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Sheikh Mohammed named Marketeer of the Decade in Gulf Brands of the Decade Awards

Travel News Asia 1 December 2003

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, has been voted Marketeer of the Decade at the Gulf Brands of the Decade Awards, at a ceremony at Mina ASalam in Dubai last night in front of more than 300 business leaders from Arabia.

Sheikh Mohammed was selected by an independent panel of judges from a shortlist of five other regional business leaders for his outstanding vision and positioning of Dubai over the past decade.

Meanwhile, the 11 category winners came from several Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

The winners are: Saudi American Bank (banking, finance and insurance); Afia (FMCG - foods); Cooline (consumer durables); Deira City Centre (retail, shopping malls and duty free); Tejari.com (e-commerce and IT); Saudi Aramco (petrochemicals, industrial and manufacturing); Saudi Net (services and telecommunications); Aramex (trading, distribution and logistics); Emirates (travel, tourism, hotels, sports and leisure); Al Jazeera Channel (media and advertising); and Dubai Media City (government, semi-government and NGOs).

The awards were hosted by Gulf Marketing Review magazine as part of its tenth anniversary celebration, and publisher Barry Gray explained the significance of the Marketeer of the Decade award. He said: The success of many regional brands owes much to the vision of the brand guardian or brand owner. Sheikh Mohammeds vision for Dubai has left no-one in any doubt as to its attraction and appeal - both key achievements in the building of any brand.

Under the vision of His Highness, the success of Dubai as its own brand has been a case study to marketeers the world over for the past five years.

If you disseminate the Dubai promotion programme, it is an example of how well an integrated campaign can work, using a number of complementary brands, tools and media.

However, the message is only as good as the product its selling and Dubai has tapped into awareness internationally thanks to Sheikh Mohammeds initiatives across business, tourism, and e-commerce that have spearheaded the growth of the city.

As a key element of the shortlisting procedure for the awards, two independent companies put each nominated brand through Gulf-wide market research. Ipsos-Stats and AME Info canvassed more than 1,000 marketeers before a panel of expert judges reviewed the quality of brand communications to select a winner and a highly commended in each of the 11 categories. 

Gray said that the timing for the awards was appropriate, as brand strength has become a more tangible asset for a company, and one that can even be considered in a corporations balance sheet.

He concluded: Brand strategy should be a key ingredient of a corporations overall business strategy. This is partly because total product package has replaced advertising as the most efficient brand-builder. Brand management isnt just about creative expression: it demands the same economic consideration as any other asset in the company.

In addition, 11 brands were highly commended at the ceremony: MashreqMillionaire; Masafi; Supra; Spinneys Dubai; Sakhr.com; Dubai; Qtel; Emirates Skycargo; Burj al Arab; MBC; and Hamriya Free Zone.

The event was sponsored by Gulf Air and CNBC, and category sponsors were The Economist, Arjo Wiggins, Visa, HP, Cadillac, Nokia, Masafi, Scintilla Monaco, Synovate and HSBC.

The independent judging panel included: Lance de Masi, president of the American University of Dubai; Dr Mohsen Abounaga, dean of the College of Design and Applied Arts at Dubai University College; Khamis Al Muqla, chairman and managing director of Gulf Saatchi & Saatchi; Talal Dhulaymi, group chairman of Promoaction DDB; Salah Al-Jasser, director of Lexus (KSA); Abdul Kader Bibi, regional director of Al Khaleejiah in Dubai; and Ali Mohammed Kamal, marketing director of Al Jazeera Channel. GMRs editor Peter Barton was a non-voting member of the panel.

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