The Luxury Marketing Council Meets To Review
Dubai's Position as A Luxury Destination

The Dubai chapter of The Luxury Marketing Council met recently at Ruth's Chris Steak House at The Address Dubai Marina Mall to discuss Dubai's resurgence as the preferred luxury retail and travel destination. Mac McClelland, President & CEO of The Luxury Marketing Council Middle East, led the panel discussion to understand where Dubai was before the global recession and how it has positioned itself as world economies and consumers recover. "Members of The Luxury Marketing Council need to understand how Dubai as a global luxury retail hub is preparing for increased tourism and other luxury activities."

Panelist Dr. Birgit Trauer, Managing Director of tourism consulting firm Xculture21, said "Dubai reflects a most dynamic, diversified and successful visitor economy. It has become a venue where all visitors, including nationals, expatriates, and international tourists enjoy the outstanding infrastructure and facilities. Dubai's ascension onto the world stage of travel and tourism is unprecedented, having established itself as a global multipurpose business center, aviation hub, and tourist destination. Its image and reputation of providing high-end quality products and experiences continues to attract and cater to consumers from growing worldwide luxury markets, including Russia, India, and China."

"Whereas companies previously focused on developing their visual assets including brand identity and communications collateral, post-recession companies are now beginning to understand that brand is much more than just a pretty campaign." Fellow panelist Nicole Frey, Business Development Manager at The Brand Union Middle East, explained how branding, including luxury branding, has changed since the recession. "Instead, companies are now investing in proper strategic branding exercises to understand how their brand is currently perceived, and what they can do to evolve their brand experience."

Frey added that companies now have an excellent opportunity to deliver on their brand promise and build brand equity as tourist numbers and foreign investment begin to climb again in Dubai. "Ultimately, it is the brand experience, the perception formed by multiple positive interactions with a brand over time that creates brand loyalty among customers and employees alike. It will be interesting to see how Dubai evolves its own brand experience during this recovery and into the future."

Panel member Laura Choueri, CEO & Managing Director of Choueri Real Estate, said the government has improved the regulatory environment to protect investors, tenants and developers. According to Choueri, "The next five to ten years will witness significant growth in the region, with opportunities in diverse sectors."

"According to the last American Express Middle East Luxury Spending Tracker, consumers were looking at increased spending on luxury goods and experiences through 2012 and beyond, as their personal circumstances improved and they developed greater awareness of brands and high quality products," according to panelist Graziela Martins, Regional Senior Manager, Merchant Acquiring & Partnerships at American Express Middle East. "Dubai is seen as the Middle East's prime location for purchasing branded luxury products and the preferred luxury shopping destination."

McClelland added, "The Council looks at various aspects in luxury marketing in an effort to assist members in collaboration and cooperation, and this event provided another forum for discussion on a topic on consumers' minds in the region."

About The Luxury Marketing Council

Founded in 1994, The Luxury Marketing Council Worldwide is an exclusive, "by invitation only" collaborative organization of more than 5,000 top CEOs and CMOs who represent more than 1,100 major luxury goods and services companies in 41 cities worldwide. The Council serves primarily as a catalyst in bringing the smartest, most imaginative marketers of luxury products and services together to explore best practices and critical issues, and share intelligence on best customers and market trends. In addition, through the "incubation" of innovative marketing alliances and partnerships, the Council helps its members to grow revenue, expand share of wallet, and cultivate referrals from and loyalty of best customers

Mr. T.B. (Mac) McClelland, Jr.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Mobile: +971 4 361 6291