For our interview series, the GCPR-Blog team talked to Mohammed El Batta, Managing Director at Fekra Communications – FZ LLC, a partner of GlobalCom PR-Network in Dubai about the latest market-trends in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).*
1. Which industries/markets are booming at the moment in United Arab Emirates?
Ever since the economic crisis hit in 2008 there has a been a major shift in the market dynamics from a boom in real estate and construction towards consumer retail and IT as it was believed that people won’t stop buying consumer goods and investing in IT infrastructure. However, people since the crisis have become more financially conscious about their spending which pushed retailers to offer more promotions and discounts to encourage people to buy. Today and with the Arab spring rising in key tourism markets like Egypt, Syria and the likes, we see a boom in the travel and hospitality sectors in the UAE. Most of the Arab tourists in general from the neighboring Gulf countries are pouring into Dubai to spend their holidays and making use of the increasing offers on consumer and shopping promotions taking place during peak seasons of Dubai Shopping Festival in winter and Dubai Summer Surprises in summer.
2. What makes UAE currently so interesting for this industry?
Being a metropolitan country, and at the intersection of Asia and Africa and Europe, UAE is considered a major trade hub hosting over 150 nationalities. It is considered most advanced, modern and open of its Gulf neighbors offering a luxurious and modern lifestyle for its citizens and residents. Also having been on a serious construction boom before the financial crisis, UAE has managed to attract tourists to visit it man-made wonders such as the tallest tower in the world “Burj Khalifa” and the famous man-made islands of Palm Jumeirah, The World, and others. The influx of tourists visiting from neighboring Arab countries, Asia, Russia and Europe has offered the country a strong platform to boost its trade and “shopping” sector heavily especially during the peak shopping festivals.
3. Why should companies from these industries start doing Public Relations in UAE?
Companies from these industries need to do Public Relations to enhance their reputations and further attract target customers and audiences. They need to stand out from the competition and highlight their unique selling points to attract their customers. Today Public Relation is viewed as the most cost effective and impactful marketing tool to ensure their messages are carried across nonetheless being the most credible than classical advertising campaigns. Public Relations companies today stand a good chance with a recovering economy that is seeking to enhance the reputation and image of the country and its key industries to quickly overcome the setbacks from the economic crisis.
*The series is based on phone or face-to-face interviews and written input, therefore please excuse language mistakes which might reflect foreign language influences.