Brand Dubai and the Rest
A destination like no other, for sure. The trouble is atleast half a dozen other destinations thinks so too, none more significant than Milton Glaser's I love NY, which celebrates the metropolitan pride of the city.
I must say the Dubai heart logo is appealing and clever in a way, but I am not convinced with the explanation that the red colored heart represents ‘courage’ and ‘dynamism’ of leaders in the region. Ask any person in
Destination branding is no enviable task, as I found out during the past week when I went through hundreds of websites, brochures, articles and a couple of books. More so for a nation as varied as the United Arab Emirates, where identifying a unique characteristic which can generate a positive emotional response from a person is only a part of the task; but also involves addressing issues like the volatility of the middle-east and cultural sensibilities.
Nations has increasingly resorted to the “We have everything” or a “We are different” angle which did nothing more than to get fairly easy approvals from governments and other decision-making bodies. Among Uniquely Singapore, Incredible India, Enchanting Finland, Wonderful Greece, Magical Kenya, Dynamic Korea, Naturally Nepal, Uruguay Natural, Wow Philippines, which one will actually generate a positive human response from a citizen or a tourist is debatable. Others have resorted to their regional significance – Tanzania claiming to be ‘Authentic Africa’ while Rwanda urges you to ‘Discover a new African Dawn’(featuring a Gorilla naming ceremony!) and Zambia reckons you can ‘Experience the Real Africa’, Samoa is ‘The treasured island of the South Pacific’, Grenada is the ‘Spice of the Caribbean’ while Dominica is ‘The Nature Island of the Caribbean’, Malta is the ‘Heart of the Mediterranean’ while Croatia is ‘The Mediterranean as it once was’.
Still more get philosophical and poetic- Macedonia is the ‘Cradle of Culture, land of nature’, Maldives claims to be ‘The sunny side of life’, Nicaragua is ‘A country with heart’(Sorry Dubai), Cayman Islands is ‘Close to home, Far from expected’,
Others can simply be mistaken with products like mineral water, television or even shoes - like
Only a few has managed to stand out and make an impact– either due to their long-term vision or with the help of a bit of creativity shown while making their identities, executing campaigns and ensuring some level of consistency.