Abu Dhabi’s Brand as a Tourists’ Destination

Subject: Tourism
Pages: 65
Words: 19100
Reading time:
65 min
Study level: College

Introduction

Destination branding is one of the most critical strategies of obtaining a competitive edge against other places that compete for the same market segment especially in tourism. In essence, the destinations can be a country, region or a city among others. The concept is viewed as a way of communicating to the target market through images that create a positive perception towards a destination. As a result, it is based on the idea that regions, nations, and cities compete with other destination for resources, persons, and businesses investments.

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Due to this competition, destinations are considered as goods. In that regard, they should be addressed with the same concern as the goods because they determine the success of a business profoundly. At the center of business ventures, such as tourism, destination marketing becomes a critical aspect because it determines the profitability.

When marketing the destination, the most important thing is creating a good corporate image for a certain location in order to allow acceptability among potential customers. This undertaking helps the destination to rise above its competitors. This implies that the destination must have a number of features that can prompt the potential customers to choose the location instead others. As a result, it can be concluded that destination marketing helps to add the value of a given location (Go & Govers, 2010).

This value addition can be viewed as a concept that helps the societies and locations to differentiate themselves from other places in a unique way. Accordingly, they focus on changing the perception of the customers towards the destination. Impliedly, the involved personnel must identify the weaknesses that can deter their potential customers from visiting the location and then eliminate them in order to remove any limitations that can affect the customers’ perception in a negative manner.

In the process of creating that brand, the business owners can use two critical concepts, including place promotion and marketing. Destination marketing is concerned with informing people about the existence of a place in order to create awareness among the members of the target market. Further, it popularizes the available services and goods offered within the destination. This undertaking is important when it comes to positioning the products and services in that market.

On the other hand, place promotion provides information concerning reasons as to why the customers should visit the place. This implies that the involved promoter must come up with attributions to convince the customers. This implies that the promotion part exposes the value of the place while marketing just creates the awareness of existence. Since it was stated earlier that tourism was one of the crucial ventures where destination branding is used profoundly, paragraph 1.2 discusses the specific exploration of tourists’ destination in relation to branding.

Research Area of Study

This paper focuses on the concept of destination branding in terms of how it can be used to improve Abu Dhabi as a tourist destination. Abu Dhabi has been one of the leading tourist destinations, not only in United Arab Emirates, but also the entire world given that it has diverse attractions, including wildlife and modern facilities among others.

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While these desirable aspects exist in Abu Dhabi, they can be found elsewhere in cities like Dubai and foreign countries such as Kenya. This implies that the existence of the tourist attraction factors needs reinforcement by creating an outstanding brand of Abu Dhabi as the most preferred city to visit.

In an attempt to achieve this pursuit, the paper will focus on the needs of the customers to determine what they require to enjoy in a tourist destination such as Abu Dhabi. This is based on the fact that the improvement of the destination (Abu Dhabi) should not take place in a random manner. Instead, it should be improved in relation to the interest of the customers to satisfy their needs. This implies that the evaluation of tourists’ needs will be the framework on which the entire paper will be based. Second, the research will analyze the existent factors that could affect the image of Abu Dhabi negatively.

This will be done by relating various features of Abu Dhabi as a destination with the perception of its potential customers in order to identify and isolate the unfavorable features. After this analysis, the paper will advance to identify the useful aspects of Abu Dhabi that help to maintain its good image to the consumers. This evaluation will be carried out to identify how they can be improved in relation to the prevalent and changing needs of the customers. Lastly, there will be a detailed description of the resources that will be required to make the necessary changes. This part will help to determine the possible implications of these changes and find out whether they are financially viable.

Aim and Objectives

Liamputtong (2009) suggested that the aim of a study is a general focus that necessitates the leaner’s venture to investigate various aspects of the topic. In essence, it is also referred to as a general objective since it is essentially concerned with an overall attribution of such research. On the other hand, research objectives are considered as subsets of the former because they are the specific ways in which the research aim will be fulfilled.

Aim of the Research

From the discussion made in paragraph 1.2, it is impliedly evident that the aim of this research is to seek for ways in which business tourism will be improved.

Objectives of the Research

When discussing the area of study, it was noted that there are four pertinent objectives that should be accomplished during the research to fulfill the aim.

  1. To determine the position of Abu Dhabi in the minds of the tourists and its comparative performance.
  2. To identify the needs of tourists visiting Abu Dhabi and other destinations around the world in order to determine the perspectives of improvement.
  3. To determine the vices that handicap business tourism in Abu Dhabi and disparage its brand in relation to the needs of the customers.
  4. To come up with accurate and workable ways of using destination branding to improve Abu Dhabi, eliminate the identified flaws, and satisfy the needs of the customers.

Research Questions

Having identified the three research objectives in paragraph 1.3.2, there are four critical research questions that should be answered when presenting the findings to ensure that the overall aim is fulfilled. These research questions include;

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  • What is the position of Abu Dhabi in the minds of tourists and the eyes of competitors?
  • What are the needs of customers visiting Abu Dhabi for business tourism as well as other destinations around the world?
  • What vices in Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry may have affected the city as a tourist destination?
  • What workable strategies can be used to improve the brand of Abu Dhabi as a tourist destination and hence improve business tourism?

Structure of the Thesis

This thesis will be presented in six distinct sections, including this chapter (Introduction), Conceptual and Theoretical Framework, the Literature Review, Methodology, Results, and the Conclusion. Chapter 1 is the introduction section that presents the foundational aspects of the entire research whereby the aim, objectives, and research questions are discussed. The objectives are important since they determine the way research is conducted in the subsequent steps.

The research questions are the basis of presenting the results and presenting the findings. In this case, the results and findings are presented to answer these research questions as presented in this first chapter. This implies that the question of whether the research fulfills its aims or not is determined by how the research questions are answered in the last chapter. Chapter 2 will explain the various critical aspects of this research such as destination branding and the theories that can be used to interpret results and make implications.

Chapter 3 contains a literature review that focuses on critical evaluation of previous studies relevant to the business tourism in Abu Dhabi and destinations branding. This critical review presents an evaluation of how the previous studies were conducted, the parameters included, and the limitations that compromised their effectiveness.

As a result, this review is the basis of identifying the research gap that can be closed by virtue of this study. In the methodology part, there will be a detailed presentation of how the research was conducted. It includes the research strategy, philosophy, population, sampling, and methods of analysis among other critical aspects envisaged in the study.

Chapter 4 includes the findings where there is a comprehensive presentation of the data that was obtained through both the secondary and primary research. This forms the basis of the entire analysis and presented in terms of the two mentioned types of research (primary and secondary). Chapter 5 is concerned with analyzing the data presented in the third chapter to come up with findings in relation to the three research questions that were outlined in the first chapter.

This analysis is conducted in accordance to the methods proposed in the methodology sections. After the analysis, chapter 6 concludes by identifying the main findings that have been drawn from the analysis in chapter 4.

Conceptual Notes and Theoretical Framework

What is Destination Branding?

The ideology of destination branding is far more profound than it is thought in the general perspective. All products need the involved parties to conduct branding activities in order to make them competitive in the market. When it comes to the issue of branding destinations, the concerned players are required to combine all the attributes associated with the locality in question.

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This implies that they must focus on the critical aspects that define the destination, including sports, cultural inheritances, technological ventures, investments, and traditions among other things. This combination is expected to acts as a single image that portrays a unique image of the destination and distinguishes it from all other locations that could be competing for the same market segment around the world. This undertaking of branding the destination must have a definite vision and mission that guide its implementation.

For instance, the developers may decide that the vision of their branding exercise is to make Abu Dhabi or any other city the most preferred cultural attraction site in the world, raising the standards in the sector of historical protection, hospitality, and meeting the needs of customers satisfactorily. This vision acts as the guiding principle of the entire undertaking such that the activity will be considered complete if the aspects raised in the statement are achieved and indicated by certain ways of measurements.

From a more critical angle, in fact, destination branding is a promise made to the customers in an indirect manner. This promise raises the customers’ expectation of excellent service so that they are assured that once they visit a destination, they will receive services that correspond to their needs. This implies that destination brand is essentially as mark of proven integrity and credible reputation which has been built continuously to create awareness among people.

Whereas the destination branding is viewed as physical aspects dealing with mere knowledge that something exists, it is a more complex ideology that relies on visitor’s experiences, perceptions, and memories.

When creating a brand, the visual and verbal elements must reflect the inner features and values of the destination, but they are not just meant to impress the consumers plainly. The physical elements of the brand must be a reflection of the entire philosophy that underpins the existence of certain subject such as tourism. In addition to this philosophical and detailed representation, the involved players are advised to adopt brands that are consistent to the general perceptions of the customers about their services.

These perceptions, which are triggered by aspects such as beauty, peace, and fun, are considered as part of the brand. For example, if the destination is perceived as characteristic of political instability and receives travel advisories often, it is more likely to obtain a poor brand due to a sense of insecurity. When a positive brand is established in the mind of the consumer, the visitor can be tempted to choose the destination in place of others.

Why Create a Destination Brand?

There are various benefits occasioned by the creation of a strong destination brand. These benefits are well exemplified using the destination brand benefits pyramid that has five levels. In the first level of the pyramid, has the benefits arising from the tangible and verifiable characteristics of a destination that makes up the brand. The second level includes the intangible benefits arising from the destination feature and ones that are satisfactory to the needs of the customers.

The third level incorporates the psychological rewards that arise from the visitation of the destination. Although psychological benefits are also intangible, they represent a critical form of reward since they are the motivational factors. Lastly, there are the benefits that come from the essential character of the brand that has been created by the developers or authorities.

In addition to this explanation based on the pyramid of benefits, the importance of branding can be understood if one focuses on what happens in case it is not there. When a brand is absent, the potential visitors are not aware of the destination and hence they do not consider it as part of the viable options.

In addition, the lack of brand implies that the destination does not have distinct position in comparison to other competing locations. This leads to the lack of visual and emotional images of the destination in the mind of the travelers. As a result, lacking the emotional connection between a destination’s features and the traveler leads to the impossibility of visitation.

Destination Brand Positioning Tips and Leveraging

The positioning of a brand refers to the management of the destination brand in order to manipulate it in a manner that creates the intended image to obtain a competitive edge. The positioning is based on the pursuit to differentiate the destination from others places rather than trying to serve all purposes. In other words, brand positioning is based on the fact that the destination should not struggle to be everything to everybody. Instead, it should be something unique to everybody.

