The Middle East is a diverse and lucrative region that is drawing the attention of more and more global brands.
With three out of the top ten richest countries in the world being in the Middle East (Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait), it is easy to understand why!
But how exactly should your business go about targeting the Middle East?
Entering a new market is challenging – and with the Middle East, cultural differences can often be stumbling blocks for unprepared brands.
Be aware of religious and cultural sensitivities when creating your marketing imagery. Make sure that all images adhere to the cultural requirement for “modesty”.
For example, if you are promoting a yoga studio, you do not want to use an image of a very flexible woman wearing yoga shorts and a yoga bra; instead, put someone dressed in a t-shirt and trousers in a simple lotus pose.
Or, if you are a restaurant, you need to avoid images of customers holding obviously alcoholic drinks in their hands. Even bars tend to use images like friends gathering over a meal and drinks that are hard to identify (they might look like a Mojito, for example) because the public promotion of alcohol is not allowed.
If you are targeting the United Arab Emirates for instance, and your ads feature women, they do not necessarily have to be covered from head to toe, but make sure that clothing is “modest”. Perhaps for Saudi Arabia, using a headscarf might be perceived as a sign of respect to local traditions and customs.
And, of course, religion (Islam) must be taken into consideration, so any religious depictions (even to make a point) should not be included at all.
If you want to learn more about how to succeed online in the Middle East, check out our webinar recording on this topic now!
In this webinar, you will learn:
- the current digital landscape in the Middle East – particularly the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman
- the complexities of language and culture and their impact on marketing
- consumer insights for the Middle Eastern market
- how to develop an action plan for launching in the Middle East