Branding Al Ain as a tourist destination
Keywords:Destination branding, Al Ain, tourism, UAE
This paper focuses on developing a tourist destination in the UAE, alongside the Sustainable Development Goals of increasing work opportunities and economic growth. The UAE has long recognised the importance of tourism for developing its economy. Abu Dhabi registered five sites in the UNESCO list of global heritage in 2011, and one of these sites is in the Oasis city of Al Ain. There is a potential for Al Ain to grow as a tourist destination, as part of the UAE nation brand. The research approach is mainly quantitative, using marketing research techniques such as Discrete Choice Analysis and Max-Diff to ascertain consumer preferences. The present study uses the 178 online questionnaires completed out of about 350 respondents. The findings of this study pose several practical implications. In the first place, it will determine how Al Ain can fit within a brand architecture of the Abu Dhabi Emirate or the UAE nation brand. Secondly, it can shed light on brand associations and the brand identity that Al Ain must pursue. It is considered that this piece of research can contribute to the development of Al Ain as a tourist destination and help organisations such as Abu Dhabi Department of Tourism and Cultural with the promotional messages and the positioning of Al Ain.
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