Although it was mentioned that the image should differentiate the destination from other locations, positioning should not be conducted with the competitors in mind. Essentially, it involves two fundamental aspects, including association and image that the brand creates in the virtual system of the consumers. Association refers to the attributed that prompts a consumer to relate the brand with another positive attribute while the image refers to the perception created about the product. Accordingly, the brand must, therefore, use the strengths of the destination and then develop them in order to woo more visitors and position it noticeably.

Rossiter-Percy Plan for Advertisement

It has been discovered that the ideology of creating a destination brand is a partly psychological undertaking that needs motivation of the visitors. According to this planning model, motivation is an important factor when the potential visitors are choosing destination. In essence, the model suggests that a visitor is motivation by an inherent need that he/she wants to satisfy.

This need develops the motive to fulfill the requirement and hence inspires the willingness to take action. In fact, it is established that the idea of creating a destination branding is a pursuit to motivate people since visitation is, in fact, the pursuit to attain a state of homeostatic stability which might have been lost as a result of lacking pleasure or enough exploration.

However, although the homeostatic disruption creates a want, an object that will help to satisfy the prevalent need must be present. The potential visitor must be aware of the existence of a service or product that can be used to fulfill that need. As such, the consumer will only become motivated if the commodity is known, but not otherwise.

The main aspects of motivation in the tourism industry have focused on the pull and push forces. The push forces are concerned with the reasons as to why a person wants to go out for a vacation in a certain destination. On the other hand, the pull factors are conjoined to the desirable features of a destination that may prompt the visitor to choose a given destination and leave the others. In essence, the push and pull aspect of motivation in this case are considered as components of the same ideology since they are both driven by emotions.

This implies that the visitors are pushed by emotional requirements and pulled by their emotional rewards arising from the visitation. As a result of the two inherent forces, the visitors become emotionally experimental such that they find for pleasure from the company’s services. In terms of this perspective, it implies that the leisure becomes a subjective aspect through which the emotions and moods of the visitors are satisfied. In other words, it implies that the emotions of the potential visitor towards a destination can prompt him or her to plan for a visitation although they had not planned for the trip originally.

The involvement in a trip or a visitation can be regarded as a virtual motivational state that cannot be observed physically, but can be perceived through the identification of person’s interest and arousal. As a result, involvement becomes a critical factor in this motivational model since it is considered as the integrating factor that combines the push and pulls motives. When a visitor is involved in the searching of information or decision making, a person is consequently motivated to make the best choice in accordance to the provision of the available information.

This advertising grid is based on two scales whereby the first one measure motivation in terms of the involvement levels. Accordingly, it has the measures in terms of low and high involvement on the opposite sides of the scale. The second scale is dependent on the kind of motivation exhibited by the visitor, including negative and positive motivations.

The negative motivations are considered as being informational while the positive ones are regards as transformational motivations. Vocations taken by the visitors and tourists are positioned in the 4th quadrant of the transformational motivations. When it comes to the placement in the involvement-based scale, they fall under the side of high involvement.

This implies that the customers seek conviction before they make their trips to any destination. Essentially, they look for information in view of obtaining positive inspiration to go out for visitation. As a result, the planning grid includes the identification of how customers obtain this information and how they determine their credibility as well as reliability.

When popularizing a destination in order to create awareness and strengthen its brand, the methods of advertisements are very critical in that process. It has been established that traditional ways of promoting tourism are not as effective as the modern methods. The modern ways of promotion are considered as having substantial influence on the creation of a positive destination brand and image. It thus appears that traditional promotion and mere creation of logos does not satisfy the clients’ conviction needs.

This theory will be the backbone of this research since the research study will be finding for ways in which the authorities of Abu Dhabi can manage to stimulate the potential customers. As it was mentioned before, destination brand is not only about creating a logo and formulating a good motto, but it is also about manipulating the image that people have towards the location as a whole.

Particularly in this research, the creation of a strong brand in Abu Dhabi must be approached in a perspective of renewing the general image of the market. It must also come up with ways in which the tourism players can provide detailed information to the potential customers through the online platforms. As such, the involvement of the consumers when searching for information must be a factor of motivation. It must be presented in ways that do not only provide a solution for the consumers’ needs, but also evoke needs for the consumers to travels to Abu Dhabi although they has not intended to do so.

This will be done within the understanding of pull and push factors as exemplified in the previous paragraph. In this regard, the consumers will be provided with the necessary leisure provisions that pull the consumers towards the destination. On the other hand, push factors will be developed in a manner that the leisure provisions are satisfactory to develop the awareness that the potential visitors need to travel.

This will be fulfilled by making the visitors realize the insufficiency of their satisfaction by presenting good options of leisure so that the consumers are aware of what they are missing. This way, this motivational theory will play a major role in the development of visitation motives, emotions, and needs among other things. In turn, these factors and the help of other strategies discussed later will ensure that there is substantial increase in the number of people visiting Abu Dhabi.

Literature Review

Introductory Statements

There has been extensive research on the aspects included in this study such as business tourism in Abu Dhabi, tourist destination and branding. Additionally, there have been various studies focusing on the prowess of Dubai as a global tourists’ destination. As such, when it comes to the discussion concerning business tourism in Abu Dhabi, Dubai becomes a critical point of focus in this study. As a result, there will be some critical review of some relevant research focusing on Dubai as a tourists’ destination.

Using Social Media to Promote Tourism in Abu Dhabi

Gems, (2008) conducted a research on how to promote tourism in Abu Dhabi with a view of evaluating the extent to which the tourism players have used the opportunity to create awareness around the world. Essentially, the researcher administered online questionnaires in various regions, including United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Sweden and France.

These questionnaires ventured to identify the various expectations that customers have in regard to their visitation in Abu Dhabi. From a critical perspective, it is evident that the research was profound since it focused on five international platforms. This implies that the findings of the research provided a profound view on the needs of customers. Additionally, the research chose regions that are critical to tourism around the world bearing in mind that places like Germany, United Kingdom, and Italy are characterized by periods of winter.

These seasons are not climatically friendly to the residence such that there is a need to seek warmer regions such as Abu Dhabi. However, although the research study has covered critical and expansive geographical area, it does not include respondents from Abu Dhabi. This means that the research does not conduct the study to promote local tourism which is a critical aspect when it comes to the success of this field of business.

During the selection of the respondents, it was clear that the researcher chose them through online platform. In essence, it goes without saying that the respondents were well versed with the use of online social media platforms and surveys. The sample population was thus well equipped with the promotion of tourism through online platforms.

This also implies that the information was credible and reliable since it seemed to target a group of people with the basic idea of how and why social media could be beneficial. However, the online selection was with some limitation bearing in mind that the researcher disregarded those people who might not have indulged in the online platforms although they participate in business tourism in Abu Dhabi and other cities of preference.

Having in mind that the research sought to determine the needs of the potential tourists, the undertaking should not have been limited to respondents with knowledge concerning online platforms only. Instead, it should have included manual questionnaires that could tap the opinions of the tourists with little knowledge on social media. In fact, it could have acted as one of the ways of promoting the ideology of promoting tourism on social media.

However, in regard to the focus groups, the researcher included relevant and profound areas of specialization, including university students, marketing and PR companies, ministries of tourism, and online agencies for travel services among others. The mentioned groups that included the university students and online travel agencies provided the researcher with respondents who were well versed with the ideology of online marketing and promotion.

Nonetheless, when it came to the question of the needs of tourists in regard to Abu Dhabi as a destination, it is evident that some of the groups such as university students might have little information since they are not involved in active tourism due to the level of financial capabilities. Despite such incapacitation, the other groups provided reliable information on that topic and hence beneficial to the research study.

Through the responses obtained, the research study made various critical conclusions in regard to the needs of customers and the idea of using social media to promote Abu Dhabi’s tourism venture. First, it was noted that all respondents travelling abroad were going for vacations especially when they have been granted leave from their daily working routines.

In such cases where the respondents had visited foreign countries, the research established that their choices of destinations were informed by self-desire and recommendations by colleagues who had visited the respective cities previously. In addition, it was discovered that culture of a tourist destination was a critical reason as to why respondents visited a city and preferred such locations to others.

This preference was traced in both the female and male respondents so that it was implied that the richness of the destination’s culture is a fundamental aspect that drives tourism. A city or region whose culture is diverse, rich, and informative is more appealing than the ones that have limited scope and history. Some of the other factors that made the tourists visit their respective destinations emerged as seeking for pleasure, relaxing, and physical exercises.

Although these findings were made in regard to the needs to the tourists, it was evident that the researcher did not draw conclusion on how they should be used to inform the marketing plan. As such, it appeared that the research identified the critical needs for tourists, but it did not apply the knowledge in order to make improvements.

In fact, the general observation that was made in relation to this research indicated that there was no clear correlation between the uses of social media and the actual success. The lack of correlation was occasioned by the fact that there are many other factors that determine the success of business tourism such as accessibility and the price of services offered by the tourist destination

Second, in relation to the question of how social media had helped to promote Abu Dhabi as a tourist destination, it was noted that social media was ranked as the first and most effective way of providing information about the prowess of the city in tourism. On the other hand, traditional advertisement was identified as the least popular way of conveying information.

From a critical perspective, it appears that the use of the manual advertisement has been outdone by the online platforms such as websites and social media since the world is in a digital age. This is a critical finding in relation to this research since it seeks to determine how Abu Dhabi can be promoted as a tourist destination in the present times.

This implies that the research will consider this as one of the aspects that can be used to promote tourism. In fact, the specific quantitative results established that the respondents used social media application for 70 percent of the month. This means that, on average, a user access the social applications for 21 days in a month of 30 days. It was also noted that females are more entertained in tourism and at the same time, they use the social media more often as compared to men.

While evaluating these findings critically, it is clear that Abu Dhabi has a challenge to exploit the opportunity of earning more male tourists while at the same time increasing the number of women who visit the city based on this finding. In another prospective, it is, in fact, possible to tap more men by convincing the women through online platforms and applications.

Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Brand: Cultural Heritage

Culture has emerged as one of the most critical aspects that determine the success of promoting tourist’s destination. This condition is based on the fact that culture is a unique factor that is used to differentiate a destination from others. In other words, it can be viewed as the uniquely defining aspects in tourism.

Additionally, humans are social beings, and they value intercultural socialization in order to learn from each other. This is considered as a way of enrichment. As such, culture becomes a fundamentally vital topic when it comes to the discussion of improving business tourism in Abu Dhabi using destination branding bearing in mind that the city need to identify its uniqueness and exploit it to initiate success.

