Place branding of seaports in the Middle East

Richard Rutter (Lead Author), John Nadeau, Fiona Lettice, Ming Lim, Suwaid al Shamaisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


This paper analyses seaports’ brand personalities as a means of understanding similarities and differences of these important locations and their relationship with their host place image. Drawing upon Aaker’s (J Mark Res 34:347–356, 1997) brand personality construct, the study presents lexical analysis from the websites of nine seaports in the Middle East. Each seaport’s website is content analysed, and the brand personality is measured using Aaker’s (1997) framework and Opoku’s (Licentiate Thesis, Lulea University of Technology, ISSN, 1402-1757, 2005) dictionary of synonyms. Findings show that seaports have developed a level of isomorphism upon particular dimensions of brand image; however, the findings also show the most distinctive seaports were linking their seaport to their place brand. In particular, the findings show only the Port of Jebel Ali has a clear and distinctive brand personality and to a lesser extent the Ports of Sohar, Shahid Rajee and Khor Fakkan. The research has important management implications of branding for public diplomacy and demonstrates seaport brand positioning in relation to place branding, used to inform public communication and marketing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197–212
Number of pages16
JournalPlace Branding and Public Diplomacy
Issue number3
Early online date6 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Seaport Marketing Communications
  • Middle East Seaports
  • Seaport Brand Management
  • Seaport Branding
  • Brand Personality

Cite this