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How important is destination branding? Does your UK town, beach, or park really need a logo design to attract visitors? Shouldn’t having a great place to visit be enough? Branding and logo design are becoming increasingly important for a variety of entities. Places are no longer an exception. Consider the following example.

Unless you have spent the past decade hiding under a rock, you have probably heard of Dubai. This small city in the United Arab Emirates has managed to become a business and vacation superstar, with news reports being released every day of its latest architectural and engineering wonders. Most people would love to take a trip to this glitzy, luxurious area, and those who can afford to do so shell out large amounts of money for the privilege. Few people would be visiting this city if it weren’t for its brand. Dubai would have little allure for people who aren’t into deserts. It would be like another city in the area: Abu Dhabi.

However, Abu Dhabi, which is actually the capital of the UAE, does not plan to sit in second place for long. This city is developing a marketing plan and intends to entice travelers from all over the world with a destination brand that will make them the next Arab hot spot.

The first step in this branding process is the development of a logo design. Obviously this needs to be a distinctively Arab brand, but one that is friendly and inviting to people from other places. The writing resembles that of traditional Arabic script calligraphy, and the writing inside the image is actually the destination name in Arabic. This gives the brand a sense of grounding and a link to the place that it represents.

The shape featured prominently in the logo design is interesting and foreign, but rounded and friendly. It is strangely balanced, matching the brand that the area is trying to project.

The color palette is also intended to tie into the sense of place while inviting global citizens to visit. The gray-beige is reminiscent of desert sand and the deep red is warm and inviting. Both are the colours of the national flag, making them relevant and inviting at the same time. An extended colour palette has been developed so that more colorful communications can be created without compromising the central destination brand.

Creating a brand is not enough; an area must have the accommodations and amenities that modern travelers demand. Abu Dhabi has been working up to this for years now, with a newly redesigned airport that now uses this destination brand in its signage and décor. Hotels and resorts are springing up all over the desert paradise to meet the projected demand, and there is talk of an Abu Dhabi extension of the Louvre to entice art lovers. This area is blessed with history, tradition, and authentic charm that is sure to be attractive to people looking for the next exotic locale. With the help of this brand and the logo design representing it, Abu Dhabi should soon be the next hot holiday destination.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.