While focusing on the cultural aspects of Abu Dhabi in relation to tourism Goodburn, Norman, Elders and Popescu (2012) conducted a research study on the various cultural and historical aspects of Abu Dhabi that makes it a preferable tourists’ destination. In essence, they found out that Abu Dhabi has become a popular city as the capital of UAE owing to the cultural diversity, historical sites, and creative arts.

They termed the city as one of the richest cities of Abu Dhabi that has initiated profound development in the entire emirates. From a more holistic sense, they suggested that Abu Dhabi’s culture is not just limited to archaeological and historical aspects, but it is also characterized by the innovative nationals who have helped in the process of popularizing their culture worldwide. They advanced the argument that the city has successful in preserving and showing their past and present behaviors such that the world has been able to absorb it.

It has helped to shape the image of Abu Dhabi positively especially bearing in mind the vast identification of the city as a centre of Muslim religion. Through the research, it was established that the positive image of Abu Dhabi has enabled it to become a world-class tourist destination. However, from a critical perspective, the city has not attained a position which could be termed as one that does not need improvements.

In light of this research, there were various outstanding cultural inheritances which could be used as critical aspects that distinguish Abu Dhabi from the rest of the cities. According to this research, some of the unique cultural and historical aspects of the city include the following;

Castles and Forts

Abu Dhabi has many sites that bring it out as one of the richest historical cities in the entire UAE. The castle and forts are seen as the preservers of the ancient history, people behaviors, and the way of living in the history of the city. Bearing in mind that Abu Dhabi is the capital city of UAE, these castles were the centre for implementing the rule of law, ensuring the safety of the people by providing residence for the convoys, and facilitating safe transport of people, animals, and luggage to different sides of the country.

Importantly, the castles were used by the ancient people as courts to enforce the rule of law in the country. This was an important undertaking that shows the roots of the legal framework in Abu Dhabi. Having such historical importance, castles become unique structures that cannot be traced in the sister cities in UAE and thus competitive advantage. In addition, they had been erected for the purpose of holding national traditional events concerning war games and arts. These castles had been erected all over the emirates bearing in mind that Abu Dhabi was made of a collection of many towns.

Unique Arabic Architectural Environment

The architecture of buildings provide critical information about the past of a locality. It also creates an environment that could either promote or hinder the satisfaction of tourists. Understandably, traditional and historical sites are more preferred as compared to the modern cities which are all over the world. As such, the historical buildings provide the tourists with an opportunity to see the ancient ways of construction. Abu Dhabi enjoys the opportunity of having a unique Arabic construction that shows the historical realities of the ancient times.

They portray the exact cultural aspects such as language, traditions, and technical prowess among other things. Besides the traditional architecture that reflects the culture and the ancient ways of lives envisaged by the people of Abu Dhabi, the modern architecture has yet another aspect that appeals to the world more than ever before. This is conjoined by the tendency of the modern architects to design buildings from the shape of strange things within the environment.

Shekh Zaid Mosque and Emirate’s Palace

It cannot be disputed that Abu Dhabi’s major population comprises of Muslims bearing in mind that they are the original inhabitants of this emirate before immigration of people in search for jobs. In addition, Muslims have high respect for their religion such that they consider it as a way of life. Shekh Zaid Mosque thus becomes a critical aspect in tourism especially when considering the visitation of Abu Dhabi by other Muslims.

This mosque is the third largest in the world following the two leading mosque found in Saudi Arabia. Whereas it can appear as if the construction was essentially coincidental in nature, the mosque was built to serve as a critical landmark for the Islamic religion, shows the depth of the Islamic culture, and represents the ideologies of religious tolerance within the region. In all senses, the Mosques envisages visual pleasure due to the fine arts incorporated in its construction, large spaces, and the extemporary architectural skills employed in its conception.

Similarly, the Emirate’s Palace is another landmark that is essential to the tourism industry due to various features that underpin its uniqueness. Since Abu Dhabi is the capital city of UAE, the palace has been erected at the heart of the city with inherent portrayal of quality and proficient skills. It has been build using the state of the art technology in order to satisfy the modern leisure needs for the guests visiting this city.

Habits and Traditions

There are some critical habits and way of life among the people of Abu Dhabi that differentiate them from any other city in the entire UAE and other countries around the world. In addition, some of them are inherent to Arabic regions as a commonality due to the profoundness of the Islamic religion. These habits were inherited from the grandparents who were originally found in this city, and they have been protected over a long period such that they are still live in this century.

One of the critical habits of the Abu Dhabi’s people is hospitality. This is one of those values that represent the foundation of the Arabic traditions even in the ancient times. In the present era, hospitality has become a value envisaged by every home in the entire city. They are always ready to welcome visitor inside their homes, and this tendency has been reflected in the national image such that the city as a whole respects visitors.

In essence, it is evident that friendliness and hospitality is one of the aspects that can affect the success of tourism since it plays a major role in assuring the visitors of security. This is reinforced by the availability of services and treatments, such as coffee, naturally grown fruits, and incenses that provide the best flavor and comfort. In fact, the generosity portrayed by the tourism players and public at large has become a core value that characteristic of the city’s identity.

The second habit is related to the dressing mode of the people in this city. Their dressing mode, which can be found as a minor aspect of culture and tourism, portrays Abu Dhabi as an original ancient city, but not one that has been born of modernization and expansion of localities. This authenticity makes Abu Dhabi to have a competitive edge over some of the sister cities which are also developing at an alarming rate in the view of Abu Dhabi and other competitors.

The city is also known for the rich history when it comes to the traditional folk dance which was performed in the castles during the ancient times. Owing to this extensive performance of these arts, the people of Abu Dhabi remain the most prominent in terms of these arts. These habits and ways of lives among other things are a portrayal that Abu Dhabi is a real cultural hub that surpasses many cities worldwide especially when it comes to culture.

Having analyzed this research study from a critical perspective, it is evident that culture of the Abu Dhabi’s peoples a non-repetitive aspect and a constituent of the city’s competitive edge. In the commonality of things, the tourism industry can be boosted by popularizing the visitation of monuments, traditional centre, and local museums among other things.

Additionally, it cannot be disputed that the development of tourism along the margins of cultural heritage is a national responsibility especially when it comes to values such as hospitality. In such a case, the tourism players must put more effort in anchoring the ancient cultures and ensuring that the authenticity of the city is not compromised by modernization, although that sentiment does not imply that the city should not enhance new technology. Instead, it implies that if such development is conducted, they must be implemented to enhance leisure and meets the needs of visitor rather than deconstruct the authenticity of the city.

In addition to the critical analysis, it is clear that this research has not shown how these cultural behaviors and identities can be used to transform Abu Dhabi as the most preferred tourist destination in relation to its sister cities and the entire world at large. Moreover, it has not drawn a clear correlation between these cultural heritages and the way they purport tourism in the present phenomena. As such the research acts as an exposure of cultural identities that can be used to promote tourism.

This implies that the researcher did not engage to transform the cultural capabilities into real economic gains especially through tourism sector. As such, this is one of those gaps that will be closed in this research study to use the cultural, historical, and traditional capabilities for economic gains by supporting tourism. In this regard, the respondents will need to answer question on how such capabilities can be transformed to their economic equivalence and the extent to which they are workable.

Dubai Tourism Brand: Modernity and Technology

Since Dubai’s rise has become a critical factor in the development and supremacy on Abu Dhabi as a destination, it is crucial to examine the positive aspects that promote it as a center of visitation by tourists. This evaluation will help to determine some of the strong provisions that need the attention of the Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector.

In essence, this focus is fundamentally important if the city will succeed in creating a popular and preferred destination of tourists. In one of the publications by the Emerald group, it was established that every tourist have to make a choice among two million destinations found within 200 countries around the world (Davidson, 2008). They discovered that a destination must stand out uniquely to challenge others and compete with them reasonably in order to enjoy the attention of the tourists.

The researcher identified that Dubai is one of the fastest growing economies in the world since it has recorded an income of about thirty-one thousand USA dollars (Fernandes & Karnik, 2010). In fact, they established that the city’s tourism economy was the ninth best worldwide since it was found to have an absolute size of about one hundred and fifty million USA dollars. The projection conducted by financial analysts indicated that the sector will rise to two hundred and eighty million dollars by 2020.

In a comparative study, Abu Dhabi was found to contribute 59 percent in the GDP of UAE with 63 percent of this part coming from oil-related resources. On the other hand, Dubai contributes 29 percent to the total country’s GDP, but 80 percent of this money is drawn from non-oil investments which are largely from the tourism sector (Ruiz, 2010).

In their attempt to discuss Dubai as destination, it was evident that the city has come a long way in regard to its progress (Mosedale, 2011). It is noted that Dubai was a mere fishing hub with some few villages surrounding the premises. By the act of robust, visionary, and able leadership, Dubai started transforming gradually to the presently popular economic hub and technological centre of UAE.

It is clearly determined that the most critical aspect which has supported the rise of Dubai as a destination is the proficient leadership. Sheikh Rashid is the one who initiated the first developmental venture and sparked the entire process of change. Rashid took the risk of borrowing money from the government of Kuwait in order to start the construction of infamous creek that has seen the city enjoying critical economic benefits.

The tenure of Rashid was followed by similar visionary leadership envisaged by his son Maktoum who is one of the most prominent, effective, and influential leaders in UAE (Rogers, 2008). In their attempt to determine the major aspects that has promoted Dubai’s tourism, the researcher noted that the leadership has taken advantage of the strategic placement of Dubai in the geography of the world. They have used their location as one of their weapons to woo tourists and the entire world at large besides being proactive developers.

In essence, the historical and geographical autonomy of Dubai makes it a transit point so that people are fond of passing through the city as they move to other places in UAE and the world. In fact, most people who wish to travel to the eastern countries, such as China, Japan, and India, pass through Dubai in order to connect for their subsequent flights to the actual destination (Ryan & Stewart, 2009).

In addition, the city’s leadership has outdone the idea that Dubai is a desert region that cannot succeed economically due t the lack of favorable climatic conditions that support agriculture. In compensation to the agricultural incapacitation, the city of Dubai has embarked on sufficient and reliable transport facilities that are, indeed, crucial to the tourism industry. In this regard, the city’s authorities have built the postmodern metro running across the entire location to carry about 1.86 million people per day (Mariam & Taylor, 2011).

