Monday, November 13, 2006

The Future of Brand UAE

How well does your country perform as a brand?

According to a fascinating research report compiled by Futurebrand, a brand consulting and design agency which put Dubai on the world map, UAE has a long way to go before it can be classified as a successful tourism brand.

Despite it's ambitious forays into tourism, the UAE has never managed to clearly position itself as a tourism destination. Unlike many other countries which has used the diversity factor to their advantage, UAE has made no efforts so far, in terms of research or a long term marketing strategy.

The problems that UAE faces as a brand are manifold. Basking in the Arab-cosmopolitan shadow of Dubai might help UAE to bring in tourists who find the Middle East a volatile region on the short term. But as countries are increasingly consolidating their brand image as the report shows, the UAE is caught in a constant struggle between the Las Vegas of the Middle East and 6 unexplored regional identities.

Country Brand Index - How UAE fared

Rising Star - UAE is rated #3
Likely to become major tourist destinations in next five years

Resort/Lodging Options - UAE is rated #10
Wide variety and superior selection of accommodations

Conferences - UAE is rated #9
Preferred off-site/convention destinations

Shopping - UAE is rated rated #4
Accessible, abundant and diverse retail options

So what is UAE missing?
Authenticity, History, Art & Culture, Families, Natural Beauty, Off The Beaten Track/Exotic locations, Outdoor Activities/Sports etc for a start.

Take a look at the full report.

5 Comments:

Blogger nzm said...

These reports piss me off because of their lack of consistency.

If you try to compare the 2006 results with the 2005 results, they have changed or added the categories so you can't compare apples with apples.

For the UAE, the only 2 that can be compared with last year's results are the Rising Stars and Conventions/Conferences categories.

In Rising Stars, last year the UAE was at #2. This year it's slipped to 3rd behind China (#1 for 2 years) and Croatia. Let's hope that once it slips out of the Top 10 for this category that it's already appearing in the Top Country Brand category!

In Conferences/Conventions, in 2005 the UAE was at #6, and in 2006 it's at #9.

The other 2 categories where the UAE is mentioned - Resorts/Lodgings and Shopping - are new categories for 2006.

However, perhaps significantly, in the category Best Country to do Business in which was rated in both 2005 and 2006, the UAE was 5th in 2005 and not Top-10 rated in 2006.

In 2005, the UAE was 4th in the Most Improved Country Brand category, but this category was not rated in 2006.

4:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say that this report is inconsistent. I would say that since the 2005 report was a pioneer study, in that it was the CBI's firts year, a lot was learned. Maybe some categories just weren't as interesting as other and some were missed the first time that seem to be important enough to conclude. Now for a country like UAE that is fairly new to everything, one must understand that though it may not have shown up in the 2005 Index, i believe that in years to come it wil not only show up but dominate most of the categories.

I found this report to be very interesting and can't wait until next years report to do a comparison of how tourism in the world has changed.

8:19 pm  
Blogger Woke said...

Anon,
I would be surprised if you found inconsistencies in the report especially since your IP address 199.221.98.# (True North Communications) co-incides with the IP adress that was tracking links to the CBI blog.

But yes, the report was very interesting indeed.

2:23 pm  
Blogger Lirun said...

im an almanac maniac - love statistics.. never really believe them but love them nonetheless.. i remember studying market research at university as part of my business degree and thinking these guys are really treading thin ice with their logic.. so weak.. but so persuasive to so many..

;)

7:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be known as a brand they have to advertise as a brand, like visitscotland.com, VisitSweden.com & many others like it, at the moment people only know about dubai and abu dhabi to a lesser extent. But how many people know that they are in the same country, UAE ?

Not many

6:57 am  

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