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Marketing Communications Campaign in the UAE Research Paper

Many employees from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are exposed to instances of negative stereotyping at their places of work. The issue is major concern to the government and other stakeholders in this field, especially if it is not addressed at this time. The negative perceptions of native employees in the various industries and sectors are unfounded.

The individuals are erroneously regarded as lazy, unskilled, and uncooperative by their employers and peers. It is possible that these attributes may have been correct in the past. However, things have changed a great deal. For instance, the aspirations and attitudes of the younger skilled population of UAE origins differ from those of the older generation.

The current marketing communications campaign aims at erasing the negative stereotypes associated with native UAE employees. The campaign targets organisations operating in both the private and the public sectors. In most cases, the native UAE workforce is regarded as poor in time management and disinterested in their work. In addition, it is believed that these employees demand for higher remuneration than their counterparts. Such reputation makes many employers to regard employees of UAE origin as a major risk to business. They are also considered to be more expensive than foreign workers.

Emiratisation is an initiative that was launched by the United Arab Emirates government in efforts to deal with the negative perceptions that employers and other stakeholders have towards native employees (Forstenlechner, 2010). The major objective of this undertaking is to enhance employment opportunities for the UAE citizens. The initiative seeks to reduce the rate of unemployment among the natives, as well as eliminate the negative perceptions revolving around this group of potential employees.

Branding Strategy

The major aim of this branding strategy is to make the initiative more visible to the target audience. The process will determine the response of the people towards the project. It will also inform its success as far as the achievement of the envisaged objectives is concerned. Consequently, the branding strategy makes the Emiratisation initiative more appealing to the employers.

The Emiratisation marketing campaign is unique for a number of reasons. For example, the target audience is made up of employers from the private and public sectors. In addition, the product in this case is the idea behind the initiative. To this end, the aim is to convince the employers of the benefits of employing UAE citizens as opposed to foreigners. In addition, the campaign would rebut the negative stereotypes associated with native UAE workforce.

Brand Name and Identity

The campaign is titled Emiratisation. It is assumed that the name of the brand will appeal to the target audience and impact on their feelings towards the development of the UAE workforce. In addition, the brand raises queries as to what Emiratisation is all about and what it stands for. The desire to address such queries will draw the target audience closer to the brand.

Brand Appeal

It is important to make the brand more appealing to the management and administrators in the various sectors. To achieve this, the marketing team came up with a catchy slogan, which reads:

Emiratisation: Strengthening the UAE Citizens Workforce for Sustainable Developmen.

The tagline will follow the brand name. It is expected that the slogan will help to elicit the interest of the target audience towards the idea. Most institutions in the UAE use foreign personnel to carry out their operations (Forstenlechner, 2010). The title of the campaign will make them develop interest in strengthening of the UAE workforce. The communication campaign will endeavour to capture their attention and imagination. The realisation is a major objective of the brand identity promotion campaign. When this is achieved, the marketing team will embark on communicating the actual implementation of the initiative.

Brand Positioning

Unlike in conventional marketing campaigns, the Emiratisation initiative does not entail a product or service that is in competition with others in the market. As already indicated, the product is the notion perpetuated by the productivity of a UAE workforce. The campaign will communicate various policies revolving around the implementation of this initiative. Consequently, the positioning of the brand will determine whether the intended audience is reached or not. Managers and administrators of private and public organisations make up the target audience for this campaign. The reason is that they are the main employers in the UAE economy. The general public, which is mainly made up of UAE citizens, will also be part of the target audience. The rationale behind this is the fact that the workforce in question is derived from this group.

Brand positioning will be attained by using the strategy of ‘benefit positioning’ in relation to the identified target audience. The benefits positioning approach communicates information on how the Emiratisation initiative will add value and enhance the gains made when the native workforce is engaged. The model will convince the audience why the status quo needs to be changed.

The benefits approach will engage the audience or target population and help them to realise that the initiative is valuable to them. As a result, it will be easy to convince them to embrace the idea. One of the major benefits of the Emiratisation initiative is sustainable development of the workforce comprised of UAE citizens. The benefit will be made clear to the stakeholders.

