Nation Branding in the Arab World
This chapter examines the branding of the Arab world countries. The analysis identifies major gaps between the non-oil Levant region, where the Arab Spring and ensuing political turbulences prevented many of the countries from forming nation-branding plans, and the oil-rich Gulf Peninsula, where most of the countries execute ambitious global branding plans. The analysis, however, highlights that politics also played a role in the Gulf countries’ branding. This is illustrated by the alleged Saudi Arabia assassination of Khashoggi and Qatar’s alleged sponsorship of terror groups and alleged bribery of FIFA executives to win the 2022 World Cup, which severely damaged their branding campaigns. The chapter also documents the outlier in the region, Dubai, the only Arab state in the 20 most valued nation brands, which illustrates the potential of Arab countries able to prioritize their global branding campaign over interference in regional politics. The chapter concludes that the Arab world countries’ branding is disproportionally affected by politics and economics.