Dubai, UAE - MBLM

Branding specialist, MBLM, has revealed that ‘Brand Intimacy’ in the hospitality and theme parks category is on a downward trend for the UAE.

In MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, the hospitality and theme parks industry ranked last out of 15 industries surveyed. The category’s average Brand Intimacy Quotient was 22.8, well below the cross-industry average of 30.5.

Within the category, Hilton, Jumeirah, Ferrari World, Rotana, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Marriott, Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Address and Aquaventure comprised the Top 10 brands.

Despite the category’s poor performance, Dubai-based Jumeirah outpaced competitors as it moved up 29 positions, ranking #66 overall. Within the hospitality and theme parks industry, the brand ranked #1 in the UAE among male consumers aged 18-44.

MBLM - Top Ten Brands

MBLM - Top Ten Brands

Brand Intimacy is defined by MBLM as a new paradigm in marketing, leveraging and strengthening the emotional bonds between people and the brands they use and love. The study reveals that top intimate brands deliver superior results related to revenue and profit growth by creating deeper relationships with their consumers.

“There are clear opportunities for brands in this space”

“The UAE is one of the world’s fastest growing tourism markets. This year continues to demonstrate interest and investment in hospitality projects and theme park destinations, making the UAE an attractive destination for a wide range of customer segments,” said William Shintani, managing partner at MBLM.

“The category is underperforming and there are clear opportunities for brands in this space to create stronger bonds with customers and leverage emotion more effectively.”

MBLM - Brand Intimacy Scores

MBLM - Brand Intimacy Scores

Other notable findings in the hospitality and theme parks industry report include:

  • Ferrari World is the UAE’s leading theme park, holding its third place in the industry since 2017 with a slight increase in its intimacy quotient. It also ranks highest in the industry among high-income consumers.
  • Hilton ranked first in the industry for the archetype of indulgence, which focuses on moments of pampering and gratification, and second after Rotana for the archetype of fulfilment, which centres on exceeding expectations.
  • Within the industry, Holiday Inn ranks highest in the archetype of nostalgia (a focus on memories of the past and the warm feelings associated with them).
  • Address performed strongly in the archetype of Fulfillment (a focus on exceeding expectations and delivering superior service in quality and efficacy) though it ranked #9 in the category and #148 overall.
  • Theme parks such as Dubai Parks and Resorts, Yas Waterworld, IMG Worlds of Adventure and Ferrari World performed stronger than the hospitality brands in sharing, the first stage of brand intimacy. But the hospitality brands, such as Hilton, far outpaced the theme parks in the more advanced stages of intimacy: bonding and fusing.


During 2017, MBLM conducted an online quantitative survey among 6,000 consumers in the United States, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. The research allows marketers to better understand which levers need to be pulled to build intimacy between brands and consumers.

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