This article contextualizes how place branding and image influence the development of Dubai’s key sectoral clusters, including the key determinants of growth and success under the impression of Porter’s cluster theory. The approach is exploratory and of a qualitative inductive nature. Data was collected through conducting 21 semi-structured interviews with Dubai’s marketing/communication managers and stakeholders. Findings suggest that Dubai’s traditional clusters, namely, trading, tourism and logistics that have strong place branding and image show strong signs of success owing to Dubai’s geographical location (that is, physical conditions). Among the new clusters, the financial sector is also benefitting from place branding. The results suggest that the success of traditional clusters have a positive spillover effect on the new clusters, in particular on construction and real estate. For policymakers it is worth to note that the recent success of the financial services cluster in Dubai will have positive impact on both, the traditional as well new clusters. The marketing and brand communication managers must consider the correlation and interplay of strength of activities amongst trading, tourism and logistics clusters and its implication while undertaking place branding for clients in their sector.
- place branding
- Porter's cluster theory
- foreign direct investment (FDI)