Blogs to jog the shopper's memory about Dubai's festival

Twelve online specialists from the Gulf took part in a competition to create new ways of promoting the annual Dubai Shopping Festival.

DUBAI // Expert bloggers from across the Arabian Gulf have been brainstorming about how to promote the emirate’s annual shopping festival.

Twelve online specialists in the fields of art, fashion, lifestyle and culture visited Dubai over the weekend for the session.

They were invited by the organisers of the event, Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (Depe).
One marketing expert and blogger, Yaser Bakr, from Saudi Arabia, warned the festival's social networks should not be over-used.

“For an established brand such as DSF, social-media channels should be used as a complementary tool to its marketing communications,” he said.

“Thorough promotion via these social networks would not be advisable since customers will find it exaggerated and unbelievable.”

Hashar Al Mandahari, an Omani blogger who also works at a communications company, explained in detail his experience in setting up social media channels.

“It took us some time to develop our social media but, by keeping on with the interaction, our customers have adapted to these platforms,” he said. “Now, they communicate to us through Facebook and Twitter.

“The comments they give us through these networks are being considered as real customer-service cases and responding to them via these social networks does satisfy our customers.”

Kuwaiti bloggers Ascia and Ahmad impressed with their suggestion of a DSF-themed photography competition using the official DSF account on the smartphone app Instagram, which has 242,000 followers.

Laila Mohammed Suhail, chief executive of Depe, said the company was working on improving its online presence, and online personalities such as bloggers would help it progress in its development.