Tourism marketing- Dubai

How to stand out from the crowd in tourism marketing

As the world moves back to being able to take holidays and travel again, global competition to win back tourism dollars has perhaps never been so heightened.

And I’ve been thrilled by the UAE’s efforts to attract people back. You may have seen the pizza and flamingo adventurers enjoying an animated Dubai – here – and what this fun advert achieves in 30 seconds is quite incredible.

Firstly, employing the voices of two of the world’s most popular and famous Hollywood A-listers – Zac Efron and Jessica Alba – brings warmth and familiarity, not to mention the subliminal power of association.

Next, the animation is just the latest in a series of carefully-curated film trailer-style adventures in Dubai – called ‘Dubai Presents’ -starring the famous duo, with films taking inspiration from familiar Hollywood scripts – mysteryromanceadventure and action.

As Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, puts it: “This synergetic approach to showcasing Dubai’s diverse offering involves the enlistment of celebrities, influencers and community personalities to create a steady stream of ambassadors and advocates to narrate Dubai’s story across gastronomy, retail, tourism, leisure and events [showcasing] it as the best city to live, visit and work in.”

What this does for me – and I can only speak for myself – is to create a sense of excitement, wonder, and possibility.

I think applying Hollywood-level production values to these incredible short stories makes Dubai and the UAE seem like a truly aspirational, fascinating and unusual place to visit.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi teamed with actor and wrestler John Cena to produce another super-inspirational film trailer-style ad for the capital city, which draws upon everything the city has to offer as the actor parachutes in.

Tourism and the travel trade has undeniably had a rough couple of years. And there’s no denying a large part of Dubai’s move away from reliance on oil and gas revenues is to promote tourism.

Having battled the pandemic with foresight and vision, the move to employ exciting movie-style promotion, in my opinion, is inspired.

Expo 2020 has worked wonders for tourism to Dubai – despite the uncertainty of the ever-changing nature of COVID-19 and its variants.

The UAE news agency, WAM, recently reported that the emirate enjoyed an incredible 4.88 million visitors between January and October 2021 – with October alone welcoming more than one million international visitors.

And as Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, puts it: “…through the effective citywide management of the pandemic, the city has strengthened its position as one of the safest destinations in the world. With the support of our stakeholders and partners, Dubai’s ability to evolve and adapt has been critical in ensuring that the city continues to retain its position at the forefront of the world’s leading travel and business destinations.

“As part of our strategy, we have consistently used innovative global campaigns to further highlight the city’s multi-faceted touristic appeal and reach our overseas markets.”

Figures reveal the massive success – and appeal – of the Dubai Presents campaign. In 2021, the campaign broadcast more than 3,500 assets in 25 different languages, specifically targeting audiences seeking international travel, and those who had engaged with previous campaigns or were searching for Dubai on digital channels.

In a highly competitive sector, strong partnerships and high levels of creativity such as this film series serve to create a distinctive vibe around visiting the UAE, and I’m proud to see our nation being promoted in such an imaginative way – which will ultimately benefit us all.

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