UAE leaders launch search for new national brand identity

Seven people from each emirate will work to create a 'visual identity' to be advertised at home and abroad

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - November 01, 2019: Standalone for Flag day. The UAE flag blows in the wind with the skyscrapers of Dubai Marina in the background. Friday the 1st of November 2019. Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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A national competition has been launched to create a brand identity for the UAE.

Seven artists from each emirate will work to design a logo and slogan to market the country in campaigns abroad.

The search was launched on Saturday by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. The logo will be completed before the end of the year.

Once unveiled it will be used widely by government departments and in marketing and adverts

In a video shared with their millions of followers, they used examples of successful national brand campaigns. These include the UK's GREAT campaign, Incredible India and This is Sweden.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said the goal is to "tell the story of the UAE to the world".

"Our decade of development begins in 2020 with a new and renewed identity," he wrote on twitter.

In a news release, he added that “we aim to create a UAE brand logo that all our sectors will use to share our story across all fields with the world,"

“The stronger our nation brand is in reflecting our authentic experience, the more we are able to inspire millions on their journey of development," he said.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said “the UAE is at the heart of global economic, social and cultural development".

"The nation brand will deepen the country’s impact and soft power across the world," he said.

The 49 artists involved in the project will be given four key themes to incorporate into their designs, based around a "authentic Emirati identity", according to a release from the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs.

These are 'giving' - the country is consistently among the top global donors for international aid, 'tolerance and openness' is demonstrated in the embracing of all religious and ethnic groups, 'credibility' covers building a positive reputation across the world and preserving 'leadership values' set out by the country's founding fathers.

The emirates have until now largely marketed themselves separately, with campaigns including 2014's 'See you in Dubai', Abu Dhabi's 'extraordinary stories' from 2016 and last year's 'I found Ras Al Khaimah' focused on adventure and heritage.

Other famous campaigns include Malaysia, Truly Asia in 1999, credited with helping to make it one of the most visited countries.

Arguably the most famous is 'I heart NY' - launched in 1977, when New York was crime-ridden and on the verge of bankruptcy.

It is seen as a turning point for the city, helping to change public perception, and is credited as a factor in its remarkable economic revival.