Previous Winners
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Latifa AbuShibs
University: Higher Colleges of Technology - Sharjah
Country: UAE

Building a marketing strategy that creates synergy among the traditional and digital marketing platforms is essential in forming the audience’s proper understanding of the real purpose of DSS. I suggest that advertising in print, television, radio, cinema and outdoor will help in creating awareness around DSS being a fun family festival while social media and direct activation in schools and malls will allow people to interact with DSS as a brand.

Rasheed Al Otibi
University: King Saud University
Country: KSA

To attract tourists, I suggest that we collaborate with travel agencies in various cities, asking them to create affordable tour packages tailor-made for DSS. These should include discounts on hotels and airfare. In addition to that, it is essential that partnerships are formed with restaurants around Dubai so that visitors can avail dining vouchers and discounts. Furthermore, since this is the 18th edition of DSS, we can host a promotion in collaboration with popular city restaurants to give away 18 group vouchers by way of prizes. The photos and videos from these dining promotions can be used as testament to the fun and celebration, thereby attracting more tourists to take part in DSS in the following years.

Othman Al Haroun
University: Australian College of Kuwait
Country: Kuwait

Kind deeds go a long way, and these acts stay in the hearts and minds of people. If DSS could bring CSR campaigns to Kuwait such as organizing a charity drive in one of the city’s most popular shopping malls, then the festival would not only earn greater admiration but also gain positive buzzwords on social media through word-of-mouth marketing. CSR projects and initiatives of this nature would even further Modhesh from being a symbol of fun and happiness to also becoming the symbol of giving.

Nadia Soussi
University: Mediterranean School of Business
Country: Tunisia

As Chief Marketing Officer for Dubai Summer Surprises, I would run online and digital marketing campaigns focused mainly on the following platforms: Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Facebook, and Twitter. This will essentially involve a shift from the reliance on traditional marketing strategies to a more modern way of promoting our events and establishing our presence online. I will pay special attention to SEO strategies and generating Google ads to appear on top websites. Moreover, using Google Analytics, I will be able to measure the return on investment and arrange the settings to target specific geographic audiences.

Tahani Al-Malki
University: Modern College of Business and Science
Country: Oman

As Chief Marketing Officer for DSS, I would like to organize a DSS talent show competition. With the ‘Oman Talent Show’, we will find unique talent to represent Oman in DSS. We will give the participating audience various branded DSS marketing materials like t-shirts and cupcakes. In addition to the talent show, we can also do short video advertisements to be shown alongside popular movie trailers in cinema houses.

Dua’a Issa Al-Sahoury
University: University of Jordan
Country: Jordan

Since we are living in an era where people are using technology for almost everything, I recommend that we focus our marketing strategies on social media, web, and technology. My idea for an effective marketing technique will concentrate on building a DSS mobile application suitable for all kinds of mobile platforms. This mobile app will allow users to access information about DSS including its calendar of events, pictures and videos as well as a maps feature making it easier for people to access locations. Also, an online messaging function where people can easily ask questions about various aspects of the event will be incorporated in the app.

Amal Bouguerch
University: Al Akhawayn University
Country: Morocco

I would work closely with my marketing team to create awareness about DSS with the aim of building brand recognition. For this, we would collaborate with previous DSS Apprentice Program winners to act as ambassadors and help create awareness about the summer festival in their own cities. Also, we’ll focus on children as their power can be a major factor in convincing parents to be part of DSS. We will set up photo booths in popular shopping malls and parks where children can take pictures with the Modhesh mascot, and parents can share these on social media for a chance to win an all-inclusive trip to Dubai.

Nour Al-Gondi
University: American University of Libya
Country: Libya

Providing fun and entertainment to children is an essential element of DSS. To be able to attract families to visit Dubai during the summer festival, we will incorporate Modhesh in various media campaigns which will take the form of outdoor and transit advertisements that countless families would see. Also, we will collaborate with schools in educating children about the educational and entertaining events available to them during DSS. Running 10 different sets of weekly activities throughout DSS would help create further interaction with children.

Saud Al Doseri
University: Bahrain Polytechnic University
Country: Bahrain

Positive feedback is key to a successful event. To provide a distinctive local flavor to our public relations efforts and generate positive feedback, we should seek to highlight talented local musical and entertainment acts in the UAE by organizing concerts, open mic sessions, movie screenings, and cosplays. This way, local talents will gain exposure and have a platform from which to take the next step towards achieving their dreams. Another channel to promote the festival would be digital marketing and the utilization of social media platforms.

Bassel Abdallah
University: American University of Beirut
Country: Lebanon

As the Chief Marketing Officer for DSS, I would suggest some changes to the current positioning and promotional strategy of the festival to include more competitions and events targeted at the student community as well as the population at large. Local schools, in collaboration with DSS, should send out student team representatives for various competitions which will encourage schools to more proactively participate in the festival. Also, the UAE is gradually evolving to become a regional football hub well equipped with modern facilities and resources, so organizing football tournaments among various groups will add more fun and excitement to the event. Running social media competitions in the lead up to the festival would also be beneficial since social media represents an excellent platform for interacting with DSS’ target market.

