According toKhaleejtimes.com, Dubai has claimed the number 1 spot for quality of livingacross the Middle East and Africa region, according to Mercer’s 2017 Quality ofLiving Survey.
The wide diversity of expatriate culture is brought from theircountries to intertwine the cultural understandings and enhance the culturalnorms with a range of influences that has contributed to Dubai’s rapidmodernization. Although Dubai attempts to appeal to modern Muslim heritage inall aspects, it does aim to attract individuals fromEurope to contribute to its modernity and extends the extent of culturalmiscellany. As a result, Dubai has successfully achieved rapid economic growththrough employment means which emphasizes upon Dubai’s multicultural-friendlyagenda. Dubai, in its own way, is turning into a multicultural city wherepeople of all different nationalities are able to find something familiar. Thisdeveloping cosmopolitanism provides a certain comfort level that makes for acontented expatriate business community while at the same time respecting theEmirati culture.
The population is comprised mainly of expatriates from Asia,Europe and the Americas, with less than half of the total population beinglocal Arabs. The first comprehensive demographic report was compiled in themid-1990s by NFO Worldgroup, the largest custom marketing research company inthe Middle East, and Edwards Economic Research, a UK demographer. According toHSBC’s Expat survey 2015, it has been concluded that “Despite thevolatility in the global economy and insecurity in job markets, the UAE’sdiverse business landscape and its position as a hub in the Middle East meansthat it continues to be an attractive destination for expats from across theworld”. In Dubai, there arenumerous international businesses, many of which have been long established,and several more that are relocating their regional offices. Because of itscentral location, relatively liberal lifestyle, and its favorable investmentand economic opportunities, companies continue to organize business in Dubai.
Dubai is increasingly becoming a global centre of business because of thelifestyle it affords its residents and the willingness of its leaders andcitizens to cater to a diverse clientele. There are considerably fewer rulesand regulations in Dubai than in neighboring countries. Dubai also attractsforeign investors and corporations because of the considerable economicopportunities offered to businesses there. The vision of Vice President of UAEand Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, isto create an open society where international businesses are invited toactively participate in building a better infrastructure and improving businessrelations Several importantinternational organizations have also chosen Dubai as the host city for theirannual meetings, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.According to the Principal of a multinational company known as Mercer stated “Acity’s infrastructure, or rather the lack thereof, can considerably affect thequality of living that expatriates and their families experience on a dailybasis. Access to a variety of transport options, being connected locally andinternationally, and access to electricity and drinkable water are among theessential needs of expatriates arriving in a new location on assignment. Awell-developed infrastructure can also be a key competitive advantage forcities and municipalities trying to attract multinational companies, talent,and foreign investments.
“Before a company makes a decision on whether to advertise in a givenregion and on the type of approach it should take, it conducts a considerableamount of market research. Cultural differences, a lack of accumulated data,and social impediments are challenges that businesses and advertising agenciesmust overcome. In today’s world,multinational corporations produce what can be called “globaladvertisements.
” These are ads that target a very eclectic group of people ofdifferent ethnicities, from different parts of the world. Such advertisementsneed to be localized to specific countries and cultures. For an ad to belocalized, the slogan and the visual appeal of the ad are often changed. Forexample, in Dubai objects in an ad will be arranged from right to left ratherthan left to right, since this is consistent with the direction of Arabicscript. Furthermore, advertisers must pay attention to translation issues. Forexample, phrases or slogans that sound witty and memorable in English may notwork in Arabic. Therefore, agencies that work on localizing ads must createslogans in the local language that carry the same meaning as the original.
InDubai, agencies use focus groups consisting of Asians and Arabs to helplocalize global advertisements. The agency will show a focus group an ad, andmembers of the group are asked to respond with their thoughts and reactions, aswell as likes and dislikes. The agency also hires marketing designers who,based on the comments of the focus group, make changes to the advertisement.After changes are made, the focus group members are again asked for theirthoughts. This process continues until the advertisement provokes a strongpositive response from both the Asian and the Arab participants.
It isdifficult to target one specific segment of the population within the UAEbecause of the many different ethnicities who live there, and their limitedaccess to radio and TV. Considering theabundance of plans that the government has embarked on to advance Dubai’smodernization and development, it will be a long time before a plateau is reached.Dubai has managed to sustain its traditional Islamic and Arab culture whilecontinuing to experience modern economic and technological development.Multinational corporations play an important role in facilitating this economicgrowth. In order to be successful in this region, these companies quicklyrealized that they would have to find a model that is both internationallycompetitive and respectful of local culture and traditions. In essence, thesecompanies are localizing globalization. Many of the multinational companiesemploy unique marketing and advertising strategies in order to accommodate andappeal to the diverse population of the UAE. Consequently, the majority of thecitizens and the government of Dubai welcome the presence of these companies.
Expatriates,Multinational Companies and Locals are what make Dubai a “globalcity” and continuously engage in doing so to sustain its modernity.