Applying BrandScience to Dubai

Dubai Destination Brand

All types of cities, around the globe, are striving to build their brand in the tourism and commerce
sectors. Many destinations, whether purposely or by chance, are assessing their strengths in order
to build their message to the consumer. These assessments typically become the foundation of their
promotional strategy. The biggest challenge, however, is the process of getting all of the stakeholders that can affect
the consumer experience (both positively and negatively) on the same page.

Building a destination brand takes much more than a tourism organization putting forward a
promotional strategy. It includes securing a sincere commitment (not just a simple level of support and
understanding) from each of the stakeholders to live the destination’s brand every day. The
stakeholders must also embrace a consistent message, high standard of delivery, and unique follow-
through in order to make the brand work.

The experience of the consumer must be consistent throughout a “destination”. The
destination in its entirety includes all points of contact for the consumer– from airline and airport to hotels,
attractions, restaurants and retail providers. We believe in the BrandScience principle of delivering on a

In Dubai, we have done just that.

The city has been able to benefit from one of the strongest support networks of any destination
in the world. The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) was formed to
oversee the tourism sector and to build the destination’s brand through development of products and
services that are consistent with the high standard of Arabian hospitality.

This network begins with strong support from the aviation sector, which has helped put Dubai
on the map with great ease of access. Through a partnership with Emirates Airlines and the Dubai
Airport Authority, the DTCM has been able to put forward a brand that begins with an incredible arrival
experience. On the ground, the Regional Transportation Authority has built an integrated network
of transportation options including bus, taxi and metro that make the transition from airport to hotel

The array of hotels within the city includes options from budget to 5-star accommodations. All hotels are
monitored and inspected by the DTCM for quality of service and product on an annual basis.

The DTCM also oversees the operation of the city’s heritage museums in order to provide a historic
perspective to visitors that is accurate and gives insight into the history of the city, the region and
Arabian and Islamic traditions.

Further, the DTCM works with local destination management companies and tour operators to ensure
they are also providing consistently high levels of services within their purview. This is
done through licensing and monitoring activities.

Another key service to the industry is provided by the DTCM through the Training Solutions division.
This division offers training services to tour guides, concierge and hotel service staff in order to further
provide a consistent brand experience. These staff members deliver that experience as the face
and voice of the destination.

All of these activities are key to Dubai’s success in building a brand. Simple assessment and
implementation are just the beginning. Dubai and all cities must continue to develop new and
exciting offerings based upon the basic brand of the destination. Consumer requirements, economic
environments, tourism trends, competition and stakeholder abilities must continue to be monitored and
strategies must be put in place for the long-term development of the destination. Objectives can only
be accomplished with the continued dedication of the destination’s leadership, tourism organizations
and stakeholders.

Jerad Bachar, CDME
Dubai Convention and Events Bureau
Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing