Interview with Abdullah Mohammed Juma Al Naboodah, Chairman, Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Holding LLC

What in your opinion is at the core of Brand Dubai?

The success of Brand Dubai started with the pioneering vision of the founding fathers and is driven forward by the enlightened foresight of our current leadership. The path charted by the rulers for the country’s citizens and residents is uniquely visionary and as far as cities go, Dubai is one of the most powerful brands in the world.

How has Brand Dubai reinvented itself over the years according to your experience?

Instead of replicating what other competitive destinations had already achieved, Dubai embarked on a path to offer innovative products and services to investors, residents and tourists alike. Innovation is not a mere buzzword for Dubai; the Government of Dubai announced the UAE Vision 2021, under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, seeking to transform the country into a global hub for innovation by 2021.

Along with achieving a sustainable and diversified economy, the Vision aims is to stimulate the city’s innovation potential across ten key sectors, and welcomes individuals and organisations to develop new and creative ideas that help develop performance and achieve better results. Dubai has pursued a well-defined and unique brand identity through a clear strategy including unique value proposition, attraction and brand promise. Developing Dubai’s brand image has been a key factor in distinguishing it in the highly competitive global environment.

How has Dubai maintained its identity despite being the melting pot of many nationalities from around the world?

Dubai’s identity is fortified by the diversity of its residents and by providing individuals with opportunities to maximise their potential. The city has gained universal admiration for its harmonious society combined with its unique ability to emerge as a benchmark in sustainability, innovation and diversity.

At Al Naboodah, our roots are entrenched in the UAE, yet we have grown into an international organisation employing over 40 nationalities with a multitude of expertise. We strongly believe that diversity encourages new perspectives and ideas, leading to improved decision-making.

Beside Dubai, overall UAE and the neighbouring GCC region too are transforming themselves into a leisure & entertainment hub. What more needs to be done to complete this transformation into a must-see experiential destination?

We’ve seen the astounding emergence of Dubai as a leisure and entertainment hub, as well as an ideal location for both regional and international businesses to operate in. Whilst Dubai may have been pioneering in this respect, we also admire the transformation and growth of Abu Dhabi, carving its own niche as a world-leading cultural destination. In addition, the development and continued evolvement of other Emirates into tourist destinations with world-class facilities places the UAE overall in a very favourable position as a must-see destination on the global stage.