Brand Logo

The following logo reflects the image of the campaign:

Emiratisation logo.

The logo appeals to the nationality of UAE citizens. As such, it is expected that it will attract their attention and elicit their interest in the campaign.

Promotional Mix Strategies

Finne and Gronroos (2009) provide a working definition of the promotional mix concept. It is regarded as the combination of the various promotional methods used to market given goods or services (Finne & Gronroos, 2009). As such, the concept entails the various sets of tools used in the effective communication of the benefits of the product in question to the target audience.

According to Ewing (2009), promotional mix is made up of various elements. They include, among others, advertising, direct marketing, personal selling, public relations, and sales promotion. The success of the marketing mix depends on the ability of the marketer to select the right combination of tools to enhance the realisation of the overall objectives in relation to the target audience.

The promotion mix used for the Emiratisation initiative will involve four elements. The four are advertising, public relations, personal selling, and direct marketing. The combination of these tools is informed by the nature of product, which involves idea and awareness. It is also influenced by the target audience and the budget available to the marketing team. The tools selected are oriented towards the creation of awareness as opposed to rewarding.

The promotional mix has one major target. The objective is to make sure that by the end of the Emiratisation initiative, three quarters (75%) of the primary and secondary target population has been reached. The initiative will operate on a budget of AED 3,500,000 for the one year the campaign will be running.

Direct Marketing

According to Finne and Gronroos (2009), this form of marketing takes place when direct contact is established with the target audience. The difference between this model and advertising is that the target audience is engaged through personalised massages. Various direct marketing approaches will be used in the Emiratisation campaign. They include leafleting, telephone marketing, and texting. Others will involve sending emails and direct mails. The methods will focus on administrators, managers, and other decision makers in the organisations targeted in the campaign.

The method is likely to encounter a number of challenges. For example, there is need to develop a database for the primary audience before embarking on the campaign. In addition, mailing lists will have to be bought. Subsequently, the primary audience will be informed of the initiative. Policies will be communicated to them before they are urged to take part in the program.

In spite of the associated costs, direct marketing is very efficient. It generates responses from the target audience. In addition, campaign resources are used in places where results are likely to be achieved.

Public Relations

Public relations refer to the management of an organisation’s reputation in the public domain. The major objective of this approach is to earn the support of the public (Ewing, 2009). The model is used to build and retain mutual understanding and goodwill between the target audience and the organisation.

The media strategy in relation to the Emiratisation campaign will incorporate various types of communication outlets. Seminars, exhibitions, and other enterprise gatherings will be used to promote the initiative. The marketing team will use these outlets given that both the primary and secondary target audiences frequent these events. In addition, the strategy will provide another opportunity to directly interact with the audience, making it an effective approach.

Personal Selling

The model involves a situation where salespeople interact directly with the target audience. The aim is to convince the individuals of the benefits of a given product. A personalised approach is adopted by the salesperson to customise the benefits accrued to the audience.

Personal Selling Strategy

Personal selling will target the senior-most decision makers, administrators, and directors of enterprises in the public and private sectors. Appointments with these executives will be secured and individuals conducting the campaign sent to sell the Emiratisation. Booking appointments and undertaking personal selling in relation to this target audience is relatively expensive. However, the associated returns are promising. Engaging directly with the primary group will help to convince them to buy into the Emiratisation initiative.

Creative Strategy

The major function of a creative strategy is to define the message revolving around a given product (Ewing, 2009). The approach is used to develop the marketing message by determining what will be said about the product during the campaign. In addition, the model informs how the audience is expected to view or perceive the brand.


Positioning the brand defines how the services or goods are placed relative to competition and the target audience (Finne & Gronroos, 2009). The message communicated in the Emiratisation campaign involves the importance of employing UAE citizens in the public and private sectors. Another objective of the initiative is to counter the negative perceptions and stereotypes directed towards the native workforce.

It is important to note that positioning defines the personality of the campaign. In light of the current campaign, the personality is brought out by the Emiratisation title. The name alone captures the attention of UAE residents and the target audience. In addition, the campaign (as the product) is positioned very close to the UAE nationality, which is a source of pride to the citizens.


