The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Google recently announced the launch of the ‘Get Dubai Businesses Online’ programme, dedicated to help local businesses get more easily discovered on the web, by listing and verifying their business information (company’s opening hours, contact number and location) on Google Search and Maps through a unique solution called Google My Business.
New and existing members of the Dubai Chamber can receive assistance in getting their business listing by visiting the website or a dedicated booth at the Chamber’s headquarters in Deira. Businesses will also be able to instantly convert their listing into a free mobile-friendly website in English and Arabic.
Online search has become an essential part of people’s daily lives in the UAE. According to a new research by Ipsos, one in three searches in the UAE are about locations of local businesses; 95% of mobile users first turn to Google search (and 88% on Google Maps) for information regarding their purchase. Additionally, purchasers who see complete listings for businesses on Google Search and Maps are 20% more likely to say the business is reliable, well-established and offers quality products and services. According to another research by Alpha Beta, people who visit digital maps looking for business information have an 82% purchase conversion rate.
“We are excited to launch this game-changing programme with Google which will help our members realise the value and benefits of building and managing their digital presence. It has become apparent that consumers are increasingly turning to online channels to access information, products and services, which is why it is absolutely crucial that businesses of all sizes invest in this area and leverage the right tools to boost their online reach,” says Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of Dubai Chamber.
Buamim is optimistic about the programme’s outcome after the results of the pilot conducted in 2017 – that took into consideration the challenges of business owners such as limited advertising budgets and basic understanding of how to reach their customers online – exceeded the Chamber’s expectations, adding that the project will promote smarter practices among businesses in Dubai and open the door to new growth opportunities in the UAE and beyond.
“We’re very pleased to partner with the Dubai Chamber to help put businesses in Dubai on the map. As more people in the UAE are looking for information online, businesses need to move fast to meet their customers and show up in the moments that matter. Now is the time to experiment and to use the digital tools out there to help make businesses smarter, and to measure results. This is just the beginning. We plan to roll out the same programme with local partners across the region,” adds Lino Cattaruzzi, managing director for Google in MENA.
The launch event was held at the Dubai Chamber’s headquarters, and brought together business owners in Dubai, media and representatives from Google and Dubai Chamber. During the event, owners and founders of businesses like 800flower, Re-Urban Studio, Gravity Gym and The Healthy Home discussed the value of online presence.
Google executives demonstrated the features of Google My Business, a free tool that allows business owners to publish their business listings on Google Search and Maps, receive customer insights and create free and instant mobile-friendly websites. Across the UAE, tens of thousands of Arabic and English websites have been created over the past six months using Google My Business.