This paper aims to examine the challenges and opportunities faced by the contemporary marketer looking to the future of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Based on a review of the literature, futures studies and concepts originating from expert opinion, this paper explores futures studies, multiculturalism and international vs local branding in the context of the UAE.
The main challenges of operating in this environment include the cultural diversity and sensitivity of its consumers and short‐termism. Firms most likely to succeed in such a market are those which choose to honour and celebrate differences, thus promoting a form of common, multicultural identity among residents. A consideration of futures scenarios is essential for successful marketers in such a different and new market.
The difficulties of marketing in such a diversified marketplace and service‐scape as the UAE should be addressed. A culture of patience, tolerance and empathy needs to be established. With such a range of highly non‐homogeneous consumers, commonalities need to be embraced through acknowledging and celebrating differences, and a culture of multicultural inclusion practised. By looking at what has happened in a very short space of time and extrapolating forwards, an impression of what is to come in the UAE, and to a certain extent other locations, is envisaged. The need for marketers to build strategic flexibility to adapt to changes in the social, political and cultural environment is highlighted.
It is intended that such collaborative efforts as those reported in the paper and the opinions generated therein will engender deeper understanding and progress for the future of the UAE and the region.
The paper presents a novel and progressive approach to marketing to multicultural populations, bearing in mind a range of possible futures.
Epps, A. and Demangeot, C. (2013), "The rainbow of diversity versus the rain of fragmentation: the futures of multicultural marketing in the UAE", Foresight, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 307-320. https://doi.org/10.1108/FS-03-2012-0019Download as .RIS
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