The creative strategy will also help to create the element of a single idea. The development is expected to encourage the target audience to engage in the desired actions. The promise is found in the slogan used in the campaign:

Emiratisation: Strengthening the UAE Citizens Workforce for Sustainable Development.

The caption statement is direct. It summarises the benefits likely to be realised by the individuals after embracing the idea being communicated.


The promise is supported by various facts that are derived from national economic statistics. Facts on jobs created per year will attract the attention of students and young graduates. For instance, the national unemployment rate at UAE stands at 12%. In addition, only 1% of employees in the country work in the private sector. It is also noted that UAE is one of the fastest growing economies in the region. It generates 600000 jobs each year within the private sector alone (International Labour Organisation, 2013).

Creative Tactics

Advertisements will be the most prominent feature of the campaign. They are expected to generate awareness in relation to the initiative. To this end, the slogan of the campaign will be featured in all the adverts. However, the content of the various advertisements will vary depending on the medium used. For instance, business magazines and the selected newspapers will carry similar features. In addition, pictures that the audience can relate to will be used

The following advert will be featured in the newspapers and magazines:

Emiratisation: Strengthening the UAE Citizens Workforce for Sustainable Development.

Photo of a street in UAE.

Putting UAE Citizens to Work!

The use of appealing pictures, coupled with the slogan and other creative statements, will arouse the interest of the audience. The articles following such graphics will detail the objectives and policies of the initiative. For instance, the picture in the advert above is designed to captivate the reader. The slogan will complete the message intended to be passed across. The interest of the reader on how the UAE citizenry will be put to work will make them go through the entire article.

The following picture features another advert that will be used especially in newspapers:

Emiratisation: Strengthening the UAE Citizens Workforce for Sustainable Development.

Creative art of arab women in office.

Abandoned jobs?!

The graphic cartoon above will capture the imagination of the reader. The subsequent article will elaborate on how the UAE workforce is alienated from the private sector in the country.

Billboards will feature such graphics as the following:

Emiratisation: Strengthening the UAE Citizens Workforce for Sustainable Development.

Photo of emirati media forum.

The Big Debate: Emiratisation!

The image above is appealing as most of the target audience find debates and such other forums attractive means of communicating ideas. Consequently, they will follow up on the resources provided in these adverts. Social media sites and website uniform resource indicators will be featured in all the adverts, including the television and radio programs.

Creative Execution

The various media strategies will influence how the information will be conveyed to the public. For instance, business magazines and newspapers will not only carry pictorial advertisements, but also articles touching on Emiratisation. Television channels will carry dramatised adverts in addition to the programs revolving around debates on the topic. The experts used in these debates will deliberate on the numerous benefits and opportunities lost to the current workforce setting and the proposed Emiratisation. Radio stations will host similar programs. However, these programs will be limited to audio messages.

The variation of the media channels and forms of communication will ensure that all the sub-groups of the target audience are reached. For instance, students may not be interested in news purveyed through television and radios. The group will be catered for through the social media and other online forums.

Net Impression

According to Ewing (2009), net impression refers to what the target audience will be expected to state following their exposure to the communication. For instance, after debates on television and radio, most of the invited guests will be expected to agree that Emiratisation is needed for sustainable growth in the UAE. In addition, they will support the policies developed to enhance implementation of the initiative in the private and public sectors.

Media Strategy


Advertising involves calling the attention of the public to a particular need, service, or good. It especially involves the use of ‘paid for’ announcements (Ewing, 2009). The Emiratisation advertisement campaign will be carried out through radio, television, newspapers, business magazines, internet, and billboards.

Advertising will help to create awareness among the target audience by supplying them with the information needed. In addition, the approach will persuade the target audience to embrace and support the Emiratisation initiative.

Radio Advertising

Major radio channels in the UAE will be used to develop and air advertisements encouraging administrators and managers to employ more UAE citizens in their organisations. In addition, programs and debates specifically dedicated to the Emiratisation process will be aired once per week. The programs will be used to seek the public opinion and deliberate on it. The radio channels that will be used include Radio 2 UAE, Radio 1 UAE, and Al Emarat.

