To read this content please select one of the options below:

Dubai – a star in the east: A case study in strategic destination branding

Melodena Stephens Balakrishnan (University of Wollongong in Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 14 March 2008




Worldwide approximately 200 national economies are competing in the destination market. In 2006, global government and capital expenditure exceeded US$1,480 billion making destination branding an important concept that still remains fragmented and unplanned. Dubai, an emirate of the UAE in the Middle East has been chosen as a case study to explain some elements of successful destination branding. This paper aims to apply a framework developed by Balakrishnan to explain areas of caution when competing in an international market where success is also partially dependent on the macro‐environment.


The framework was developed by reviewing literature on destination, place, corporate, product portfolio and service branding. The framework was tested using case study methodology. Secondary research was primarily used to develop the case.


There is a strong fit with the model suggesting that destinations can use this as a basis for continuity in strategy even as governments change. Based on the analysis and review; a checklist for destination branding strategy was recommended.

Research limitations/implications

Since, this study depends on secondary research there is some limitations as data in this region is not easily available.


Destination branding differs in challenges vis‐à‐vis product and service branding. This paper depicts steps essential for creating a successful branding strategy which can be applied in a real world context to maximize returns for the destination.



Stephens Balakrishnan, M. (2008), "Dubai – a star in the east: A case study in strategic destination branding", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 62-91.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles