Alice Weaver
Alice Weaver 6 March 2015

The Sky's The Limit For The Middle East

How the UEA's thriving smartphone culture is impacting the region's hunger for innovative, mobile-centric PR.

Did you know there are now 252 phones for every 100 people in the United Arab Emirates?[1]

On a global scale the region is home to some of the highest levels of smartphone penetration in the world[2] (74%), considerably higher than the likes of countries such as the USA and Canada and almost 10% higher than in the UK. Perhaps you might find this surprising?

Before making the move to Dubai I’d have thought the same – my image of Dubai was one of a sandy concrete metropolis that was more famous for having the tallest, biggest and best buildings in the world than being known for its pioneering campaigns. Yet on moving to the region, it’s clear to me that both the brands and media here are out to inspire.

But while undoubtedly there’s still work to be done, the UAE, and indeed the Middle East has a real hunger to lead the way. Just like its savvy smartphone population which has been quick to embrace advances in technology, there is a strong ambition from brands and media to push the boundaries on tried and tested traditional content, and become pioneers in an altogether different capacity. There is a sense of urgency to catch up.

Media and brands alike want to be famous in their own way. Innovation, which has indeed become the watchword of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s vision for 2015 has filtered down; there is a hunger to be trailblazing in terms of creating new and exciting campaigns to engage new and core audiences. And what’s not to get excited about? With the World Expo 2020 win under its belt, the Smart Cities initiative and news that Dubai is now the busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger numbers, the region is in a strong position.

So where are the opportunities? Well, for one, harnessing the power of mobile represents a huge opportunity for brands to communicate to core and new audiences – whether that’s internal or external. The hugely successful #MyDubai initiative, which continues to create a virtual autobiography of Dubai – is underpinned by mobile – inviting people to upload their pictures and videos to social media. What’s more, news that the Burj Khalifa has been voted in the top three destinations in the world for selfies again shows the power of mobile as a means to help profile a destination. And excitingly, indeed even the New Year’s Eve fireworks 2014 saw a first for the region – the event itself was streamed live to tablet and laptop devices so an online mobile audience could view the spectacular display.

So what’s next? With the pathway firmly being set for a year of innovation, what’s clear is that brands will continue to push the boundaries in terms of delivering bolder campaigns in order to create new ways to interact with audiences. This positivity is setting a precedence that’s infectious. In the race to be providing the most creative driven content, maybe soon the world will look towards the Middle East for inspiration.

About Author:

This article has been contributed by Cheryl King, General Manager of markettiers4dc MENA (@cherylking45). Cheryl’s UK experience includes delivering a number of live streaming events for brands directly to social media channels via mobile devices (including working on Britain’ first ever exclusive Facebook concert with Eliza Doolittle for Carphone Warehouse). Upon moving to Dubai, Cheryl believes the huge proliferation of smartphones and growth in social media is providing a key opportunity for brands to harness its potential.

Original Post

References: [1] Steve Smith, Arabian Radio Network, Broadcast Conference 2015 [2] Dubai City Guide

FREE EVENT: Join Digital Doughnut in London on March 31st, 2015 for an evening of networking with speakers reviewing Digital Transformation

Read More on Digital Doughnut


Check out our latest videos!

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Google Analytics in Only Three Numbers

Google Analytics in Only Three Numbers

Financial advisors and other professionals can decipher a lot of information from Google Analytics with three simple categories.

Marina Howell
Marina Howell 17 October 2016
Read more
How to Optimize Your Confirmation Email Design and Make It Bring You More Sales

How to Optimize Your Confirmation Email Design and Make It Bring You More Sales

Email marketing is not just about newsletters! Transactional and confirmation emails shouldn’t be neglected when it comes to design and content. An exceptional confirmation email can help you nail another purchase in minutes.

Roland Pokornyik
Roland Pokornyik 17 October 2016
Read more
Get a Complete View of Your Customer Journey in 5 Easy Steps

Get a Complete View of Your Customer Journey in 5 Easy Steps

Here's how you can get a complete view of your customer journey so that your email campaigns continue to win new customers.

Sophia Skinbjerg
Sophia Skinbjerg 18 October 2016
Read more
How to Solve the Two Biggest Challenges of Social Media Marketing

How to Solve the Two Biggest Challenges of Social Media Marketing

Most small businesses spend more than 6 hours per week on social media marketing and more than one-third post at least once per day. Along with finding the time, the other biggest challenge professionals face is finding the right content to post. If you’re experiencing these challenges, keep reading because we’re going to help you solve them.

Melissa Darcey
Melissa Darcey 20 October 2016
Read more