Blog / Using Communication to Build Destination Dubai

Using Communication to Build Destination Dubai

It’s been 11 years since I landed in Dubai to work for a luxury hospitality group, and this month was Travel Ink’s four-year anniversary. As someone who has worked in a large corporate as well as founding a business, the city has provided me with several career opportunities, and it got me thinking – how has a city as young as Dubai managed to attract so many expats to its sandy shores, as well as win some of the world’s most high-profile events, such as Expo 2020?

The answer is of course, through offering incredible experiences and more importantly, effectively communicating such experiences. Here’s a round up of just some of the content strategies Dubai has used to communicate itself as a destination:

  1. A Strong Vision

Guided by a forward-thinking ruling body, the emirate has a clear vision for the future and this is reflected across all communication issued from the ruler’s office, ranging from press releases to social media posts. There is no doubt regarding the ambition and drive to make Dubai one of the most enticing cities in the world, competing with the likes of New York, London, and Paris. With an expected tourist influx of 20 million visitors by 2020, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) is expecting a growth of 7% to 9% annually.

  1. A USP: The Biggest and the Best

A major part of Dubai’s image, success and perception around the world can be attributed to its positioning on a global stage. Dubai has repeatedly demonstrated its skill in this arena – from being in the news for breaking multiple records, to building the world’s tallest structure. As a result, content – whether online or in print – is guaranteed.

  1. Word of Mouth Via Social Media

The government’s tourism division plays a huge role in this aspect and the DTCM offices are skilled at their targeted content usage across multiple channels including an App. Designed to enhance the tourism experience, information on itinerary preparation, local events, deals in the city and much more are available at the touch of a button. Another well-known initiative has been the #mydubai campaign, allowing users to share their own stories of Dubai, and with over 36,000 followers on Twitter, has been tremendously successful.

  1. Visual Content Versus The Written Word

Content comes in many forms and the city has heartily embraced the trend for visual content such as video. 73% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase after watching videos explaining a product or service, according to a recent report from Animoto. And for many tourists, that visual experience starts on board with a memorable destination video provided by Emirates Airlines. Other initiatives such as Periscope are also gaining popularity. In fact, Visit Dubai – Dubai’s official tourism account has amassed 850 followers and is considered one of the most active accounts in the city.

Regarded as the world’s favourite melting pot, 200 nationalities, customs, and cultures, come together in the emirate, as per the Expo 2020 website. With a market as diverse as this, companies are well placed to learn from Dubai’s communication strategy and capitalise on all of the incredible opportunities it provides. As we move into 2016, whether you’re an employee, a business owner, a freelancer, or simply someone who loves Dubai, we wish you a very successful, and peaceful New Year ahead.

Karen Osman
Karen Osman
Originally from England, Karen has lived the ex-pat life for the last 15 years across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. After completing a B.A. in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Durham, a two year period teaching in Tokyo was the start of a career that combined her two great loves; travel and the English language. Moving to Dubai in 2004, Karen engaged in a sales, marketing and public relations role for a luxury hospitality company. It was a great opportunity to develop communication for luxury brands, gaining experience in writing and adapting copy for both off-line and on-line channels. After identifying a gap in the market for specialised writing services for the travel, tourism and hospitality sector, Karen set up Travel Ink in 2011, steadily building the business to include some of the most high-profile hotels, airlines and tourism establishments in the region. In addition to her role as Managing Director, Karen is also the Travel and Tourism Chair Person for the British Business Group and a committee member of Business Network International.

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