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Sun 10 Jan 2010 03:24 PM

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Dubai sets up new media office to improve image

UPDATE 1: Ruler issues decree for gov't media office to 'portray accurate picture'.

Dubai has set up a new office to liaise with local and international media in a bid to boost the emirate's image, according to a decree issue by ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum on Sunday.

The department will combine existing state public relations units Dubai Press Club, Falcon & Associates and Brand Dubai in an effort to portray an "accurate picture" of the emirate, a statement cited by news agency WAM reported.

The new media office, led by Ahmed Al Shaikh, will "guarantee the highlighting of facts without any vagueness" and "muster all needed resources and capabilities to portray an accurate picture of all what is happening on the ground", according to the statement.

At the same time, Sheikh Mohammed issued a decree appointing Ahmed Abdullah Al Sheikh, his media escort, as director general of the new office.

The statement said the office "will monitor and analyse what is published by local, Arab and international media organisations about Dubai and latest public opinion trends dealing with events in Dubai".

Senior Dubai officials including Sheikh Mohammed himself have criticised the international media's coverage of the emirate following the announcement in November that Dubai World was to seek a standstill for some of its debt.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

BRANDO 10 years ago

Wise move, there's so many conflicting news articles on a daily basis it's impossible for the average mere mortal to know what to beleive about Dubai.

Anonymous 10 years ago

I am not sure how this changes anything. Dubai has made some bad PR moves which are the result of the fact it is not paying its bills. Is this new office supposed to put a positive spin of why bills are not paid?

Bob 10 years ago

Absolute truthfulness from the existing state public relations media would be a good start.

Response 10 years ago

There'll be no smoke if there hasn't been fire. If wise actions were taking place from the very beginning, there wouldn't have been all this mess. Nevertheless, monitoring all Arab media will not be successful as they do not all fall under U.AE.'s supervision; so what's this new move going to change anyway? It cannot stop foreign Arab media, and not all media are subject to authoritative/dictatorial ruling. Here'a a better solution: start hiring the right people for the right jobs regardless of nationaility and social class, ensure equal pay for all employees in the same profession, and maintain good annual governmental auditing laws.

Omar Shamma 10 years ago

Reputations are hard won and easily lost. Look at the case of Tiger Woods. Dubai's "indiscretions" were financial not personal, but the challenge is the same...rebuild a reputation. I hope that it can be pulled off.

Jayesh Ved 10 years ago

Dubai is best. I am upbeat about its future. Yes, recession has affected its image but only to make it more stronger. Recession and the current negativity that is making rounds will actually prove to be blessings in disguise. The term Dubai will eventually be credited as tried, tested and proved brand. Dubai is being tested now on the recession storm and and once this cloud is passed over , the world will see that Dubai glitters more then ever with the new dynamics will emerge outside the borders of so called developed countries to determine a success of a Nation. Haward-Oxford- Cambridge will be featuring Dubai's case in their academical contents on how to market nation's commercial potential praising the Dubai ruler and praising the brand DUBAI. Having said this, I do not claim that Dubai test will be over in few months time.. The test is for a place that is totally unique.. and somewhat unconventional for the test or testers to understand unstudied parameters before they are able to judge Dubai accurately.

MAHOMEDZICAR OSMAN 10 years ago

ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO ARABIANBUSINESS.COM FOR GIVING US THE OPPORTUNITY DO EXPRESS OUR OPINION, EVEN WHEN AWAY FROM DUBAI. IT'S A VERY WISE DECISION TO SET UP THIS OFFICE. I HOPE THE PERSONAL WHO WILL BE WORKING THERE ARE PERSONALLY AND EMOTIONALLY VERY UCH CONNECTED WITH DUBAI. CONGRATULATIONS YOUR HIGHNESS AND I HOPE THIS WILL BE THE BEGINING OF NEW ERA IN THE SENSE OF IMPROVING THE IMAGE OF DUBAI. IT'S A MOVE IN WHICH WE SHOULD BE ALL ENGAGED.

karim 10 years ago

They office will monitor so they replay and answer back those who attack dubai, nice move and needed. But no one mentioned anything about control coz no one can control the media. And this move is better than doing "nothing".

John 10 years ago

Good Move..Dubai economy future is all about creating the perceived value for Dubai’s lifestyle as a commodity. Dubai produces no material thing but producing the image of lifestyle that one would desire for. The lifestyle that attracts people spent some time and lots of money. The lifestyle that makes people to pay frequent visits rather staying in Dubai for longer time. This gives Dubai the dynamics of floating public economy. And when there is a feel-good factor in lifestyle of any place the real estate will boom genuinely. And that’s what Dubai is and should look for. Bring and spread feel-good aspect about Dubai way of life. Opening up a new media office with clear cut task of doing PRO and promotional work to spread the word of goodness of Dubai will certainly contribute towards Dubai’s goal.

BRANDO 10 years ago

@ John "Dubai economy future is all about creating the perceived value for Dubai’s lifestyle as a commodity. Dubai produces no material thing but producing the image of lifestyle that one would desire for." Dubai's future is about alot more than what is "perceived", it is about what is actually delivered and the reality of what it is like living/working/visiting there as a tourist. The "Marketing Gurus" can talk brands till the cows come home but if the visitors experience does'nt come up to expections then it will struggle to become a top tourism destination. Right now it's seen as somewhere new, interesting, different but is it delivering value for money and can it do so in the future ? That will be what decides Dubai's future in the long-term tourism market. Dubai has to Deliver on whatever promises it makes !