This has encouraged trade in the city due to the ease of transport for both the local and foreign people. Dubai has also planned to construct a new airport at Jebel Ali to increase the capacity of acting like a transit point. In addition, it has successfully promoted the rise of the original airport that was built in 1961. Due to the marketing efforts, Dubai has seen the airport serving twenty five million people who transit through the country per annum.

This aspect of transiting is a critical factor to the tourism industry since many people have an opportunity to see the serenity of the area although their primary intention is not to visit the city. As such, there is a possibility of coming back to Dubai for a visit due to the earlier transit that might have occurred.

Additionally, the traffic in these airports creates an opportunity for the transiting parties to share their experience with their friend in the actual destination. As a result, this is an undertaking that cannot be ignored by the people of Abu Dhabi as far as the competition for destination brand is concerned (Sharpley, 2008).

In light of developing the tourism industry, Dubai has also adopted a tactical approach towards the promotion of its venture. In this regard, it has been able to identify the key players and stakeholders in order to use them actively. In its venture to incorporate the stakeholders in tourism, Dubai can be viewed as a liberal city that strikes a balance between the inherent cultural inheritances with the aspects of the modern world. This has been achieved through the integration of educational prowess with the residents of the city in order to develop in manner that is within the margins of the original culture of the emirate.

As such, the residents have become the most important stakeholders in the developmental agenda of Dubai. They have formed policies that enable the ordinary citizens to participate in the economic control rather than creating a dictatorial regime and form of governance. For example, the government of Dubai has changed the way it views its own citizens by allowing the private sector to operate on the same footage. This has helped to increase the integration of the private sector with governmental organizations such that the city is able to outsource its own potential before exploring elsewhere.

As a result, the private hotels and restaurants that promote tourism in Dubai are given the opportunity to operate on the same platform as the public premises. As a result, it is evident that the emirate has realized that the stakeholders are working towards the same objective, but at a private level of services (Stephenson, Russell & Edgar, 2010). This implies that there is the need to ease the operation of such players in order to come up with more tourism wooers and popularize Dubai as a tourists’ destination.

In addition to the identification of stakeholders and technological approach, Dubai has been one of those emirates that have diversified its tourism portfolio with a view to satisfy as many needs of the customers as possible. This diversification is informed by the fact that the emirate is a transit point which receives different kind of people in terms of financial capabilities, cultural backgrounds, and heritages among other things that affect the preference of a tourists’ destination to another one.

Whereas they are promoting this aspect of diversification in tourism, Dubai is tactically investing in a consistent manner. They are building world class restaurants that can be identified with the emirates although the hotels envisage the aspect of diversified services. This implies that the city’s authorities do not compromise services in their attempt to tap customers from different financial classes. Specifically, the tourism sector has diversified in three different categories, including low-budget tourists, business class, and the wealthy jet travelers.

Consequently, the three sets of people enable Dubai to tap all kinds of travelers bearing in mind that the city is a transit point as explained before. In another prospect, the authorities have been found to use the same strategy when wooing investors in their land. As a matter of fact, fifty percent of the Dubai’s GDP come from the private sector while the rest originates from the public investments. However, these private investments have not been occasioned by the nationals of Dubai.

Instead, the emirate is mainly owned by investors from Kuwait and other locations including Saudi Arabia and Qatar (Wajma, 2010). This implies that Dubai has been transforming the city into an international hub rather than creating a locally oriented destination. In fact, the researchers suggested that Dubai will be able to woo more visitors in the city as a result of allowing foreigners to invest (Govers & Go, 2009).

In addition, this undertaking allows diversification of risk since the foreigner is able to outsource finances and investment capital from their respective countries of origin. As such the capital does not fall on the government of Dubai or its citizens entirely. In proper terms, this can be viewed as sharing the cost of investment and a strategy to reduce capital demanded from the emirate for startup.

The other critical aspect that has been identified as a major undertaking towards the transformation of Dubai as a tourists’ destination is the relaxation of ownership policies when it comes to tourism investments. In the past, there were very stringent rules that the investors had to pass through before being granted the permit to acquire land and invest in Dubai.

This has affected the emirate because it discouraged potential investors from starting business in the city. With the reduced relaxed policies, the city has seen hundreds of investors choosing to venture in Dubai’s tourism sector. In essence, it is understandable that when the legal framework is too complicated to complete the processes of investments, the potential businessmen who could be eying the tourism industry shy away from the city to invest in other areas.

The relaxation of this legal framework does not ease the processes of acquiring permit, but it also promotes the reduction of cost in the investments. As such, the investors are more likely to choose the friendly destinations and leave the complicated ones. This implies that Dubai has adopted an approach that will play a critical role in the increment of investors in tourism sector as well as wooing visitors from foreign countries.

Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Brand Competitions with Dubai

The creation of a prominent tourist destination in Abu Dhabi cannot be carried out without thinking about the competition it faces from other cities around the world. In this regard, the six sister cities that makes up the United Arab Emirates are critical when it come to the issues of competition. Most importantly, Dubai has proved as one of the fast progressing cities in UAE and Abu Dhabi must identify the strategies applied in the sister city to help in planning and obtaining a competitive edge.

One of the research studies conducted by Low (2012) focused on the economic competitiveness of Abu Dhabi over Dubai and vice versa. In his research, the scholar obtained a more expansive approach focusing on the oil industry and tourism among other economic aspects. He suggested that Abu Dhabi’s economic supremacy has been on the balance due to the recent decision of the Dubai’s authority to construct the tallest building in UAE.

This venture has left the entire UAE on a panicking mood since its popularity has seemingly gone above all the ancient inheritances of cities such as Abu Dhabi that enjoys traditional conservancy. In essence, he suggested that the building of skyscrapers has substantially changed the focus and interest of visitors from the traditions of UAE to the modernity envisaged by Dubai.

From a critical perspective, the author implies that the modern construction of Dubai may raise critical competition against Abu Dhabi such that the former cannot ignore the latter by any means thoughtful. In addition to this, Dubai has embarked on a serious clamor for the construction of green structures using green architecture in an attempt to reduce the usage of energy and emission of gases.

In fact, the researcher established that the city has constructed the greenest golf centre in the UAE such that the idea of green technology has become a factor of tourism. Tourists are now keen on visiting cities that are conscious about green technology to promote the ideology of reducing global warming and also ensure that they are exposed to little or no harm in term of health. Further, Dubai has been spotted as the city which constructed the biggest shopping mall such that tourists and local residents can purchase goods and services under one roof rather than moving from one place to another in search of different commodities.

Critically, this can be considered as one of the strategies of purporting green economy in the city. This condition implies that Abu Dhabi has a real and sizeable challenge when attempting to fight Dubai in tourism since the former is acting as a game changer. In essence, Dubai is seeking to depart from the traditions and bring a new depth of intellect to the world of tourism.

However, although Dubai is seemingly successful, Abu Dhabi has come out as the economic giant in UAE. In this regard, the researcher argues that economic supremacy of Abu Dhabi over Dubai can contribute to the prowess of the tourism industry. He argues that tourism and economic status are dependent on each other. While reviewing this sentiment, it is in deed clear that a city whose present economic status is able to diversify its resources and let the tourism industry glow without pressure.

This perspective is drawn from the fact that Abu Dhabi has evidently supported Dubai through bailouts especially during the global recession that commenced in 2008. During this period, Dubai went into a financial crisis that seen the city halting it major infrastructural construction while some of them were delayed substantially. At this point in time, Abu Dhabi provided a bailout of about 20 billion dollars to Dubai to ensure that the construction was successful.

When this situation is analyzed, it shows that the clamor of Dubai to build postmodern structure across the city, which forms the critical pursuit of tourism, is done in a financial crisis and credit. This implies that Dubai, will have to take substantial time before repaying these bailouts and get to the breakeven point.

As a result, the tourism sector in Dubai is victim of the financial crisis prevalent in 2008. In fact, the researcher stated that 20 percent of the bailout was used to save the collapsing Eldar Properties owned by the government of Dubai. This shows the intensity of the damage that had been experienced in an attempt to streamline Dubai’s image as a tourist destination.

Whereas the city of Dubai is fighting such struggles, Abu Dhabi enjoys economic supremacy and stability in terms of resources. This way, it has been able to maintain its economic solvency such that the tourism sector does not suffer blows that can handicap it. The researcher argues that Abu Dhabi is well positioned since it owns about 94 percent of the oil reserves while the rest of the cities posses the rest.

In fact, it is revealed in the study that the city has the fifth biggest oil mine in the world. As compared to Dubai, the oil reserves are found in more accessible places while the Dubai’s reserves are only around the offshore. Further, these oil reserves have been projected to decrease in volume by 2030 and thus posing fundamental risks of entering into a financial crisis once more unlike its counterpart. This financial capability has seen the city controlling its tourism industry without many constraints.

In order to understand the importance of such economic capabilities enjoyed by Abu Dhabi and its role in tourism, the researcher reveals that the depressive moments of Dubai are nearly over. The management body concerned with the real estate indicated that there have been 200 constructions that have been held at ransom due to financial incapacitation. Out of these construction projects, some of them were cancelled completely such that they will never progress further.

This implies that the capital invested in these projects will be lost and the economic stability of the country will be affected negatively. In addition to these cancellations, some of the projects that were delayed during the recession deteriorated so that they were abandoned completely because they could not hold any more.

In addition to the economic stability, Abu Dhabi has realized the danger that is lurking in the darkness as far as tourism sector is concerned. They have discovered that their city has to develop innovative ways of fighting the progress of Dubai as a tourist destination. In this regard, Abu Dhabi has embarked on the construction of the biggest museum in UAE known as Zayed National Museum.

Critically, this is one of the most tactical and strategic way of conquering Dubai in relation to the existent competition in the tourism sector. In fact, it has not only chosen to exploit their capabilities which mainly lie on the cultural inheritance, but also to use modernity in that pursuit. This will ensure that the tourists do not prefer Dubai as a tourist destination because Abu Dhabi does not have the expected modernity and technological prowess as compared to latter.

From a crucial point of view, it appears that Abu Dhabi is targeting higher end visitors since they would be coming to pay for such services as museums rather than enjoy seeing the huge hotels as facilitators of leisure only. In essence, the investments are much of solvent ventures than the ones done in Dubai since the income obtained from museums will be returns for the capital used.

On the other hand, Dubai has to go a step further and provide proficient services within the well-constructed hotels in order to get returns unlike their counterpart. Moreover, Abu Dhabi is investing on a classic construction of 349 towers for residents around one of the cities named after Mohamed Bin Zayed. These residential areas will provide accommodation for tourists who visit the city or even other locations such as Dubai.

