Dubai hunts shop to lure businesses and tourism

Dubai has decided to bring in its first retained UK agency as it expands its luxury destination offerings.

The Government of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing has previously used PR support on a project basis, but is now looking for an agency to support its eight-strong in-house team full-time .

Financial Dynamics' B2B team and its consumer arm FD Consumer Dynamics were hired in November to support work on the World Travel Market and expand coverage of Dubai beyond the travel pages. FD will be involved in the pitch for the new contract, which is thought to involve three other agencies.

The commerce and tourism brief will be to attract the wealthy individuals and businesses that can afford to invest in the millionaires' playground.

Dubai has been dubbed  the 'Las Vegas of the Middle-East' in recent years as the richest of the United Arab Emirates embarks on a number of extravagant construction projects designed to raise its profile and attract visitors and investment.

By 2008, three man-made archipelagos will officially open for business on the Dubai waterfront. The most impressive comprises up to 300 small islands, each worth around £3m, that make up a nine-kilometre-wide representation of the globe. Those who have already bought an island on 'The World' include Rod Stewart, who is believed to have bagged Britain.

The winning agency will report to Baerbel Kirchner, director of the UK & Ireland office, with an appointment expected by mid-March.

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