In PR terms, last week was a good one for the UAE, with talk of rising Dubai property sales followed by an IMF forecast of faster economic growth driven by Expo 2020. If there’s one thing that will encourage investors to take the plunge back into real estate, it’s the assurance they get from knowing that many have already done so.

The news that Dubai property sales in October were the highest since 2008, therefore, can only have been good for investor confidence, something which has been in such short supply. Developers, landlords, agents and the entire property business are not alone in wishing that the pattern continues.

With real estate investment comes a surge in demand for everything needed to turn a piece of real estate into homes, from the cars the new owners and tenants park outside to a huge range of consumer goods.

Better tidings in store

Continuing the positive trend which lifts retailers spirits across the board, the IMF revised its growth forecast for the UAE from a relatively modest above 1 per cent in 2019 to 3 per cent next year. It followed a number of independent studies in recent months signalling that, backed by a stable medium term economic outlook, business confidence in the UAE was on the rise.

Opening up conversations

In between the Dubai property and IMF disclosures came another headline grabber that helped explain why the best PR is often driven by common sense. The news that the UAE is shaping up to unblock the feature allowing calls to be made on WhatsApp was cheered not only by lovers of the Facebook-owned app relishing free and easy social calls to mates back home.

It was welcomed just as enthusiastically by other observers as a move to deliver genuine benefits to businesses in the UAE, both in terms of costs and easier communication with counterparts from around the world.

The WhatsApp revelation quickly followed an announcement that the Expo 2020 Dubai target to to record 25 million visits through its gates was on track after more than 1,000 authorised ticket resellers had been signed up in key markets around the world.

Combine the two, and you have millions of Expo visitors able to call home cheaply and easily to tell family, friends and business partners what a great experience they’re having, what a splendid city and host Dubai is, and why they’d like to stay. A great result when you’re looking to attract property and business investment from around the world.

What we are seeing in a broader context is Dubai once again delivering on its promise to make the most of its biggest events. Over the past four decades, this has been a consistent theme, as seen in the way its air show, a golf tournament played on the region’s first grass course, and a succession of international exhibitions, conferences and other sports events have been used to project Dubai’s image on the global stage.

There is never a guarantee that those who come for a week, or those who watch from a distance, will ultimately make the place their home. But Dubai has increased the odds dramatically by building an infrastructure and offering a lifestyle and working environment that, when added together, make it hard to resist.

Making it easy to phone home and tell the Dubai story is such good sense.

Tony Lewis is Managing Director at Total PR.