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  • Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Rebranding Burj Khalifa, Burj Dubai

    The biggest surprise at the launch of Burj Dubai, was that this tallest building in the world would be names Burj Khalifa, after the President of the UAE, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed. That was a big shock to the branding experts. Since 2004, a significant sum had been spent investing in the brand of Burj Dubai - and then on the 4th of January 2010, all that got shot to dust. Speculation of the change was well documented, and many thought this was due to the bailout handed to Dubai by Abu Dhabi, although HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid said, "This great project deserves to carry the name of a great man. Today I inaugurate Burj Khalifa." Whatever ths story how well did the name change intercept the minds of those who had already grown to use the term "Burj Dubai". It's difficult to judge, but the only data that we do have is from Google Trends which lists out indicative searches.

    You can see that throughout 2009 the term Burj Khalifa wasn't used once, and as there was last minute delays and press speculation at the end of 2009, the interest in "Burj Dubai" increased.

    And, on a different scale and on a timeline of 1 month you can see the Burj Khalifa rebrand taking effect, but that the novelty of the story rapidly wanes.

    A year on what, do we see? The rebrand has worked, but there is remnant of the Burj Dubai brand.

    That said, the impact is clear in the UAE. if you just consider searches from the UAE, the rebrand was fully effective. Literally no searches on the term Burj Dubai relative to Burj Khalifa.

    However, the real test is when the global audience are drawn in through the news. When Tom Cruise came in to film for Mission Impossible 4, the media were all mixed up. You need only search for Tom Cruise Burj Dubai to see. The next test is on Monday, when according to The National, The French Spiderman, Alain Robert will climb the Burj...khalifa

    With all the data available - would you rebrand Burj Khalifa Burj Dubai? - or has the name worked out? The building is here to stay but what about the brand? And how long will it take to really rebrand Burj Dubai Burj Khalifa?

    Burj Khalifa
    Google Trends

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    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Arab Protest Timeline

    Great little tool to see what happened when

    From the Guardian


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    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Culturally-Aware Clothing Campaigns

    Clothes - what to wear, what not to wear - what's a girl to do? It can be problematic enough for a girl to decide what to wear on a Thursday night. But spare a thought for the retailers and designers for the UAE & GCC markets. How do you advertise clothes for the modern young lady while not alienating a more conservative crowd? There are extremes in clothing, and people have certain views. The girl with the skimpy number doesn't understand the fully covered woman in her black abaya - and vice versa. Who is right and who is wrong? Both are right. The critical point is that depending on the society in which you live, you need to tailor your views and your actions accordingly. There are some amazing outfits for women that cater to all markets: there are the bejewelled abayas with intricate designs; there are the glamorous party dresses that are perfect for events such as the Dubai World Cup; and there are the in-between outfits that are modern in appearance, ooze glamour but also cover up the skin.

    La Moda Dubai highlighted the approach taken by H&M that has been picked up by the Huffington Post through fashionista. And while La Moda talks of the move to supermodels (aka Gisele Bundchen in this example) advertising high street clothes, the bigger story here is how right H&M have got it for the market. The approach appeases the conservatives, but highlights the type of clothes available, and how they can be worn.

    Photoshop usually gets a bad press, but we think that on this occasion, it has been employed to good use.

    Here's our words of advice for the girl looking at what to wear in Dubai or Abu Dhabi:

    1. Keep your cleavage behind closed doors
    2. Keep your shoulders for club nights
    3. And keep the bikini for the beach!

    La Moda Dubai

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    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    The Abu Dhabi Travel Guide

    Dear Friends of Grapeshisha

    We are delighted to announce that we have launched our first ebook – The Abu Dhabi Travel Guide. It's taken a long time to produce but it's finally here and it is available on Amazon.

    We do hope you buy this ebook about Abu Dhabi and to make it worth your while, we will have a raffle at the end of April 2011 for everyone who has bought the book and commented on amazon.com or amazon.co.uk.

    1st prize $30 Amazon Vouchers
    2nd prize $20 Amazon Vouchers
    3rd prize $10 Amazon Vouchers

    To be in with a chance, please buy the Abu Dhabi ebook, review on Amazon and send an email to editor at grapeshisha dot com (or via our contact form) so we know who you are. The draw will take place at the end of April 2011. There's quite a high chance of winning as not many people do review books, and the price of the ebook is currently priced at a little over $3 or Dhs. 12.

