The 3rd Emirati Women’s Day took place on August 28th, and offered a glimpse into the country’s dedication to recognizing and encouraging women’s contributions in the UAE. And it also offered savvy retailers, who monitor social sentiment, an opportunity to enhance brand awareness with these tweeting change makers. It was a successful day for both efforts all around.

Encouraging Emirati Women

Advanced by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, encouraging Emirati women is a key strategic initiative.  “The strategic vision of the state is to implement policies and programmes for women, as part of the national agenda to give importance to women’s education.” And that makes a lot of sense, as women account for nearly half of the UAE’s population, and they’ve increasingly lobbied for – and achieved – expanded legal protections in recent years.

Since 2015, the UAE Gender Balance Council, which was created at a government summit that year in Dubai, has been hard at work along with the ‘National Strategy for the Empowerment and Entrepreneurship of Women in the UAE 2015-2021’ “to provide a guiding framework for all government, federal and local institutions and civil society organisations, to develop plans and programmes to help Emirati women to be more capable and proactive.”

They share some promising stats:

  • Lana Zaki Nusseibeh is the permanent representative of the state to the United Nations.
  • There are seven women ambassadors and consuls in Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Milan, Kosovo, Hong Kong and the Republic of Montenegro
  • Emirati women occupy 66% of government jobs, including 30 percent of senior decision-making positions and 15 percent of specialised academic posts.
  • There are 23,000 businesswomen working in the local and global market and running projects worth over AED50 billion.
  • 5% of the UAE’s banking workforce are female

So, there’s certainly quite a bit to be proud of – and there’s no question about the sentiment around it, with Net Sentiment (a measure of positivity or negativity, from -100 to 100), coming in at a solid 100%:

The #achievements from ‘exemplary women’ that the UAE are celebrating are many.

And beyond those who get Vogue profiles and attention throughout the year, including a filmmaker, painter, jiu-jitsu fighter, figure skater and a science prodigy, among other notables, there are many every day women recognized as part of this #EmiratiWomensDay effort, and it’s where the heart of the matter – and the smart marketing – lives.

Marketing That Matters

Though lots of retailers and employers took advantage of a smart opportunity to promote themselves, they kept sight of key inspirational and congratulatory messaging.

Many, like The Image Nation Abu Dhabi Team, took care to promote their support, while focusing on the Emirati women who make their company great, sharing the many positive attributes these women offer: strong, responsible, proud, ambitious, persistent, pioneers that make up 60% of its workforce:

And even those offering straight sales through their imagery, were sure to offer words of encouragement, pride and empowerment. Why? They understand what their audience values – and why.

The wording may seem like an obvious choice, even a simple choice maybe, particularly to one accustomed to interacting and participating online. Speaking specifically and authentically to your target audience may seem like second nature to you, but is it for your CEO or whomever is able to cause a PR nightmare with the click of a tweet?


Hence the dangers of trend-jacking.


Imagine if these retailers were international, saw a “women’s day” trending on Twitter and decided to participate in that sweet action with some tweets that went all-in, offering content that could be considered shocking – and likely offensive – to the very people it aimed to support? A women’s day in the U.S. and its #MeToo movement would feel very different from what was intended in the UAE, for example.

And Kenneth Cole’s Cairo tweet is the example that keeps on giving in that arena – and offers a sobering warning to those tempted to interact ahead of fully exploring the social sentiment that makes sense for a particular part of the world.

And part of that understanding involves taking the pulse of your promotions and realizing that just because an event is over, it doesn’t mean everything around it immediately stops – at least it shouldn’t. Certainly not online!

Capture Lingering Sentiment for the Win

Keeping the good feelings going for at least a few days is easy – and offers good vibes that most brands miss out on. Although the day (and corresponding spike in mentions) happened on August 28th, four days later we were still seeing a decent amount of traffic and impressions – and the sentiment is still solid as well:

@Adib_bank was able to keep its momentum going by offering a contest and tagging winners.

And that seems to be a recurring theme, as we see sentiment holding strong even as late as September 5th, with Natural Living UAE announcing gift basket winners in conjunction with its partnership with the Abu Dhabi Department of Education as part of the Emirates Women’s Day:

Social listening gives retailers insight around preparing ahead of a relevant event and important, real-time reporting to keep that momentum going when possible and make the most of a winning situation long after other contenders have left the building.

And it’s those timely tweets, those personal touches after the buzz has died down, that can transform a successful promotion from a one-day event into a meaningful connection. And one that will keep your brand top-of-mind not only for its product or services, but for its humanity. That’s a bit of brand awareness any business should strive for.

Wondering how to make the most of your next marketing effort? We’d love to demo some possibilities for you! Reach out!



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