Naming the Burj – Khalifa or Dubai?

The haze and aroma of fireworks has now subsided following the grand launch of the amazing 800 metre tall Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai.

The world’s tallest building is settling nicely into its new name after being known as Burj Dubai during more than five years in construction.

But is it a good idea for a brand to change its name at the moment of launch?

Dubai marketing consultancy Tenzing would say this is normally not a wise move. However, in this case (whatever the underlying reason) we feel that the long-term benefit of renaming the tower after the President of the collective nation will outweigh the short-term discontinuity in message – as well as the cost of replacing all the signage…

Dubai’s achievements and extrovert personality have long overshadowed the identities of its neighbouring nations and fellow Emirates, most notably Abu Dhabi – its senior sibling and the federal capital of the UAE – to the net detriment of clearly communicating their shared values and identity.

Abu Dhabi has taken more of the international limelight in recent times, with happenings like the acquisition of Manchester City and its new Formula One circuit, but an independently more boisterous Abu Dhabi brand will not help to resolve the jigsaw puzzle of competing Gulf identities for most foreigners.

The time has surely now arrived for the UAE to market itself as a coherent and highly functional entity, with the scale and diversity of economic activity to take a step closer to achieving genuine global respect.

The naming of the iconic Burj Khalifa building represents a significant (and tall) step in the right direction.

Tenzing Marketing Consultancy – based in Dubai – is helping brands to reach new heights.

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