On the evening of Monday 7th Sept I landed back on UK soil after a successful 10 day business trip to the current centre of the world for business, Dubai. For those interested, I was working with 2 businesses during my time in the UAE. A new and used car dealer and a new recruitment/consultancy firm. As a one-man business I could hardly leave my first foreign business trip off the blog.
Apart from the minimum 40°C heat and 95% humidity during my visit, I found Dubai to be a place of varying extremes. Wealth along side equal poverty. Incredible architectural wonders perched on top of desert sand. Transient folks from every nationality you can think of, all trying to make their fortunes. Every brand (literally) under the sun, fighting for the attention and custom of the 13.2 million yearly visitors and 2.1 million residents. Such a cosmopolitan location is bound to have a huge variety of audience demographics, behaviour and experience of digital technology.
If you are interested in understanding how Dubai uses architecture/construction to create ‘brand Dubai’ then I would encourage you to read Why We Build by Rowan Moore.
I must say, for me, it was it was a baptism by fire but I think any marketer can learn a lot from somewhere like Dubai. The contrasts of huge demand with traditional cultures still not used to modern day marketing makes for an interesting challenge. Despite the huge amount of wealth, Price still appears to be the most important P to get right. It’s fair to say a lot of those over there didn’t become wealthy by spending frivolously. After that a lot of business and deals are based on a human relationship between buyer and seller. As a very personable/social chap, I must admit I like this way of doing business. For me collaboration is a very human behaviour and it relies on the foundations of a good friendship or relationship.
The hospitality I received whilst in Dubai was incredible. I hope to be doing more business in there in the relatively near future and have come back with some great connections, contacts and insights.
I thought it would be nice to share some of my snaps from my time in Dubai. Click on any to see the full size version.
The State of Digital in the UAE
As part of my client research and prep I had to look into stats to show the uptake of digital/ internet in the UAE. I thought you folks may find the following sources useful if you find yourself looking into the same thing:
Featured image by Michael Theis
If you have any thoughts or comments on digital marketing in the UAE or Dubai please pop them below: