Navigating Social Media Advertising in the Dubai, UAE: Tips and Tricks for Maximum ROI

July 13, 2023
Collaborate with local influencers:

Crafting a successful social media advertising campaign is an art that requires strategic planning, creativity, and a deep understanding of the available options. At Eighty Six Media, a leading marketing agency in Abu Dhabi, we believe in the transformative power of social media advertising in driving business growth. In this blog, we will explore the diverse advertising options available on popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn in Dubai and the UAE market at large. We will dive into expert advice on targeting, ad formats, and budget optimisation, equipping you with the knowledge to create compelling campaigns that yield remarkable results.

Step 1: Lay the Foundation

  1. Determine what to sell: Identify your most valuable products or bestsellers that should take center stage in your advertising efforts.
  2. Research your audience: Understand your target audience by leveraging customer reviews, conducting keyword research, and analyzing social media hashtags related to your brand.
  3. Use a creative platform: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter offer unique opportunities to engage with customers through innovative content formats.

Step 2: Create a Campaign

  1. Define your goals: Establish clear and achievable business goals that will guide your advertising campaign, whether it’s brand awareness, social media followers, or higher SEO rankings.
  2. Identify your target audience: Gain a deep understanding of your customers’ demographics and preferences to refine your advertising and better meet their needs.
  3. Create customer personas: Develop detailed customer profiles that highlight their characteristics, enabling you to tailor your messaging effectively.
  4. Determine your budget: Assess your resources and allocate your budget strategically, taking advantage of the cost-effectiveness of social media marketing compared to traditional channels.

Step 3: Explore Advertising Options on Key Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter

1. Facebook Advertising:

  • Image and Video ads: Utilize high-quality visuals to highlight your products or services throughout the sales funnel.
  • Stories ads: Capitalize on the immersive storytelling potential of stories ads that stay visible for longer periods.
  • Carousel ads: Showcase multiple images or videos within a single ad, each with its own headline, description, and call to action.
  • Messenger ads: Engage customers through personalized ads in the Messenger app, fostering direct conversations and conversions.

2. Instagram Advertising:

  • Image and Video ads: Leverage Instagram’s visual appeal to capture attention and drive engagement.
  • Instant Experience ads: Create immersive full-screen experiences to showcase your products or services.
  • Collection ads: Present a grid-like layout of images to enhance the shopping experience.
  • Explore feed ads: Reach potential customers as they discover new content on Instagram’s Explore page.

3. LinkedIn Advertising:

  • Single Image and Video ads: Engage a professional audience with native content displayed in the LinkedIn feed.
  • Carousel ads: Tell interactive stories through swipeable series of cards or images.
  • Conversation ads: Drive professional conversations with prospects through LinkedIn Messaging.
  • Lead Gen Form ads: Collect quality leads by providing pre-filled forms or documents within the LinkedIn feed.

4. Twitter Advertising:

  • Image and Video ads: Capture users’ attention and encourage engagement with visually appealing content.
  • Carousel ads: Create a compelling narrative and drive traffic to your website or app.
  • Follower ads: Promote your account to a targeted audience, building brand awareness and acquiring new followers.
  • Twitter Amplify ads: Align your brand with premium content to reach a wider audience.

5. TikTok Advertising:

  • Image and Video ads: Capitalize on TikTok’s growing popularity and engage a younger demographic through visually compelling content.
  • In-Feed ads: Capture attention and drive engagement as ads appear in users’ For You Feed.
  • Hashtag challenges ads: Spark viral trends and cultural movements through challenges and hashtags.

6. Pinterest Advertising:

  • Standard and Video Pin ads: Showcase your products and capture users’ attention in their feeds.
  • Carousel Pin ads: Highlight multiple products or promotions within a single ad.
  • Idea Pin ads: Craft unique, multi-page spreads to tell captivating stories.
  • Pinterest Shopping ads: Enable users to tap product tags and discover more information about items.

TikTok Advertising:

Step 4: Implement Effective Advertising Tactics:

  1. Audience targeting: Refine your targeting by demographics, interests, and behaviors to reach the right audience with your ads.
  2. Promote on social media platforms: Repurpose your organic content and leverage the strengths of each platform to enhance your brand presence.
  3. Paid search and social ads: Combine paid search with social ads to maximize brand awareness and engagement among potential customers.
  4. Improve quality score: Focus on enhancing user engagement to improve your ad quality score, leading to better organic search rankings and conversions.
  5. Optimize user engagement: Continually monitor and optimize your ad content to drive higher click-through rates, lower bounce rates, and increased conversions.
  6. Ensure mobile-friendly ads: With the majority of users accessing social media on mobile devices, design ads that are visually appealing and user-friendly on smaller screens.