In what can be termed as a retaliatory action against the city of Dubai, Abu Dhabi has engaged in a robust venture to invest in science and technology to create a green city just like Dubai. In this regard, they are investing in the construction of Zero-carbon city known as Masdar, although they will offset the carbon they produce such that the Zer-carbon scenario might not be achieved perfectly.

The construction of this city is planned with view to eliminate the production of green house gases that pollute the air and paint a negative image against the city. In fact, this city is planned to also have a zero-waste system where all material are recycled and used to reproduce other products or energy. Moreover, the city will be equipped with a solar energy producing plant that will be aiming to provide less costly and environmentally friendly electricity in terms of production.

This venture will not only see the city getting enough provision of electricity, but it will help to create an impression of sustainable development which is an important factor in the modern world of tourism. Indeed, tourists will not just visit a city because of the availability of the resources provided. Instead, they also consider the quality of such services, especially in terms of health implication. Cities that emit a lot of carbon IV oxide and other gases that increase the possibility of contracting lifestyle diseases make poor tourists destination while those ones that are conscious about the ideology of sustainability are better placed.

In an attempt to critically analyze the findings of this research, it is evident that the city of Abu Dhabi is gradually transforming into a knowledge-based and departing from a resource-oriented economy. Another critical undertaking that Abu Dhabi has started is the development of nuclear energy in the city. Whereas it may be perceived as an undertaking that is irrelevant to tourism, Abu Dhabi has taken an approach that can support its venture in the tourism industry.

In this regard, the government of Abu Dhabi has embarked on this project to provide enough energy for the tourism industry especially in running the hotels and museums. The most critical part of their undertaking is the production of the energy within limits that do not compromise their relationship with countries such as USA and Israel in the international arena. As a result, the Abu Dhabi’s authorities have promised to only produce the nuclear energy for antiwar production.

They have vowed to desist from enriching the process with uranium since the process would result to the production of weapons. Consequently, the city has avoided possible mishaps that could evoke violence between Abu Dhabi and the concerned international states. As such, it has been able to maintain good diplomatic relationships that will ensure the continued influx of tourists rather than compromising it and initiating sanctions that can even involve tourist advisories. This comes out as a strategic and tactical decision that has been made amidst many other crisis of this nature in countries such as Iran and Korea.

Gap Analysis

One of the reasons of conducting critical review of previous research, which has been conducted on this topic, is the identification of gaps that the research study should close and avoidance of any replication in research. Bearing this sentiment in mind, there are various gaps that have been identified in the previous studies. First, the research study concerning the use of social media to promote tourism in Abu Dhabi did not involve respondents from Abu Dhabi.

This situation implies that the research concentrated on international tourism and disregarded the tourists from Abu Dhabi thus undermining local tourism. In the common way of promoting tourism, local tourism is a critical part of that venture since it does not only allow the people in Abu Dhabi to explore their resources, but it also help to convert them into ambassadors of their country.

Understandably, when the local people explore their own country to see the tourists’ attraction sites, it is expected that they will share this information with other people from other countries and hence promote tourism. This rationale underpins the importance of local tourists in the research study concerning the promotion of Abu Dhabi as tourists’ destination. Further, it informs the inclusion of local tourists in this research as respondents.

In addition to this gap, there was an observation that the researcher did not draw a correlation between the uses of social media and the actual was in which it results to success. In other words, the researcher did not determine whether promoting Abu Dhabi through social media actually makes the city a preferred tourist destination.

This was realized by considering the fact that social media can only be used to sensitize potential tourists about the sceneries that exist but the appeal and quality of those tourists’ attraction sites is the one that determine preference. As a result, this research will consider how the social media can be used in such a manner that its application is not just a waste of time and resources.

Another research study that has been reviewed in this part discusses the cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi as a city. In this research, it was noted that the researcher discussed the cultural resources that are found in Abu Dhabi plainly. Since this was research that discussed cultural aspects in terms of tourism promotion, it was expected that the scholars could have indicated how the different inheritances have been used to steer the sector.

However, it was observed that the researchers outlined and described them without focusing on how they could be used as competitive edges in tourism. Through this research study, this gap will be closed satisfactorily by exploring how the authorities can exploit this potential to transform it into a financial equivalence.

Lastly, there is a research comparing the tourism sector in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. This has been included in this study bearing in mind that Dubai is developing at a rapid rate especially when it comes to non-oil sectors. However, the research does not indicate how Abu Dhabi can use its strengths and exploit the weak points of Dubai to obtain a competitive edge in tourism. This aspect will be included in this research study in order to close this gap and make it a holistic exploration.

Methodology

Introduction

In light of conducting this research study, there were various undertaking that were accomplished in relation to data collection, analysis, and assurance of the credibility. This chapter seeks to describe how each of these activities were conducted in order to obtain reliable results. Specifically, there will be a detailed description of the research philosophy adopted in the study, the strategy, approach, design, time frame, collection of data, analysis, ethics, and validity among others

Research Philosophy

Marshall and Rossman (2011) suggested that a researcher must formulate a way of relating the knowledge in theoretical arena and the nature of the study that is being conducted. The research philosophy is used to create this critical relationship between these fundamental aspects of the research study. The research philosophy includes the values and conceptual ideologies that are used during the analysis and interpretation of the collected data.

In essence, it is meant to use the values and perceptive to connect the underlying aim of the researcher and the research question. In accordance to the nature of the research study, it can include more than one research philosophy if its analytical demands require that provision (Emmett & Biddle, 2010). This research study will use two separate, but fundamental research philosophies in order to take care of its data analysis.

One of these research philosophies is known as positivism, and it is based on the ideology that credible knowledge can only be obtained and deduced through mathematical means. This implies that dependable results come from calculating certain quantitative variables that help to determine the extent to which they affect other parameters in the research. Essentially, it disregards all other methods of obtaining information and making deductions in a study.

As such, all other sources of information, according to the positivistic ideology, are invalid because it assumes that all the parameters are quantifiable. In addition to this, researchers suggested the positivism is not characteristic of introspective knowledge that is obtained by the mere observation of the environment or people’s behaviors. In addition, it renders the use of intuitive knowledge null and void and hence uses verifiable parameters of measurements rather than speculations.

In essence, it does not depend on those paradigms since they are considered as speculation rather than real representation of the included phenomena. Although this research philosophy invalidates these aspects of making deductions, it is inappropriate to resolutely disregard any other methods of deductions just because they are not mathematically and scientifically verifiable. In fact, when dealing with a research, such as this one, that seeks to study the behavior of people, it is important to understand that objects are completely different from human beings.

As such, the people’s behavior cannot be subjected to mere mathematical variable since there are other opinions regarding the improvement of tourism that cannot be quantified. It is cannot be disputed that a research study like this one, which seeks to study human psychological perceptions on a brand image and association, requires another paradigm that allows and accommodate the analysis of people qualitative opinions in order to become holistic.

The above sentiment citing the deficiency of positivism in light of conducting this research paves way for the inclusion of the second research philosophy known as intepretivism. Denscombe (2009) stated that interpretivism is a research philosophy that provides the allowance and framework of deducing qualitative implication in a research study. This implies that this research philosophy is critical to the analysis of all non-mathematical aspects of the study.

As such, interpretivism can be viewed as being the exact opposite of positivistic approach to research. It is found on the idea that realistic approach of life is relative and subjective because it depends on people’s understanding. Since people have different bodies of knowledge, it happens that the reality is understood from multidimensional perspectives.

Researchers, therefore, argue that the multidimensionality of these understanding should be given consideration rather than concentrating on pure empirical approach during the analysis of issues. The profound considerations allow the inclusion of inherent understanding of social behaviors and people’s interactions. With this understanding in mind, Denscombe (2009) suggested that interpretivism allow the researcher to adopt a value-laden approach when analyzing research results in order to make conclusions.

In this research, the respondents will be expected to explain why they prefer or disregard Abu Dhabi as a tourist destination. Understandably, these opinions are very critical to this research, but the positivistic approach does not give room to rely on value-laden information. As a result, interpretivism will be used in this case to include such aspects and deduce meaningful implications with respect to why Abu Dhabi is a suitable or inappropriate destination for tourists.

Holistically, therefore, the study on Abu Dhabi destination brand will be viewed from both the interpretive and positivistic perspectives. Essentially, this is necessitated by the fact that this research has used both the qualitative and quantitative research approaches which could otherwise be termed as mixed approach.

Clearly, it is impliedly in order to state that since the research partially used quantitative methods, using positivism will be appropriate in light of justifying the use of mathematical computation to determine the extent to which Abu Dhabi has become popular as a tourists’ destination. This is mainly supported by the basic premises that reliable knowledge can be obtained from mathematical stipulations only. On the other hand, interpretivism will focus on the explanatory aspects venturing to answer the question that require deep and comprehensive descriptions (Flick, 2009).

Research Approach, Design and Time Frame

A research approach is concerned with the manner in which the research stipulates the hypothesis and how it is ether dismissed or accepted. In regard to this research paper, a deductive research approach was adopted. Basically, when using this approach, a research hypothesis is formulated at the start of the study and then the researcher proceeds to determine whether it holds or not (Jha, 2008).

In regard to the research design, it is evident that this research was essentially explorative. It is termed as being explorative based on the fact that the it sought to determine and identify specific way in which tourism would be improved in Abu Dhabi by the use of destination branding. In addition, the research study focused on determining the strategies used by Dubai in their developmental agendas of the tourism sector.

This exploration would help to identify how Abu Dhabi should position itself in the face of the competition launched by Dubai. In addition, it seeks to explore on the vices that impeded the progress of Dubai in tourism. This exploration was used as the basis of improvements since the elimination of those vices can result to critical positive changes in the sector. In addition, the research sought to explore on the suggestion of stakeholders in regard to how tourism can be improved in general.

Since these ventures involve exploration of various kinds to bring new depth of intellect, they prove that the research design is explorative in nature. McBurney and White (2010) stated that exploratory research design is evident if the study seeks to identify new aspects of the topic in question.

In respect to the research timeframe, Yin (2009) suggested that a research study can either follow a cross-sectional or longitudinal time frame. The research study adopted a cross-sectional timeframe based on its various feature. First, it was observational in nature since the respondents’ environment and freedom, of expression was not changes.

