Dubai – Where Global Business Meets Limitless Possibilities

June 5 2024

Faces and Markets of PRGN is a new series of blog posts in 2024 that puts PRGN member agencies and their markets in the spotlight.

Each week, expect to read about a market from an economic, business and communications point of view, brought to you by the very people living and working on the ground in that country, state or region.

The blog pieces illustrate the vast amount of in-depth knowledge of business, media, communications and marketing PRGN brings together having presence in more than 40 countries and 70 cities on six continents through its member agencies globally.

In this week’s blog post, Nick Leighton, Founder and CEO of NettResults Middle East, describes the business and communications environment in the United Arab Emirates and offers advice to businesses navigating this dynamic market.

Business environment in the United Arab Emirates

Dubai’s business environment is a vibrant mix of innovation, opportunity, and strategic positioning, ideal for enterprises looking to expand their global footprint. Known for bridging East and West, the city offers access to emerging markets across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Its cosmopolitan nature and business-friendly policies, including free zones and favorable tax conditions, create an inviting climate for investment and growth.

Dubai – United Arab Emirates

A key feature of Dubai’s business landscape is its commitment to technological advancement and digital transformation. This focus makes the city an attractive destination for tech companies and startups seeking a supportive ecosystem. The government’s initiatives in fostering a digital economy provide a robust platform for businesses to innovate and thrive.

Furthermore, Dubai’s rich cultural diversity and modern lifestyle present unique opportunities for companies to connect with a wide range of audiences. This vibrant backdrop is ideal for businesses to craft compelling narratives and establish strong brand identities.

NettResults Middle East, understanding these unique advantages, stands ready to support businesses in navigating Dubai’s dynamic environment. The agency’s expertise in public relations and deep knowledge of the local market empower clients to capitalize on these opportunities, ensuring their stories resonate in this bustling international hub.

Communications, media and PR market in the United Arab Emirates

Dubai’s communications, media, and PR landscape is as dynamic as the city itself, offering unique advantages for businesses. A melting pot of cultures, Dubai boasts a diverse media ecosystem, catering to a global audience. This diversity is crucial for brands aiming for broad reach and tailored messaging. The city’s status as a media hub is bolstered by advanced telecommunications infrastructure and a penchant for digital innovation, making it a fertile ground for cutting-edge marketing and PR campaigns.

The fast-paced environment in Dubai demands agility in communications strategies, something that NettResults, with its deep understanding of the local and regional markets, is well-equipped to provide. The firm’s expertise in navigating this multifaceted media landscape ensures that businesses can effectively engage with their target audiences, leveraging both traditional and digital platforms.

For companies looking to make an impact, Dubai’s PR and media sector presents a canvas for creative and impactful storytelling. NettResults stands as a vital partner in this endeavor, helping businesses harness the full potential of Dubai’s vibrant media environment to achieve their communication goals.

Key expertise of NettResults

1. Media & Influencer Relations

2. Marketing Strategy

3. Thought Leadership

4. Media Training

5. Crisis Communications

Top 3 advice for foreign companies seeking to navigate the communications environment in the United Arab Emirates

1. Embrace Cultural Diversity: Understand and respect the diverse cultural nuances of Dubai’s global audience for effective communication.

2. Leverage Digital Innovation: Utilize Dubai’s advanced digital landscape for innovative and impactful marketing strategies.

3. Partner with Local Experts: Collaborate with agencies like NettResults for insights into the local market and to navigate the dynamic media ecosystem successfully.

Most influential media for consumer communication in the United Arab Emirates

Gulf News: One of the leading English-language newspapers in the UAE, known for its comprehensive coverage of both local and international news.

Khaleej Times: One of the oldest and most popular English-language daily newspapers in the UAE, covering a wide range of topics.

Al Bayan: A widely read Arabic-language newspaper, providing extensive news coverage and insightful commentary.

Ahlan!: A popular lifestyle and entertainment magazine, both in English and Arabic versions, catering to a wide audience with its coverage of local and international celebrity news, fashion, and culture.

Time Out Dubai: A go-to magazine for entertainment, events, and lifestyle topics in Dubai, offering insights into the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

Most influential media for corporate communications in the United Arab Emirates

Arabian Business: A leading publication providing in-depth coverage of business, economic, and corporate news in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE.

Gulf Business: Known for its comprehensive reporting on regional business and economic matters, it’s a go-to source for corporate professionals.

Khaleej Times – Business Section: While Khaleej Times is a general news outlet, its business section is highly regarded for corporate news and analysis in the UAE.

Gulf News – Business Section: Similar to Khaleej Times, Gulf News offers a robust business section that is influential among corporate circles for its detailed coverage of local and international business affairs.

Zawya: Part of Thomson Reuters, Zawya provides detailed insights into the business and financial world of the Middle East, making it a valuable resource for corporate communication.

The most popular social media channels in United Arab Emirates

  • YouTube: 8.99 million users. YouTube’s ad reach in early 2023 was equivalent to 94.8% of the United Arab Emirates’ total population and 95.8% of the country’s total internet user base.
  • WhatsApp: 8.69 million users. WhatsApp’s widespread adoption in the UAE, with a significant majority of the population using it, highlights its importance as a primary communication tool for both personal and business purposes.
  • TikTok: 8.23 million users. TikTok’s ad reach in 2023 was equivalent to 87.7% of the local internet user base at the beginning of the year, regardless of age.
  • Facebook: 7.3 million users. Gender breakdown of Facebook’s ad audience in the UAE: 26.9% female and 73.1% male
  • Instagram: 4.93 million users. Instagram adoption in the UAE: 60.3% of the eligible (13+ age) audience
  • Telegram: 3.88 million users. Its user base in the UAE indicates a substantial penetration, showcasing its importance as a messaging and information-sharing platform for both personal and business uses.
  • X: 3.05 million users. Ad reach of X (formerly Twitter) in 2023 in the UAE was equivalent to 32.2 % of the total population
  • LinkedIn: 2.06 million users. The UAE’s diverse expatriate community creates a multicultural and multi-industry user base on LinkedIn, making it a valuable platform for global professional outreach and recruitment.

The most important international events in UAE in 2024

The United Arab Emirates in Numbers*

Population 9.99 million (2022)
Languages spoken Arabic
Religions (% of population) Muslim (76%), Christian (9%), Hindu or Buddhist (10%), other (5%)
GDP per capita $53,708 (2022)
(Real) GDP growth rate 5.7 % (2024)
Inflation rate 2.3% (projected for 2024)
Unemployment rate 2.85% (December 2022)
Key sectors and industries (% of GDP) Agriculture (0.9%), Industry (49.8%), Services (49.2%) – (2017 est.)
Mobile penetration (X per 100 people) 200 (January 2023) On average, there are at least two mobile subscriptions per person in the UAE, reflecting a high level of mobile connectivity
Internet users (% of population) 100% (2022)
Corporate profit tax 9% (2024)
Rate of consumer tax or VAT 5% (2024)
Nick Leighton, Founder and CEO
NettResults Middle East

Nick isn’t just a collection of impressive titles (MBA, BSc, DipM, PMP), he’s a mastermind in global PR. With over a quarter-century in the industry, he’s the force behind the agency’s expansion throughout the Middle East region, and beyond. Nick’s true expertise? Making organizations look good in the press. His career began at a billion-dollar tech company, inspiring him to start his agency giving clients a professional international reach through the Middle East. An author of books on crisis communication and business success, he’s as adept in boardrooms as he is in exotic locales. Nick is the man who turns PR challenges into triumphs, with a smile and a passport full of stamps.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.