Step 5: Analyse your ads and enhance based on local reach and results:

Once your social media advertising campaigns are up and running, it’s essential to continuously analyse their performance and make necessary adjustments to optimise your results. Here are some key steps to help you effectively analyse your ads and enhance them based on local reach and results:

a. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs):

Identify the KPIs that align with your campaign goals and track them regularly. KPIs may include reach, impressions, engagement rate, click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, cost per acquisition (CPA), and return on ad spend (ROAS). By monitoring these metrics, you can gain valuable insights into the performance of your ads.

b. Segment data by location:

In the UAE market, it’s crucial to analyse the performance of your ads based on local reach and results. Social media platforms provide data on the geographic locations of your audience and the performance of your ads in each region. By segmenting your data by location, you can identify areas where your ads are performing well and areas that may require further optimisation.

c. Evaluate engagement metrics:

Look beyond reach and impressions and focus on engagement metrics such as likes, comments, shares, and click-throughs. These metrics indicate the level of interest and interaction generated by your ads. Analyze the engagement patterns specific to different regions within the UAE to identify any variations in audience preferences or behavior.

d. A/B testing:

Conduct A/B testing to compare different versions of your ads and identify the most effective elements. Test variables such as ad copy, visuals, call-to-action (CTA), and audience targeting. By testing and optimising your ads based on local reach and results, you can refine your campaigns to better resonate with your target audience.

e. Adapt to local preferences:

The UAE market has its own unique cultural nuances, preferences, and consumer behaviour. Take the time to understand these local factors and tailor your ads accordingly. This may involve using localised language, imagery, or cultural references that resonate with the UAE audience. By aligning your ads with local preferences, you can increase their effectiveness and drive better results.

f. Leverage user-generated content (UGC):

User-generated content can be a powerful tool for enhancing your ads’ performance. Encourage your audience in the UAE to share their experiences with your products or services on social media platforms. Highlight positive UGC in your ads to build trust, social proof, and authenticity. User-generated content that showcases local customers can also help establish a connection with the UAE audience.

g. Continuously optimize and refine:

Based on your analysis and learnings, continuously optimize your ads to improve their performance. Experiment with different ad formats, targeting options, messaging, and visuals. Monitor the impact of these changes on your KPIs and make data-driven decisions to refine and enhance your campaigns.

h. Stay updated on local trends and events:

To maximise the relevance and effectiveness of your ads in the UAE market, stay informed about local trends, events, and cultural happenings. Incorporate these insights into your ad content and messaging to resonate with the local audience. This shows that your brand is in touch with the UAE community and can help drive stronger connections with potential customers.

i. Seek feedback and insights from local customers:

Engage with your local customers in the UAE through surveys, polls, or social media interactions. Ask for their feedback on your ads and their preferences for future campaigns. By involving your audience in the decision-making process, you can gain valuable insights and enhance your ads based on their feedback.

j. Collaborate with local influencers:

Influencer marketing is a powerful strategy to leverage in the UAE market. Identify local influencers who align with your brand and target audience. Collaborating with influencers can help amplify the reach and impact of your ads. Their endorsements and authentic content can generate trust and interest among the UAE audience.

Collaborate with local influencers:

By consistently analysing your ads, optimising based on local reach and results, and adapting to the preferences and behaviour of the UAE audience, you can enhance the performance and effectiveness of your social media advertising campaigns. Remember that social media platforms provide valuable data and tools for monitoring and refining your ads, so make use of these resources to drive success in the UAE market.

Once you’ve determined your social platform and the types of ads you want to display, it’s essential to implement effective tactics that maximize your reach, engagement, and conversions. Here are several tips to get more eyes on your content and turn viewers into customers:

1. Audience Targeting:

Audience targeting is a crucial aspect of social media advertising. By zoning in on a select demographic based on age, gender, occupation, or interests, you can ensure that your ads reach the right audience. To refine your targeting:

  • Utilize keyword search: Conduct keyword research to identify popular terms and phrases related to your products or services. This will help you reach customers actively searching for what you offer.
  • Survey and interview customers: Gain insights from your existing customer base through surveys and interviews. Understand their preferences, pain points, and motivations to tailor your messaging effectively.
  • Create customer personas: Develop detailed customer profiles that encompass demographic information, preferences, and behaviours. These personas will guide your ad targeting strategy, enabling you to reach your ideal customers accurately.

Remember, audience targeting doesn’t stop at new and potential customers. It’s also crucial to retarget existing customers. By doing so, you can remind them of your brand, products, or services, fostering loyalty and encouraging repeat purchases. Retargeting is often more cost-effective than advertising to potential customers.

