The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the world’s richest countries due to its oil and gas reserves and great tax incentives.
The UAE’s shining star, Dubai is one of the wealthiest of the seven emirates and home to a population of world-class business leaders, entrepreneurs, and ex-pats enjoying a luxury lifestyle. It’s no surprise that the automotive industry plays a vital role in the country’s economy.
Setting up a car dealership in Dubai is guaranteed to yield exceptional results—when it’s done well of course!
In this article, we take a look at how to set up a car dealership in Dubai and provide some insightful tips about how to market your business to the right target audience.
Types of car dealers in Dubai
Most countries around the world are home to different types of car dealers. Dubai is no exception. Here’s a quick look at the different types of car dealers operating in Dubai to give you an idea of which kind you’d like to operate and the competition you’ll be facing.
Brand Specific Dealers
Brand-specific car dealers deal with specific car manufacturers. Brand-specific car dealerships are the go-to option for customers who know exactly what type of car make and model they’re interested in. You’ll present customers with a range of cars from a particular manufacturer and save them from having to shop around.
Vehicles are checked and approved by the manufacturer, so customers can be sure they’re getting the service they need. Moreover, this kind of dealership has high standards in terms of customer service and deals with new cars, so the target audience is likely to be people with high enough incomes to afford a brand new model.
Big Used Vehicles Dealership
Just like it says in the title. These dealerships deal with used cars and target a wide audience who are unsure about the car they want to buy, are looking to explore their options, and don’t want to spend huge amounts of money on a new car. They often have a huge selection of cars available and on display, so customers can browse a myriad of cheap car options.
A small and independent car dealership attracts customers looking for cheap used cars. These give you more independence over your business decisions and marketing efforts and can stock certain types of cars, cars of a certain value, or older models. Customers of this kind of dealership are more likely to have a smaller budget.
This type of car dealership is gaining traction in today’s digital world. As an increasing number of people head to search engines like Google to look for information about car dealerships, it’s essential to have an online presence.
Some car dealerships will operate solely online, allowing customers to browse through a range of cars from the comfort of their own homes.
This gives them the autonomy to compare models and prices as they please. However, customers can’t see the car in person before making a purchase decision. Therefore, it’s essential to have an online presence even if you’re operating a car dealership from a physical location in Dubai.
Checklist: How to start a car dealership in Dubai
1. Registering your company
The automotive industry in Dubai is booming. Over the years, a huge number of automotive businesses have been established in this lucrative emirate. From garage repair shops to transport services to car dealerships, the automotive industry is guaranteed to attract a wide audience. So what does it take to set up a car dealership in Dubai?
Fortunately, not much! There aren’t any special requirements to set up and run a car dealership in Dubai’s free zones. It’s always a good idea to do your research or ask a specialist service to help ensure you have all the necessary documentation and won’t run into any problems down the road.
You’ll need to have a commercial license in order to sell motor vehicles in Dubai, and register with the RTA as an authorized car dealership. It’s important to note that if you’re planning to import vehicles into the UAE you’ll need specific certifications and documents.
Once you’ve got all the right documentation sorted out you’ll need to do extensive market research and define your audience.
2. Conduct market research and defining your target audience
To be a successful car dealer in Dubai, the first thing you’ll need to do is scope out the current market and define your niche. Consumer demands are constantly shifting, so you must figure out how to fulfill them.
Consider which type of car dealership you want to open and what unique value you’ll offer potential customers. Therefore, you must stay on top of market trends and consumer demands concerning the automotive industry.
What models are in high demand? How are you going to satisfy your customers’ needs? What are car dealers in Dubai already doing and where will your dealership fit in?
Something that’ll help you to cement your business idea and goals is to define your target audience. This will help you to direct your business efforts towards meeting customer needs.
To define your target audience, you’ll need to outline buyer personas. Consider the demographics of your audience. What type of vehicles are they searching for? Are you targeting a high or low-income audience? What pain points can you help them solve? Armed with this information, you can work towards satisfying the needs of a specific target audience.
3. Market your car dealership
Once your car dealership is all set up, it’s time to start marketing it to attract customers!
You’ll want to use a mix of marketing methods to find out which works best for attracting your audience. For instance, you might consider a combination of digital and traditional marketing techniques like online advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, print advertising, TV advertising, etc.
It’s important to note that inbound is the new outbound in today’s digital consumer-driven landscape. In the next section, we take a look at some of the most effective inbound marketing strategies to market your car dealership in Dubai.
3 effective inbound marketing ideas for a car dealership in Dubai
1. Optimize your website for the user experience.
Nowadays, most people head online to find information about products and services before they buy. Consumers have so many options available to them, it no longer makes sense to walk into the first shop you see when a little research might find you a better deal!
For this reason, car dealerships need to establish an online presence to attract an online audience.
More than just having a website, your website needs to be highly optimized for the user experience. Consider the following points when optimizing your website:
- Ensure it’s mobile optimized. 52.2% of all website traffic is generated on mobile, so be sure your visitors have a great experience regardless of the device they’re using!
- Make sure it’s up to speed. No one has time to wait 5 seconds for a web page to load these days.
- Optimize for SEO. Make sure your site features relevant keywords to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs). Fill your site with great content too, which will boost organic traffic.
- Incorporate a modern design and plenty of visual elements. Make your website desirable to visit by using images and video to show your audience what you offer, rather than telling them in huge blocks of text!
- Make sure your site is useful, usable, and accessible. This means optimizing website layout, content, and including effective call-to-actions to direct them to where they need to go.
2. Create a content strategy.
Content is one of the pillars of any great inbound marketing strategy.
Develop a content marketing strategy that aligns with your brand and customer values. You should consider publishing and sharing different content that contributes to your brand voice and establishes your car dealership as an industry leader. This is your chance to provide real value to your leads and customers that they can’t get elsewhere!
You might create content that covers important industry-related topics and trends, catering to the interests and pain points of your audience. Consider the following types of content when developing your content strategy and populating your editorial calendar:
- Blog posts
- How to guides
- Case studies
- White papers
3. Get active on social media.
Social media plays a huge role in today’s modern consumer landscape. As of 2021, almost 99% of the UAE population remains active on social media—a whopping 9.84 million people! If you’re not marketing your business with social media, you’re missing out on a huge number of potential leads and customers!
To engage your target audience on social media you’ll first need to know where they spend their time. Ensure you’re active on the main platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, and Youtube.
Create informative or entertaining content that draws them in and attracts them to your brand and what you have to offer.
It’s all about sending the right message to the right audience. Think how-to videos, vehicle highlights, Q&A sessions, etc.
Encourage your audience to share the content to help you gain visibility online and use appropriate hashtags to promote your content towards a wider audience. Once you’ve set up your social media pages and gained some followers, you might consider reaching out to influencers, micro-influencers, or local brands in the Dubai area whose content reflects the lifestyle of some of the cars you sell.
Ready to start marketing your car dealership business in Dubai?
With the right marketing strategies in place, there’s no reason your car dealership business can’t succeed in a lucrative business landscape like Dubai. Implementing a combination of inbound and outbound marketing techniques can help your business to attract the right audience at the right time, increasing your chance of securing leads and building customer relationships that last.
If you’re struggling for ideas, reach out to a digital marketing agency to point you in the right direction? YourTarget can help. Take us for a test drive today! See what we did there?
Get in touch and book a free consultation with our team today!