This means that the environment was not manipulated in any way to obtain any useful results in favor of the researcher’s view. Additionally, various variables of the research study were studies at the same point of time rather than a prolonged period. Some of these variables include the tourism attraction sites in Abu Dhabi, its strengths, and the progress of Dubai in tourism among others. This is an assurance that the adopted timeframe was cross-sectional in nature.

Research Strategy

In respect to the strategy used in this research, the study was essentially a survey in which respondents had been selected from the relevant population to participate in provision of the information required. These respondents were expected to give their opinions regarding the prevalence of Abu Dhabi as a tourists’ destination and also provide some workable strategies that help to improve tourism in the emirate. In order to save on time and the resources available for the research, online survey containing eleven questions were sent to the respondents. They were then expected to fill in the surveys and email the copy back.

The online surveys were critical when it came to efficiency since they allow the research to take place for short period of time, but without compromising the quality of the study (Panacek, 2008). This is also underpinned by the Perry (2009) who suggested that the communication allowed by online surveys is enough for obtaining the information sought.

However, Sachdeva (2009) discovered that although the research question has many benefits to the research, they were vulnerable to fundamental disadvantages which could also affect the credibility of the research study significantly. Essentially, it does not provide the opportunity for the researcher and the respondent to interact physically so that the research can perceive some of the responses that can only be identified visually.

In addition, the respondent does not have the platform to ask for further clarification in case he does not get the first question clearly. Equally, it is not the best strategy to use especially when the researcher needs to ask follow-up questions. This implies that even if the respondent has not answered the question with clarity, the researcher has to work with what has been provided (Yin, 2009).

Population, Sampling and Data Collection

The population that was targeted in this research study was segmented in two parts, including the tourists’ authorities and the tourists. However, the tourists were the main part of the respondents since the issues such as needs of tourists and vices that bedevil the city were very relevant to them. Berg (2009) suggested that the entire population cannot take part in a research study due to the fact that resources are limited.

In respect to this understanding, the research study collected sample of 50 respondents across the two segments. In this case, random purposive sampling was applied. Collis and Hussey (2009) stated that random purposive sampling is, in fact, a combination of two different sampling methods. The first sampling method is known as random sampling. This is based on the idea that the respondents are chose in a manner that does not follow any predetermined criteria and arrangement.

It allows the researcher to pick any respondent at will. It is aimed to ensure that the sample is not collected in a manner that is meant to obtain certain known results that favor the opinions of the research. It encourages the impartiality of the research when collecting the sample. Purposive sampling is concerned with the fact that the researcher must collect the sample in a manner that includes respondents who are familiar with the subject (Zhang & Ma, 2009).

This is why the respondents included the personnel in tourism sector and tourists themselves. This ensured that the respondents had interests and substantial knowledge on the aspects of Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry. In addition, the research incorporated local tourists since it had been noted that previous research study had disregarded its. By including the local tourists there was an opportunity to identify ways in which the authorities could tap its own citizens and use them to popularize the name of Abu Dhabi in other countries.

As such, the two sampling methods form a blend that increases the reliability of the research study (Creswell, 2009). During data collection, the respondents included in the sample population were served with online questionnaires so as to fill them in and send back to the researcher. In this regard, the quantitative questions were measured under the Likert scale ranging from 0 to 4.

Data Analysis

Since the research study followed a mixed methodology, this factor had to be reflected in all its levels. Accordingly, the analysis of data was both quantitative and qualitative in nature. The quantitative analysis was applied to the question of the extent to which the respondents preferred Abu Dhabi and Dubai as a tourist destination.

The Likert scale was used in such a manner that the mean score could be obtained to provide the city which was more popular and suitable that other from the customers’ perspectives. For the qualitative analysis, this was used to find out the value-laden information concerning some of the strategies that the tourism personnel can apply to improve the sector.

Ethics

Babu (2013) suggested the consideration of ethics is an important undertaking when it comes to a research study since all the activities involve interaction with people. This aspect of research affects the extent to which the entire research is credible and reliable. In specific prospect, Babu (2013) stated that a research study is ethical if it ensures confidentiality of information, anonymity of the people involved in answering the questions, and the professionalism envisaged during the research.

In order to fulfill these ethical mandates, the researcher went for the official consent to sermon the personnel working with the tourism sector. This ensured that the heights of professionalism were maintained. In addition, all the respondents were not required to give their personal details in order to ensure that all the information given could not be traced back to them. This implies that they had the courage to give suggested without fear of administrational penalties after the study. In fact, the findings and results of the raw questionnaires were not disclosed to anyone.

Limitations

In respect to the limitations experienced during the research study, the accessibility of the tourists and their willingness to reply to our emails was a great challenge. In order to get the contacts, the respective organizations had to confirm with their customers. This made the process of data collection tedious and very difficult. In fact, there were about 150 surveys that had been sent in order to obtain the 50 replies. This was an indication that the collection of data was essentially difficult.

Findings and Analysis

Introduction

In light of presenting this chapter, it is critical to revisit the objectives of this research in order to present the results and analyze them in a manner that is consistent with the underlying aim. In essence, this research study sought to focus on three aspects of Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector in relation to the city’s image as a tourists’ destination. The general objective was to find ways of improving business tourism in Abu Dhabi. The aim was to be fulfilled through accomplishment of these three objectives as follows;

  1. To determine the position of Abu Dhabi in the minds of tourists and in relation with other cities?
  2. To identify the needs of tourists visiting Abu Dhabi and other destinations around the world in order to determine the perspectives of improvement.
  3. To determine the vices that handicap business tourism in Abu Dhabi and thus affects its brand in relation to the needs of the customers.
  4. To come up with accurate and workable ways of using Destination branding to improve Abu Dhabi, eliminate the identified flaws, and satisfy the needs of the customers.

These objectives gave way to three research questions which should be answered in light of the analysis and presentation of secondary and primary findings. These research questions include;

  1. What is the position of Abu Dhabi in the minds of tourists and in relation with other cities?
  2. What are the needs of customers visiting Abu Dhabi for business tourism as well as other destinations around the world?
  3. What vices in Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry may have affected the city as a tourist destination?
  4. What workable strategies can be used to improve the brand of Abu Dhabi as a tourist destination and hence improve business tourism?

Primary Findings According to the Questionnaire

Questionnaire

To what extent would you prefer visiting Abu Dhabi over other destination around the world?
Response 0 1 2 3 4 Total
No. of Respondents 0 0 15 13 12 50
To what extent would you prefer visiting Dubai over other destination around the world?
Response 0 1 2 3 4 Total
No. of Respondents 0 0 9 11 20 50
Among Dubai, Nairobi, Washington, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai, which city could your prefer visiting in case you had an opportunity?
City Abu Dhabi Dubai Shanghai Washington Nairobi Total
No. of Respondents 12 13 8 7 10 50
Why do you either prefer Abu Dhabi for visitation?

In regard to this question, twelve respondents had chosen Abu Dhabi as their most preferable city of visitation. As a result, their responses were considered as the pertinent ones. One of the critical responses provided by these respondents was that Abu Dhabi is the face of UAE in terms of the country’s traditions and culture. In this regard, the respondents stated that Abu Dhabi, being the capital city and having a deep history, represents the original ideologies that gave rise to the present UAE.

As such, they stated that they prioritize the culture of a destination since the people’s way of live is the most crucial aspect of human sociology. They also revealed that modernity, though important, is something that has been seen everywhere in the world. In fact, one of the respondents indicated that issues such as having skyscrapers do not form the essence of tourism.

When substantiating the reason as to why the opinion was made, he stated that his original country-China-has been known of having tall buildings. As a result, they do not make any significant difference when it comes to the issue of choosing the destination. In addition, the respondents felt that he can prioritize culture over modern structures because it has more human attachment than the latter.

Another aspects that the respondents brought about, was the existence of huge museums in Abu Dhabi. In this case, the questioned respondents argued that the construction of the biggest museum in Abu Dhabi has shown its commitment in preserving the cultural inheritance of the people who lived in the country both in the past and present times. For the Muslim respondents, it was clear that the protection of cultural inheritance by the authorities of Abu Dhabi was a critical factor that would play a great role in steering tourism.

Two respondents identified that the existence of Zayed mosque, which is among the biggest mosques in the world alongside the ones in Saudi Arabia, is a motivating factor to visit the city. In essence, they stated that Muslim is a way of life and it is a preference to visit some of the structures that represent their resolve and prowess as a religion.

Another factor, that made Abu Dhabi preferable, though to a small extent, was the fact that Abu Dhabi is the capital city of United Arab Emirates. When substantiating on why this could be a motivating factor to visit the city, the respondents suggested that it has been the oldest known city in the country. As such, it presents an opportunity to view diverse attraction sites since it is the foundation of the entire country. They stated that the ancient people must have established many structures that show their way of lives as opposed to the other young cities which are popularized by their economic and modernly ventures.

Why do you disregard Abu Dhabi for visitation?

The greatest factor that has bedeviled Abu Dhabi in its pursuit to create a preferable tourists’ destination is its absence in the popular arena. Respondents felt that Abu Dhabi, as one of the emirates which makes up UAE, has low coverage and presence in the popular media. In fact, it was stated that as far as such popularity is concerned, Dubai has surpassed the latter in a great way.

The respondents stated that this does not mean that there is more satisfaction that could be obtained from Dubai than Abu Dhabi, but the problem is that the tourists attraction in Abu Dhabi have not been popularized in a similar manner as Dubai. Further, they expressed the feeling that Dubai has managed to remain in the minds of people due to the continuous praise that have been portrayed in the masses.

This implied that Abu Dhabi’s pursuit to improve its tourism sector is being hindered by the incapability to obtain a shouting position in the minds of people. In that regards, a respondents went further to state that the city does not have a well defining aspects which is popularly known. When exemplifying his opinion, he stated that a place such as Nairobi is well defined since it is known for harboring the indigenous wildlife in its country.

As a result, the respondents felt that the city must have an outstanding aspect that differentiates it from others. In addition, it should come out in such a manner that people can identify it with the aspects notably in order to visit its sites. This way, the potential tourists will have the willingness to visit the premises and inform their friends later so that the issue of popularizing the city becomes a self-propagating undertaking.

What do you expect to experience in Abu Dhabi in order to satisfy your needs?

The respondents gave various needs that could satisfy their visitation in Abu Dhabi. One of the fundamental realizations was that most of the respondents went out during vocation. In that regard, they expected to have enough leisure in case they visited Abu Dhabi. This leisure could only be obtained through seeing and engaging in activities that they have never been seen before the time of visitation. These included most of the features that were not present in the original countries.

