Dubai is an incredible city synonymous with towering skyscrapers, the best/first/largest of everything and of course lots and lots of sparkly things from cars to houses to desserts.
And it doesn’t stop there. The Arabic spelling of Dubai is also quite versatile – so much so, it’s been used quite cleverly in a number of logos for a variety of events and purposes. I’ve picked these out because of the sheer genius of it all – taking Arabic letters and very neatly adjusting them to form a unique identity. I can read Arabic so this makes the appreciation so much greater but even if you’re not able to read Arabic, I hope this list helps you appreciate these logos even more.
Here’s Dubai in Arabic:
(Image sourced from Under Consideration)
Here’s some clever Dubai logos:
Update: 10 May 2021
This is the logo for DXB Live, an experiential agency part of the Dubai World Trade Centre. It’s very clever working with the letters DXB and blending the Arabic letters for Dubai blend in. It’s very abstract but quite clever. I like it.
The official calendar for events in Dubai, this website is an absolute necessity if you want to keep up with what’s happening in town. The logo is very clever because on the outset it might look like squiggly lines but hidden within this spaghetti design is the word “Dubai” – specifically the colours orange, dark red and green.
This one is a personal favourite because they’ve done an exceptional job of creating a dual-language logo by blending in the Arabic spelling of Dubai with the English spelling. This logo is now everywhere, including number plates, buses, taxis and just about anywhere you can think of – as part of a major re-branding of Dubai. Some people have had mixed reactions to the colour choices and use of gradients but it doesn’t take away from the very smart thinking of the designers behind this logo because even non-Arabic speakers know which parts of the logo are in Arabic.
Part of the #happydubai campaign, this logo probably inspired the Dubai Comedy Festival – it’s a whimsical design that reinforces the concept of being happy by turning ‘Dubai’ in Arabic into a smile. Very happy with that effort!
This is a new one because this is the first year of the Dubai Comedy Festival and it’s cute, clever and effective. The logo uses a smiling/laughing mouth as a central piece and it’s been tweaked to spell Dubai in Arabic too – with the ‘D’ part of Dubai in Arabic forming a crease at the side of the mouth. It’s certainly been inspired by the Happy Dubai logo. Love it!
This logo is from a campaign launched in 2005 at Arabian Travel Market. It’s a very simple yet highly effective logo because the Arabic spelling of Dubai has been smartly edited and placed to form the shape of a heart which is in keeping with the theme of the campaign.
Now this logo doesn’t use Arabic at all but I thought it was a very clever logo which capitalised on the airport code for Dubai International Airport which is DXB. The logo is for the Dubai Tour of 2014 and clearly spells out “dxb” in the shape of a cyclist on a bike. It reminds me of the logo for the London Symphony Orchestra where LSO has been tweaked to look like a conductor:
This blog post about clever usage of Arabic text in logos for Dubai has got me interested in reviewing city branding – and how cities use branding to promote themselves and their culture in unique, creative ways. I’ll be posting more once I find some great examples but for now, kudos to designers behind these Dubai logos.