Television Advertising

The main television channels in the region will also be used in advertising. The appeal of these advertisements will be enhanced by showing different UAE citizens working across the various sectors of the economy. In addition to these regular and short advertisements, programs dedicated to the Emiratisation campaign will be hosted every weekend. Debate around the initiative will be encouraged in these programs. The television channels to be used in the campaign include Dubai TV, MBC, Dubai One, Abu Dhabi Al Oula, and City 7 TV.

Advertisements in Newspapers and Business Magazines

Magazines and newspapers will be very effective in communicating the policies and objectives of the initiative. Most decision makers in the corporate world are avid readers of these publications. The newspapers and magazines used will mainly target the primary audience, which includes movers and shakers in private and public institutions and enterprises. The nature of the job carried out by these individuals affords them little time to interact with radio and television.

Newspapers and business publications will also make it possible to provide more details about the Emiratisation campaign. The magazines to be used include Gulf Business and Arabian Business. The two are very popular in the region. The newspapers to be used for advertisement will include Al Khaleej, Al Bayan, and Al Ittihad.


Billboards will be used across all cities in the UAE. They will be placed in major highways entering the cities. It is expected that approximately 300 billboards will be used for the entire campaign period.

Internet Advertising

Internet advertising will be carried out through a website dedicated to the Emiratisation campaign. Mail marketing will be carried out through emails sent to various corporations and enterprises. Organisational email addresses will be used in this campaign. The website developed for the Emiratisation initiative will have interactive forums through which the target audience can engage one another and share ideas on the issue. The emails sent to the various organisations will contain a link leading to the campaign website.

Internet campaign will also be conducted through various social media sites. The sites to be used include Twitter and Facebook. The two are the leading social media outlets in the world. In addition, they are popular in the UAE. A number of accounts will be opened in these sites to target the secondary audience, especially those with access to the internet. It is noted that Twitter and Facebook are very interactive. As such, they will provide the marketing team with a lively platform to convince the youths to join the workforce in all sectors.

Measuring the Effectiveness and Success of the Campaign

The overall effectiveness of the initiative will be determined in both qualitative and quantitative terms. The success of the campaign depends on the realisation of the envisaged objectives. Furthermore, each medium used to communicate the initiative will have its own method of measuring responses from the audience. The responses will be used to determine the success of the channel.

Newspapers and Business Magazines

The success of communication through these media will be determined using responses from readers and related arguments during their reviews on radio and television.

Television and Radio

The effectiveness of these channels will be gauged by analysing the number of people following up on the programs aired in relation to Emiratisation. In addition, the feedback from the audience will reflect the efficacy of this form of communication.


The success of the online campaign will be assessed by reviewing the number of people keeping track of the progress made in the initiative through social media. The number of visitors to the campaign website will also indicate the success or failure of the project. In addition, response to emails will reflect the effectiveness of this campaign.

In overall, the success of the campaign will be determined by the changes in the number of UAE nationals working in the private sector. It is expected that the number will rise by 5% by the end of 2014. When this figure is achieved, the campaign will be billed as a success.


The entire campaign will go for a period of 1 year. It will use about AED 3,500,000. The expenditure will be distributed as shown in following table:

Table 1: Budget

Expense/Task Cost in AED
Television advertisements 1350000
Radio 800000
Business Magazines 200000
Newspapers 200000
Website, social sites, and emails 200000
Direct marketing 300000
Personal selling 100000
Public relations 150000
Billboards 100000
Miscellaneous 100000
Total 3500000


Ewing, M. (2009). Integrated marketing communications measurement and evaluation. Journal of Marketing Communications, 15(2), 103-117.

Finne, A., Gronroos, C. (2009). Rethinking marketing communication: From integrated marketing communication to relationship communication. Journal of Marketing Communications, 15(2), 179-195.

Forstenlechner, I. (2010). Workforce localisation in emerging Gulf economies: The need to fine-tune HRM. Personnel Review, 39(1), 135-152.

International Labour Organisation. (2013). .

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Marketing Communications Campaign in the UAE'. 1 May.

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