Ever since the start of the new millennium, Dubai has seemingly been involved in an endless cycle of impressive accomplishments designed to amaze the world… one marvel at a time. The city’s spectacular list of achievements include Ski Dubai, the region’s largest indoor ski slope; Palm Jumeirah, the artificial archipelago featuring the Middle East’s first monorail; Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building; Dubai Metro, the world’s longest fully automated train network… and so on.
The first question that might pop into mind is: “why?” as asked by 60 Minutes’ correspondent Steve Croft in his interview with HH Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid in 2007. His Highness replied: “Why not?”
In my modest opinion, I believe that Dubai is one of the world’s strongest brands, as strong as household names such as Coca Cola, Apple and Microsoft. These are organisations whose brand equity can’t be valued in mere monetary terms alone.
The masterminds behind the Dubai government’s PR strategy cleverly calculate each activity’s image impact and ROI. Take, for example, the city’s recently acquired fleet of police supercars, which included such high performance vehicles as a Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari FF, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Bentley Continental GT and Aston Martin 77. The combined value of the fleet amounts to several million dirhams – a figure that could be considered a huge outlay for state law enforcement vehicles that, if we are to be honest, are a more than a little impractical. However, when viewed in the context of global PR, the stunt is one that has continued to keep Dubai’s name on the word stage, creating a new ‘wow’ factor to be added to its list of achievements. Excuse the pun, but PR activities such as this supercar exercise this have a great deal of mileage, with the value of the coverage and air time generated likely worth 100 times more than the cost of the police-liveried performance machines. Marketeers; look, listen and learn!