In addition to this, they expected to meet hospitable people who can accommodate them during their visit. This was substantiated to the effect that tourism is a social aspect and it is carried out because people are social beings, but not because they characteristically explorative. They, therefore, felt that for the visit to be termed as being satisfactory, they must meet people who can guide, talk, and handle them with due care and humility in order to socialize with them comfortably.

In fact, one of the respondents stated that the importance of hospitality in tourism can only be understood if its absence is considered. In her opinion, she suggested that lack of hospitality could block all operations that take place during a visit. In this case, she stated that most tourists are used to buying commodities from shops. If the citizens and tourism personnel are not friendly, the whole visit could be unsuitable and dull.

Besides hospitality, the respondents cited that they expect to have enough security in Abu Dhabi during the time of visit. They stated that security is a strong priority when it comes to their expectations. They suggested that the presence of security helps to attain a stable state of the mind during the visit. In this case, it was noted that the respondents were very keen on security since it seemed to assure them of their personal welfare.

Some of the respondents expressed concerns for their families. They felt that a visit should be in such a manner that their children are not exposed to any dangers. Others expressed the opinion that the safety for their lives and properties should not be compromised as a result of visiting Abu Dhabi. Women also suggested that security against sexual abuse in the beaches is paramount to their visitation. One of the respondents described an instance in which a tourist was harassed sexually by an Indian worker who worked in a hotel.

Additionally, it was noted that respondents had keen interest on the existence of technological and updated facilities within the facilities. They expressed the opinion that in the 21st century, the world has moved at a very high pace technologically. With this level of technology, they expected to meet the same in Abu Dhabi especially when it comes to swimming pools, the beach facilities, and personal effects such as bathing. In addition, the respondents preferred to meet up to date technology even in transport facilities to ensure that they used minimum time to travel.

They did not share in the idea of wasting time when travelling since it could take suitable time to view attraction sites and interact with people. Communication technology was also a critical factor especially for businessmen since they need to communicate with employees and employers in their original country. In fact, internet connection was a fundamental need for all the respondents bearing in mind that the world is in a digital age.

Lastly, the presence of information in various tourists’ attraction sites was discovered to be an important expectation to the respondents. They expressed the opinion that when they visit a new place, they are completely ignorant about the various locations. As a result, they need to meet informative people who can provide comprehensive and satisfactory information on these directions. Alternatively, they expected to have brochures showing these directions in order to ensure that they can trace these locations.

In fact, it was considered as one of the ways in which the tourists would get to know about other sites that they did not know originally. The availability of information was also considered by the respondents as a way of helping them to enjoy their time in the hotels and restaurants. The climatic condition was also a factor that emerged when interrogating the respondents in regard to this question.

They expected the climatic condition in Abu Dhabi to be friendly to their activities. They preferred fairly warm climate which was not very hot. However, people from Europe did not have any problem with the hot climate since their countries are characteristic of the winters.

What might hinder you from visiting Abu Dhabi although the city has the attraction aspects that satisfy your needs?

In this case, some respondents stated that even when all the factors were favorable, they could be incapacitated by the lack of finances. They stated that the cost of air fights and the restaurants would be a great stumbling block to visit Abu Dhabi. This thus brought in the issue of the distance between the country of origin and Abu Dhabi City. As such, it is very critical for the tourism sector to ensure that the costs of their services are affordable according to the respondents. In a

What workable strategies can be implemented in order to improve your satisfaction?

In accordance to the view of the respondents, the tourism sector of Abu Dhabi should diversify their attraction aspects in tourism. In this case, it was noted by the respondents that Abu Dhabi has dwelled so much on cultural heritage and neglected other sector. In their view, the authorities should go out of their way to build up on such attractions as wildlife, modern structures, and beaches that can form part of tourists’ exploration.

As such, they should ensure that these attraction sceneries are near to each other so that the tourists can explore many sites over a short period of time. This was also reinforced by the view that the authorities in charge of tourism should incorporate this with technology so that the idea of cultural heritage is spiced up by modernity. In essence, they felt that blending between modernity and authenticity could be an irresistible pair that would see the tourists being more satisfied.

In addition, they expressed the opinion that the quality of services should be improved and maintained satisfactorily. In this case, they felt that issues such as provision of information, security, and service of food should not be compromised. This was based on the fact that these services are the backbone of having an enjoyable trip in any destination. For example, without enough security around the beaches and restaurants people would end up in situation of abduction, murder, and intimidation.

Additionally, the respondents emphasized on the fact that the tourism authorities in Abu Dhabi should promote the destination by campaigning for hospitality among its own residents. They maintained that hospitality was a main determining factor when it came to measuring satisfaction. In essence, a person sets out to meet people in a destination and enjoy to the fullest.

If they meet dull and antisocial people within that destination, it would imply that satisfaction is not attained. As a result, the role of promoting Abu Dhabi as tourists’ destination is a responsibility of all stakeholders, including the government, citizens, and the investors themselves.

Do you think that local tourism is vital in the process of making Abu Dhabi an esteemed tourists’ destination?

This question was meant to focus on local tourism since it had been discovered that the previous research studies had ignored this sector to a great extent. Its inclusion in this research was considered as a way of exploring into ways of using local tourism to create a destination brand. When asked to comments on the importance of local tourism to Abu Dhabi’s efforts of creating a preferable tourists’ destination, the respondents suggested that local tourism was the starting point.

In their responses, they felt that the local tourism would serve as a way of letting people own their own country. They noted that the citizens were completely unaware of the sites and tourisms resources present in their nation. As a result, they cannot act as representative of the city such that they are unable to market Abu Dhabi to foreign friends and relatives. In addition, some respondents found local tourism as a source of income that cannot be ignored by the authorities.

In essence, some of these respondents did not consider local tourism as a way of marketing the city to other people. Instead, they regarded as an actual market that would help the sector to earn sizeable revenue for the promotion of its growth.

What is you recommendation in regard to the use of culture as Abu Dhabi’s strength in Tourism?

Although most of the respondents were short of the recommendations, they had very workable recommendations for the tourism sector. One of these recommendations was that Abu Dhabi should take cultural heritage as their strength in tourism. In this regard, the respondents noted that Abu Dhabi was the only city among its sister cities that had the opportunity to envisage deep cultural heritage. Understandably, they argued that all the other six emirates were developed out of oil investments or the application of technology.

For the oil reserves, Abu Dhabi has the largest deposits that are not subject to extinction. When it comes to the issue of technology, it can also use its financial capability to create a technological hub across the emirates. This implies that they can attain a common level with all the sister cities when it comes to their strength, but the sister cities cannot, in turn, obtain a deep cultural heritage like the one envisaged by Abu Dhabi. As a result, they can use their cultural inheritance, which is in fact fateful, to obtain a competitive edge against its sister cities.

What aspects have made Dubai a fast growing tourists’ destination. How should Abu Dhabi respond to them?

The most critical strategy that Dubai has used in a view to improve its image as a tourists’ destination is the use of up-to-date technology in the construction of buildings, shopping malls, and restaurants among others. This has also been coupled up with the development of infrastructure such as roads and communication facilities.

It has also been integrated in the construction of hotels and restaurants in order to achieve the required comfort and satisfaction. In addition, they have come up with innovative construction of modern hotels inside the seas such that it has become unique scenery. In fact, the respondents identified that these strategies have been adopted by other cities around the world including the sister cities.

In response to this menace, the respondents felt that Abu Dhabi does not have another choice rather than following the same trend. This implies that they should construct outstanding structures and unique restaurants in order to attain an equal status with the Dubai. In essence, the respondents made it clear that Abu Dhabi has enough financial resources that can be used for this venture. Their financial muscles are much far capable when compared with Dubai due to their oil reserves.

As a result, they should use as tactical advantage in their pursuit to outdo Dubai as a competitor. In addition to this, they noted that Dubai had been able to capture the mood of modernity such that people identify the city with technological investments. At this point, the issue of the necessity to identify and use cultural inheritance as a competitive tool emerged once more. The respondents expressed the opinion that Abu Dhabi will only emerge as a winner over Dubai if it identifies a unique identifier in regard to tourism.

Secondary Findings According to the Literature Review

Critical Aspects about Destination Branding in Abu Dhabi

Having discussed the conceptual aspects that should be considered when branding a destination, it was noted that destination branding, does not just include mere designing of a logo because it is not marketed on the same footage as a products. Instead, it needs a lot of strategies that can position it in the minds of the people so as to make sure that they consider it.

In addition, the conceptual discussion indicated that the brand must incorporate some benefits that prompt the customers to visit Abu Dhabi rather than any other destination. In essence, it was established that the tourism sector must come up with ways to motivate the potential tourists to visit the destination. The factor of motivation brought in the realization that destination branding is more of a psychological than a physical venture. The branding should not concentrate on basic undertakings such as the logos and mottos.

It should focus on creating a popular presence in the market so that it remains relevant in the subconscious mind of the potential tourists. As such, the success of creating a great destination brand should be conducted within the lines of popularizing services and sites so that the tourists are aware of the existing scenery.

Critical Tourists’ Attraction Aspects

When discussing the aspects that can attract tourists in Abu Dhabi, various things were identified as viable factors of attraction. These are listed and discussed in accordance to how they had been presented in the chapter 3. However, the gap analysis determined that there was no discussion on how these cultural heritages can be used to attract tourists. In this chapter, however, this discussion will be included in order to help in determining how they can be used to shape the image of Abu Dhabi as a tourists’ destination.

Castles and Forts

As stated in Chapter 3, Abu Dhabi has many sites that bring it out as one of the richest historical cities in the entire UAE. The castle and forts are seen as the preservers of the ancient history, people behaviors, and the way of living in the history of the city. Bearing in mind that Abu Dhabi is the capital city of UAE, these castles were the centre for implementing the rule of law, ensuring the safety of the people by providing residence for the convoys, and facilitating safe transport of people, animals, and luggage to different sides of the country.

Importantly, the castles were used by the ancient people as courts to enforce the rule of law in the country. This was an important undertaking that shows the roots of the legal framework in Abu Dhabi. Having such historical importance, castle become unique structures that cannot be traced in the sister cities in UAE and thus competitive advantage. In addition, they had been erected for the purpose of holding national traditional events concerning war games and arts.

