand out from all the other cities in the world was its branding and marketing strategy.

The city continues to launch new initiatives the world is not yet familiar with but are futuristic. But Dubai makes sure they make headlines and that the message is received across the globe.


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Fashion capital

Dubai now is also known place for fashionistas and shoppers to update their wardrobe with the new season’s hottest trends and new styles.

“Dubai is a leading global retail destination and is known as the fashion capital of the Middle East. For discerning shoppers looking to stay at the forefront of the latest high-end fashion trends from around the world, Dubai is the place to be this season. Whether looking to purchase couture or ready-to-wear, there is something to suit every budget and fashion taste in Dubai,” says Saeed Mohammad Measam Al Falasi, The executive director, retail and strategic alliances, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).


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Tourists flock

Dubai also tops among the must visit tourism destinations. It retained its ranking as the fourth most-visited city in the world last year as international overnight traffic reached 14.9 million.

The strong performance of the emirate’s tourism industry in a particularly turbulent year assures progress towards not only the annual target of 20 million visitors by 2020, but also the increased sector-driven economic contribution to Dubai’s GDP.

“Our growth through a period of unforeseen macro-economic upheavals, particularly across our feeder markets, validates the ability of Dubai’s tourism sector to (1) adapt and respond with agility in all our markets; (2) effectively diversify investments and deploy strategies to minimise single-market exposure; and (3) dynamically converge as an industry across government, private and public sectors to grow our destination appeal and competitiveness,” says Helal Saeed Almarri, The director general of Dubai Tourism.

“The effectiveness of our three-pronged approach is evidenced by the encouraging 13 per cent growth in volumes from South Asia, led by India, despite the demonetisation and cash pressures facing the market. Similarly, KSA remained the dominant market within the GCC, bringing first-time and significant repeat travellers to Dubai. Another case in point is our tenacity in the UK, post the Brexit announcement and the ensuing more than 20 per cent currency devaluation, where we delivered a commendable five per cent visitation growth,” Almarri summarised.

“Highlights of 2016 include the massive 20 per cent boost in Chinese visitors, crossing the half-million mark for the first time, with 540,000 tourists arriving in Dubai, and the definitive resurgence of inbound Russian tourism, recording a 14 per cent growth in overnight traffic. Both countries are only expected to further accelerate through 2017, thanks to the UAE’s recent implementation of visas-on-arrival for all their citizens,” he added.


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(Full version of this story appeared first on AMEinfo’s sister title Gulf Marketing Review)


AMEinfo Staff
By AMEinfo Staff
AMEinfo staff members report business news and views from across the Middle East and North Africa region, and analyse global events impacting the region today.