    Also, for every ebook we sell during March and April, we will donate $1 to Unicef who are helping in multiple efforts around the world where children need help, including, currently, Libya and Japan. If we sell 100 copies, we donate $100. If we sell 1,000 copies, we donate $1,000. Simple.

    We do hope you support us!

    You can find the ebook on Amazon here:

    Abu Dhabi Travel Guide on Amazon.com

    (or here if you are in the UK : Abu Dhabi Travel Guide on Amazon.co.uk )

    Or you can find the ebook on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk by searching for "grapeshisha"

    Critically, as this is an ebook, and not a printed book, you will only be able to read the book on the following:
    Kindle, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Windows Phone, Android Phone or tablet; on your PC or Mac. You can download the free reading software from here: Free Kindle Software

    Once you have the free app, you can buy the ebook through your Amazon account on the links above.

    From the Amazon page:

    The Abu Dhabi Travel Guide from Grapeshisha is the ultimate guide to the growing and dynamic city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. This guide has been specifically written to provide you with the insider knowledge on Abu Dhabi, allowing you to visit the places that make this place special. There is detailed advice and opinion on hotels, restaurants, bars, places of interest as well as a reference glossary and planning information. There is a cultural section, so that you not only avoid the faux-pas, but are also able to appreciate and understand the society.

    Formatted specifically for Kindle and other digital devices, this easy to use guide includes completely new content with sights and itineraries not covered elsewhere. It picks out the unmissable highlights from the Emiratas Palace and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque to Ferrari World and the Yas Marina Circuit. There is coverage of camel racing, ballooning across the desert, the souks and the best beaches. For the adventurous, there are guides through the backstreets as well as itineraries to cover anywhere from 24 hours to 1 week. And for those with more time, there are the optional excursions off the beaten track as well as to the other Emirates including Dubai and Sharjah and even to Oman. For the business executive, there is an overview of the future plans of Abu Dhabi as well as the Grapeshisha view on Abu Dhabi’s best golf courses.

    Whether your stay is fleeting, or longer term, The Abu Dhabi Travel Guide from Grapeshisha will help you get the most out of your trip. In length, this ebook is roughly equivalent to 200 printed pages and accurate for 2011. It should be more than suitable for the holiday maker aiming to spend up to 10 days in the city as well as the business executive or potential expat visiting for the first time. The Abu Dhabi Travel Guide from Grapeshisha is the quintessential guide for travellers to Abu Dhabi.

    This Abu Dhabi travel Guide includes:

    Planning your trip - everything from visas and best time to travel to tipping, dos and don’ts, what to wear and national holidays; modern history & major events; calendar of events in Abu Dhabi; famous people; access to a tailored map; reviews of the best hotels, hotel apartments, mid price hotels and budget hotels; sightseeing and things to do including sheikh Zayed Mosque, the malls, the Corniche, best beaches, Emirates Palace, Souk Al Qaryat Al Beri, the Abu Dhabi Souks, Manarat Al Sadiyat, Emirates Heritage Village, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, Abu Dhabi Central Market and Souk, Emirates National Auto Museum, Yas Marina Circuit, bus tours, boat cruises, camel racing, camel riding, shisha smoking, best shawarmas, halawa, henna and the desert safari; the best restaurants in Abu Dhabi; the best bars and clubs; itineraries; souvenirs; excursions in and outside of Abu Dhabi and the UAE; basic Arabic phrases; a comprehensive glossary of cultural terms and a glossary of Arabian food.

    Thanks in advance for your help – we really appreciate it. And if you do buy the ebook, please do leave a review on Amazon – and sign up for the competition.

    Finally, we would love to hear your feedback to help make improvements.

    Many thanks

    The Grapeshisha Team

    PS. If you think that your friends will find the Abu Dhabi ebook useful, please do tweet about this, forward this note and spread the word.

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    Thursday, March 03, 2011

    A historic moment in the Arab world

    Wadah Khanfar, the head of Al Jazeera, talks about the democratic revolution led by youth all over the Arab world, giving his view of what is going on. Are we at a crossroads?

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