The tourism sector should prepare modern arts and games which will be conducted in these castles and forts after as stipulated period of time. For example, they can facilitate the games and artistic exhibition to take part annually. In fact, these games can be used to allow the local people attach the castle with historical importance. This will help to even popularize them across the borders of Abu Dhabi and Dubai as a whole

Unique Arabic Architectural Environment

Chapter three stated that the architecture of buildings provides critical information about the past of a locality. It also creates an environment that could either promote or hinder the satisfaction of tourists. Understandably, traditional and historical sites are more preferred as compared to the modern cities which are all over the world. As such, the historical buildings provide the tourists with an opportunity to see the ancient ways of construction.

Abu Dhabi enjoys the opportunity of having a unique Arabic construction that shows the historical realities of the ancient times. They portray the exact cultural aspects such as language, traditions, and technical prowess among other things. Besides the traditional architecture that reflects the culture and the ancient ways of lives envisaged by the people of Abu Dhabi, the modern architecture has yet another aspect that appeals to the world more than ever before.

In respect to this discussion, it is evident that the tourism sector can harness this architectural environment to steer the industry according to the modern ways. The authorities should consider rebuilding modern facilities that reflect the traditional facilities. This implies that the city will still maintain its traditional ascent, but also acquire modern facilities like other competitors such as Dubai.

Shekh Zaid Mosque

Chapter 3 of this research found it undisputable that Abu Dhabi’s major population comprises of Muslims bearing in mind that they are the original inhabitants of this emirate before immigration of people in search for jobs. In addition, Muslims have high respect for their religion such that they consider it as a way of life. Shekh Zaid Mosque thus becomes a critical aspect in tourism especially when considering the visitation of Abu Dhabi by other Muslims.

This mosque is the third largest in the world following the two leading mosque found in Saudi Arabia. Whereas it can appear as if the construction was essentially coincidental in nature, the mosque was built with a view to serve as a critical landmark for the Islamic religion, shows the depth of the Islamic culture, and represents the ideologies of religious tolerance within the region. In all senses, the Mosques envisages visual pleasure due to the fine arts incorporated in its construction, large spaces, and the extemporary architectural skills employed in its conception.

This discovery shows that the tourism sector in Abu Dhabi should popularsize the city and creates a brand which portrays it as a center of religion. This will help to tap more people, especially from the Muslim religion, and prompt them to become tourists. In fact, it could be beneficial if the involved personnel would organize for major religion event to take place on routine basis.

These events should be made open to both the local and foreign people so as to make sure that all interested personnel attend. After these events, the visitors should then have an opportunity to explore other places in the city and hence help to create the image of Abu Dhabi as a preferred tourists’ destination.

Emirate’s Palace

Still in Chapter 3, the Emirate’s Palace was identified as another landmark that is essential to the tourism industry due to various features that underpin its uniqueness. Since Abu Dhabi is the capital city of UAE, the palace has been erected at the heart of the city with inherent portrayal of quality and proficient skills. It has been build using the state of the arts technology in order to satisfy the modern leisure needs for the guests visiting this city.

This structure should be used as a show of Abu Dhabi’s commitment to technological advancement. It should be upgraded to surpass the technological capability obtained by the people of Dubai in their venture to improve tourism. As such, the authorities of Abu Dhabi should come up with ways of popularizing it in the market, including both the foreign and local arenas.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai Tourism Struggle

Dubai is developing at an alarming rate such that the city of Abu Dhabi must come up with strategies that can help to fight it out. In essence, Abu Dhabi should use its strength in order to reign over Dubai by attacking its weaknesses.

The two strengths that came out clearly during the discussion included the cultural inheritance, which is not essentially evident in Dubai, and the financial capability exhibited by Abu Dhabi. It was noted that Abu Dhabi has provided some bailouts for the development of Dubai at various points. On the other hand, Dubai seems to be struggling in a financial crisis in order to satisfy its developmental agenda.

In order to surpass Dubai, Abu Dhabi should make sure that it uses its financial muscles to construct up-to-date structures so as to attain the same level with its competitor. Since this construction will be conducted without any outlying debts, Abu Dhabi will have an upper hand bearing in mind that Dubai is operating on the basis of bailouts.

Then, the emirate should step up in terms of how it popularizes its cultural inheritances to other cities and countries. In this case, it should use social media as a pertinent marketing strategy. If the emirate’s authorities embark on proper marketing of its capabilities, it will find itself creating a better than Dubai.

Conclusion

In the introduction chapter, it was stated that the aim of this research it to stipulate ways in which Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector can be improved. This aim was to be fulfilled by way of answering the four questions that were formulated as the pertinent research questions. In respect to that stipulation, this chapter is presented in a view to answer the various questions forming the basis of this research study. By answering them in summary form, the entire research objectives will be fulfilled and hence the aim will also be met and accomplished.

What is the position of Abu Dhabi in the minds of tourists and in relation with other cities?

As it appeared from the quantitative results in chapter 4, it was evident that the fifty respondents had different extents to which they could choose Abu Dhabi as tourists’ destination as shown in the table.

Response 0 1 2 3 4 Total
No. of Respondents 0 0 15 13 12 50

Mean=2.34

On the other hand, the responses on Dubai as preferable tourists’ destination were given as it appears in this second table.

Response 0 1 2 3 4 Total
No. of Respondents 0 0 9 11 20 50

Mean=2.62

After calculation, it was evident that the mean of the respondent’s extent to which they prefer Abu Dhabi as tourists’ destination was 2.34 while that one of Dubai was 2.62. This implies that the position of Abu Dhabi in relation to Dubai is essentially low. While focusing on the secondary sources, it was found that Dubai is leading Abu Dhabi in terms of non-oil generated revenue.

The greatest part of that non-oil revenue comes from the tourism industry and that portrays the prevalence of Dubai in the tourism industry. This shows that even though the attraction aspects in Abu Dhabi might be of higher value than those ones found in Dubai, the people are not generally identifying with the city as a tourists’ destination since it is not as popular as the latter.

In addition to this, it was noted that Abu Dhabi featured the second most preferred city among Washington, Nairobi, Shanghai, and Dubai while the sister city came first as shown in this table.

City Abu Dhabi Dubai Shanghai Washington Nairobi Total
No. of Respondents 12 13 8 7 10 50

This, further, shows how Dubai is more advanced in relation to Abu Dhabi when it comes to the tourism industry. According to this research, Dubai has been able to dominate in the arena of tourism and it has become a real threat to Abu Dhabi. This implies that Abu Dhabi has to act in both a quick and strategic way if it has to compete favorably with sister city

What are the needs of customers visiting Abu Dhabi for business tourism as well as other destinations around the world?

One of the fundamental tourist’s needs in their pursuit is viewing the cultural inheritances of different people around the world. It was clear that the respondents could go to Abu Dhabi in order to view the ancient way of lives. As a result, it can be concluded that one of the critical factors that the people of Abu Dhabi should use to steer their tourism industry is preservation of their cultural identity. In essence, the city is viewed as the cultural hub for the entire UAE. They should therefore prioritize it when trying to build their image as a destination in order to motivate the tourists and get a specified identity.

Hospitality also came out as pertinent aspects that the Abu Dhabi’s authorities need to consider when creating their image and brand. They should avoid being branded with violence around the world since that can destroy their outward and general picture. This was closely related to the need for hospitality in the city during such visitation.

It is therefore the responsibility of the Abu Dhabi’s citizens and the authorities to ensure that the tourists are treated well so that they can have a positive attitude to the city. As a result, they will portray the same mentality to the people in other areas around the world and hence influence their perspectives too.

What vices in Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry may have affected the city as a tourist destination?

There are two negative vices that have been impeding the progress of Abu Dhabi as a tourists’ destination. One of those aspects is the incapability of Abu Dhabi to identify a unique attraction factor that the tourists can consider to make a choice. In this regard, they should find for a special aspect such as cultural heritage and identify with it in order to woo more tourists. In addition, the city has been partially branded as being inhabited by people who propagate tourism around the world.

Indeed, the Muslims have been misunderstood to support terrorism that is taking place in Europe, Somali, and Kenya among other nations. However, this is a wrong perception that has occupied the minds of the people around the world. Truly, terrorism is propagated by cults which are not inspired by the ideologies of the Muslim religion, although the members might have subscribed to the religion. This perception can be removed through the acts of hospitality so that the tourists can change their mentality towards the cities occupied by the Muslims.

What workable strategies can be used to improve the brand of Abu Dhabi as a tourist destination and hence improve business tourism?

The tourism sector of Abu Dhabi should diversify their attraction aspects in tourism. In this case, it was noted by the respondents that Abu Dhabi has dwelled so much on cultural heritage and neglected other sectors. In addition, the authorities should go out of their way to build up on such attractions as wildlife, modern structures, and beaches that can form part of tourists’ exploration. They should ensure that these attraction sceneries are near to each other so that the tourists can explore many sites over a short period of time.

This was also reinforced by the view that the authorities in charge of tourism should incorporate this with technology so that the idea of cultural heritage is spiced up by modernity. In essence, they felt that blending between modernity and authenticity could be an irresistible pair that would see the tourists being more satisfied.

In addition, the quality of services should be improved and maintained satisfactorily. In this case, the provision of information, security, and service of food should not be compromised. This was based on the fact that these services are the backbone of having an enjoyable trip in any destination.

Hospitality was a main determining factor when it came to measuring satisfaction. In essence, a person sets out to meet people in a destination and enjoy to the fullest. If they meet dull and antisocial people within that destination, it would imply that satisfaction is not attained. As a result, the role of promoting Abu Dhabi as tourists’ destination is a responsibility of all stakeholders, including the government, citizens, and the investors themselves.

Local tourism can also play a major role in the promotion of tourism in Abu Dhabi and the creation of destination brand. Recalling the findings in chapter 4 it was stated that the local tourism was the starting point. The respondents were of the idea that the local tourism would serve as a way of letting people own their own country. They noted that the citizens were completely unaware of the sites and tourisms resources present in their nation.

As a result, they cannot act as representative of the city such that they are unable to market Abu Dhabi to foreign friends and relatives. In addition, some respondents found local tourism as a source of income that cannot be ignored by the authorities. In essence, some of these respondents did not consider local tourism as a way of marketing the city to other people. Instead, they regarded as an actual market that would help the sector to earn sizeable revenue for the promotion of its growth.

Also, the Abu Dhabi authorities should encourage the restaurants’ owners to implement loyalty programs in their respective premises. This will ensure that tourists get bonuses after visiting these hotels. As a result, they will be prompted to come back for the services since they have an attachment.

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