Tala Tawasha
University: Birzeit University
Country: Palestine

As Chief Marketing Officer, I would set up ‘Future Makers Station’ at popular shopping malls. This would be a replica of a village where students are taught about the different careers available to them. The station will be manned by trained personnel who will assist the children in simulation exercises as well as experienced career professionals who can guide them on possible future careers. Also, different activities will be arranged for children to understand and experience the adult world and its various roles and responsibilities, like gardening and shopping for groceries. The idea is to exploit the potential of role-play as a tool that guides children to discover themselves and the world around them. This real-world experience will help mold children and assist their growth and development.

Maryam Al Kubaisi
University: Stenden University
Country: Qatar

In my marketing strategy, it is essential to study and understand the target market of DSS. Based on travel trends and patterns, I observe that the local market in Qatar in general has a taste for new and modern attractions but also has strong connection with culture and traditions. Moreover, the market in Qatar is cosmopolitan where multiple nationalities work and live. Because of this, I propose to run video advertising that presents how families can enjoy DSS. I would also offer affordable weekend packages for Qatari residents and locals to experience DSS even on short getaways.

Ninette Hassaballah
University: Misr International University
Country: Egypt

Dubai is a perfect backdrop for a dreamland. Transforming the city’s breathtaking tourist spots into an open carnival, and turning its entertainment centers into veritable festive zones will help DSS take the annual event to a higher level. Exploiting judiciously the possibilities offered by television and social media advertisements, on the one hand, can be an effective way to promote the event to other regions. At the same time, to attract tourists to Dubai during DSS, we must focus on creating more entertainment attractions, such as new theme parks, as well as arrange for local and international celebrity appearances

Abubakr Mohamedian
University: Sudan International University
Country: Sudan

Cultural activities are proven ways to attract tourists’ attention, and are an essential means to engage potential visitors in distant cities. Here in Sudan, we can use our traditional coffee of ‘Gabana’ as a medium to promote DSS and build a meaningful cultural connection with the local population. This can be done through partnering with restaurants and coffee shops that offer ‘Gabana’ to present marketing collaterals including coffee cards inscribed with the words ‘Modhesh paid for your drink today’. To establish a stronger connection, Modhesh will be sporting a traditional costume or symbol of the country. People are more likely to respond positively to a gift than unsolicited promotional material. This is not only an original and compelling way to attract the audience’s attention, it also communicates the idea that DSS connects to other cultures, as exemplified by Sudan’s ‘Gabana moment’.

Mahmood Jaff
University: American University of Iraq
Country: Iraq

DSS should implement thoughtful social media and marketing campaigns to advertise the event. First, we should collaborate with well-known social media personalities such as celebrities, bloggers, and influencers for they already have a large social media network. Along with the DSS marketing team, we would monitor and manage hashtags, groups, pages, and events on social media. We will also collaborate with event ambassadors in various towns and cities to promote the event using the most effective way of marketing depending on the culture of the place.

Mohammed Matouk
University: Arab International University
Country: Syria

As Chief Marketing Officer, my focus will be on enhancing the scope of kid-friendly activities and attractions during DSS. Towards this end, my team will have well-known international cartoon mascots oaming the malls together with ‘Modhesh’. In addition, DSS can host competitions for children and give out free tickets to Dubai as a grand prize. We will also partner with prominent Syrian businesses and entities to give presentations on DSS and the various activities it encompasses, besides running special promotions that offer discounts and free hotel reservations in Dubai during the DSS season.

Alaa Barahim
University: Lebanese International University
Country: Yemen

“In my marketing strategy, I will focus on improving beyond what has been practiced. In order to gain ahead of the competition, I believe that there is always a need to evolve. One of the ways to do this is to elevate the brand image of Modhesh on a global scale. I will create a video advertisement that I would show in inflight entertainment of leading airlines, thus ensuring that a massive international audience would understand DSS and its underlying message. I will also exhibit cultural attractions by creating weekly events in the shopping malls where Modhesh would dress up in costumes like the traditional wear or a chef uniform.”

Fu Man Nga (Miki)
University: Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Country: China

As Chief Marketing Officer for DSS, I plan to promote DSS in such a way that it will draw people’s attention and attract them to visit Dubai for the event. First, an effective DSS promotional video will be created and displayed on the DSS website, so visitors from Hong Kong and Mainland China could get a clear picture of what really happens at the celebration. Next, I will invite local travel agencies to design affordable travel packages that focus on DSS events. Also, I will utilize the power of social media as a marketing tool to promote the event and enhance interaction with local residents in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Ilona Dotsenko
University: Saint-Petersburg State University
Country: Russia

There is a need for DSS to create a brand image that would attract global target audiences. My focus will be to create a truly unique brand positioning that would help make the festival more appealing to Russian families with children who seek to spend their summertime learning and trying something new. In view of this, I would recommend activities that broadly appeal to Russian audiences – revolving around themes such as extreme sports, animals, food, and fashion. In addition, I will employ an integrated marketing communication strategy that would complement our aim of reaching out to this target market.

Vishal Keswani
University: Symbiosis International University
Country: India

I believe that the character of Modhesh plays an extremely essential part in the success of DSS. The fun summer mascot appeals to the general public, cutting across age, gender, culture and nationality. In India, I am certain that setting up Modhesh figures in strategic locations such as popular shopping malls would increase people’s awareness on DSS. In addition to educating the people in India about DSS through Modhesh, it is also important to enlighten them about Dubai’s history, culture and lifestyle as well as the DSS calendar of events.