By: Abed Bibi, Chief Marketing Officer, Nakheel

So much has been said about the evolution of Dubai over the last 51 years, but its transformation has been so extraordinary it serves as a lesson to other nations about what can be achieved with leadership, determination and a clear strategy. 

From a pearl fishing village to a world-leading centre of business, tourism and lifestyle, Dubai is a magnet for the aspirational. Nakheel is a master-developer that has helped Dubai change and we have built some of the city’s iconic landmarks, including the Palm Jumeirah. The rapid evolution of this emirate has meant that we needed to take stock and reflect on what changes we needed to make to keep pace with this extraordinary, future-focused city. 

The key for us was redeveloping the brand in a timeless way and to ensure that we brought the communities that we had created along with us on the journey. 

Employee-focused approach

Firstly, we needed to ensure that we were engaged and aligned internally with what the rebrand meant for us, so we undertook an employee-focused approach to building new brand values and a brand purpose, aligned to how we work, and how we envisage working in the future. The aim was also to identify our new purpose for the future and refocus the company on customer experience and excellence, with employees involved in this transformation journey. 

More than 150 employees across the company came together over four days of workshops to co-design the future of Nakheel. As part of these findings, our brand values and brand purpose were identified. 

Our customers and communities

Secondly, we focused on our customers and communities. We have always done so, but our new brand values and brand purpose brings the focus on the customer to the forefront, ensuring that all initiatives and our approach remain customer centric.  We have a community management team that oversees 14 master developments, over 400 community associations and over 400,000 residents, making our customers a key audience segment for us.

To ensure that we brought our customers and communities along with us during our brand transformation, we revitalized our marketing and communications channels that focused on them.

Since July 2021, we have sent over 110 newsletters to community members and send out daily announcements and improvement plans through our digital marketing channels. We launched community focused campaigns, which included introducing the Nakheel staff to the community and implemented many community events and activations, including a community Iftar, a community pet event and movie nights. From 2021 to 2022 (year on year), we have increased organic engagement by 139.58%, our organic reach by 561.43% (per post) and organic impressions by 835.23% through our technology focused and customer centric approach.   

Back to our grassroots

For our third step in our brand transformation, we took the inspiration from our people and from our community and we went back to the grassroots of Nakheel and its position as a well-established waterfront developer. This helped to establish the brand’s colour palette and also its use of patterns. We wanted to bring to mind the sea at every touchpoint a consumer would have with the brand and sub-brands like Al Furjan and The World Islands. We then simplified the brand architecture into six categories to ensure that the visual recognition of the brand was much more linear. 

Building happiness and prosperity

Finally, we wanted to consider our ongoing support of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, which aims to enhance people’s happiness and quality of life, so with that in mind we established the tag line of ‘building happiness and prosperity’’ for Nakheel. For the last 25 years, Nakheel has been a key part of building Dubai and we want to ensure that our core values match this great city as it continues to evolve. 

We launched the Nakheel rebrand campaign across multiple communication channels including digital, outdoor and social. We used this format to resonate with residents and visitors, reflecting their own experiences in Dubai, or aspirational experiences they would like to embark upon.  

Armed with its new branding that is now visible across Dubai, Nakheel will continue to provide its citizens, residents and visitors with the highest standards of living through safe and secure communities with a wealth of amenities, access to waterfront experiences and open green spaces. Nakheel’s beautifully designed developments serve to reflect enhanced lifestyles and enable residents to call Dubai home.  

And we look forward to the next phase of what Nakheel will bring to the city and how we will grow alongside Dubai’s 2040 Urban Master Plan.