Arun Sudhaman 15 May 2015 // 1:30PM GMT
DUBAI—Edelman is poised to land international PR duties for Dubai Tourism, the Holmes Report has learned.
The decision follows a keenly-contested pitch earlier this year, which featured at least three other global PR networks.
The assignment, estimated at as much as $1m, is thought to cover a range of countries, including key sources of tourism such as Russia, China, India, the UK, Germany, US, Africa and Australia.
Dubai's tourism PR in the Middle East has been overseen by Asda'a Burson-Marsteller in the past, although it is unclear whether his business will move. Not coincidentally, another firm that Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) works with in the region — Dabo & Co — was recently acquired by Edelman.
One source familiar with the process said that Edelman's "infrastructure on the ground" via its operations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, had proved decisive. An Edelman representative declined to comment, while DTCM did not respond to request for comment as this story went live.
The pitch followed the launch of a $20m tourism campaign by Dubai and Emirates last year, amid concerns over a potential slowdown in visitors from Europe.
Dubai's tourist appeal has resulted in consecutive years of double-digit increases in arrivals, with the emirate attracting 11m visitors in 2013. Arrivals in the first half of this year have reached record levels, but growth has slowed considerably, with many blaming airport upgrades and flight reductions.
The emirate has targeted 20m visitors by 2020, with growth in several sectors — such as construction and hospitality— dependent on continued increases in visitor numbers.