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Dubai’s new image

Dubai’s new image

According to reports, Dubai Inc may soon have a PR agency to help change its image in the media. Will it work?

March 9, 2009 11:35 by

It seems as though Dubai finally understands the need to be open, and to provide answers to legitimate questions. A senior delegation of Dubai’s financial and economic leaders went hunting for public relations firms in London last week, reports The National. They apparently wanted to find out the cause behind all the negative publicity that Dubai is getting in the international media, and what they can do to improve its image. The paper also reported that soon Dubai Inc will select one firm from a shortlist of candidates to help the emirate spread the good news.

Good PR is something that Dubai needs at the moment; especially since the world’s press is reporting – sardonically – about Dubai’s hardships, and how the emirate’s party has ended. Lack of transparency in the city spawned numerous rumors that the government has not confirmed or denied, including reports of an increasing number of cars being left at the airport and the imminent downfall of the once ‘glamorous’ city.

Fixing Dubai’s PR woes, however, depends on the brief given to the PR agency, says Alexander McNabb, the group account director of Spot On Public Relations.

“Public relations is very much like being a doctor. If you come to me and say I’m not sick, then I can do nothing for you. If you come to me and tell me what is wrong with you, then I can help to work with you and diagnose what is wrong, and then work to put it right,” he says.

“If you come to me and say I have got the greatest company in the world, and I want you to make everyone believe that, my question is why doesn’t everyone believe it today?” he asks, adding that it is essential to test that greatness. “When we do that, we find that there’s stuff you need to fix in the company, its processes, in the way that the company communicates, what its assets truly are; it has to test those assumptions before you go and do the job of PR.”

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