2. Promote on Social Media Platforms:

To maximize the impact of your social media advertising, it’s essential to enhance your overall social media strategy. Promote and repurpose your organic content across social media channels to support your advertising campaigns. This approach helps you tell your brand story consistently and makes your brand stand out from competitors. Here’s how you can optimize your social media presence:

  • Develop engaging content: Create high-quality, relevant, and engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Use a mix of images, videos, and compelling captions to captivate your followers.
  • Encourage user-generated content (UGC): Encourage your customers to share their experiences with your products or services by creating dedicated hashtags or running UGC campaigns. UGC serves as social proof and builds trust among potential customers.
  • Interact with your audience: Actively engage with your followers by responding to comments, messages, and mentions. This interaction fosters a sense of community and builds stronger connections with your audience.
  • Collaborate with influencers: Partner with influencers who align with your brand values and have a significant following. Their endorsement can amplify your reach and generate interest in your offerings.

3. Paid Search and Social Ads:

Combining paid search with social ads can be a powerful strategy to target both customers who are already familiar with your brand and those who are not. Here’s how you can integrate paid search and social ads:

  • Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA): Utilize RLSA to tailor your pay-per-click (PPC) search ads based on users’ previous interactions with your website. By targeting users who have visited your online store or specific pages, you can present highly relevant ads and increase the likelihood of conversions.
  • Build brand awareness with social ads: Begin your advertising journey with social ads to build brand awareness and familiarity with potential customers. By exposing them to your brand and messaging through social media platforms, you pave the way for more successful PPC campaigns.
  • Drive conversions with PPC ads: Once users have become acquainted with your brand through social ads, they’ll feel more comfortable and inclined to click on your PPC ads. Focus your PPC campaigns on driving conversions by presenting compelling offers, clear calls to action, and a seamless user experience.

4. Improve Quality Score:

Quality score is a crucial ranking metric used by search engines to evaluate the quality and relevance of your keywords and PPC ads. A higher quality score leads to better ad rankings, more impressions, and lower costs per engagement. To improve your quality score:

  • Post organically on social advertising platforms: Regularly share organic content on your social media channels and track engagement metrics. This helps you identify the content that resonates most with your audience and can inform your paid advertising strategy.
  • Optimize ads for engagement: Craft compelling ad copy, choose attention-grabbing visuals, and incorporate clear calls to action. A strong focus on user engagement metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, and conversion rate can improve your quality score and drive better organic search rankings.

5. Mobile-Friendly Ads are a Must:

With the majority of social media users accessing platforms via mobile devices, it’s crucial to ensure that your ads are optimized for mobile use. Consider the following tips for mobile-friendly ads:

  • Adapting to mobile screens: Ensure that your ads physically fit and display properly on mobile screens. Test your ads across various devices and screen sizes to guarantee a seamless user experience.
  • Legible branding and text: Use legible fonts, clear branding, and concise messaging to ensure that your ad’s content is easily readable on smaller screens.
  • Eye-catching graphics: Incorporate visually appealing graphics and images that catch users’ attention, even when scrolling through a mobile feed.
  • Interactive elements: Incorporate interactive features such as swipe-able galleries, polls, or interactive videos to enhance user engagement and capture interest.

Now, the question may arise: Is paid advertising even necessary for businesses in Dubai, UAE? We’ve often had clients come to us with the question of whether paid advertising is necessary for their business. It’s understandable that some businesses may be hesitant to fully trust social media platforms. However, we firmly believe that paid advertising on social media is a crucial element for driving business success. In this article, we will delve deeper into the reasons why trusting social media and investing in paid advertising can be a game-changer for your business.

A) Unleash the Reach Potential:

Social media platforms have an unparalleled reach, with billions of active users worldwide. By harnessing the power of paid advertising, businesses can tap into this vast audience and extend their reach beyond organic content. Paid ads allow you to connect with potential customers who may not have discovered your brand through other means. With precise targeting options, you can ensure that your ads are shown to the right people at the right time, maximising the chances of conversion.

B) Targeted Advertising for Enhanced Relevance:

Paid social media advertising enables businesses to precisely target their desired audience. You can define specific parameters such as demographics, interests, behaviours, and even location to ensure that your ads reach the most relevant individuals. This level of targeting ensures that your advertising budget is efficiently utilised and minimises the risk of your ads being shown to irrelevant audiences. By reaching the right people with your message, you increase the likelihood of capturing their interest and driving conversions.

C) Cost-Effective Marketing:

One common misconception about paid advertising is that it is expensive. However, social media platforms offer a range of budgeting options, allowing businesses of all sizes to allocate their advertising spend effectively. With the ability to set daily or lifetime budgets, you have full control over your ad spend and can optimise it based on your business goals. Furthermore, social media advertising is generally more cost-effective compared to traditional forms of marketing, such as print or television ads. You can reach a larger audience at a fraction of the cost, making it a cost-efficient choice for businesses looking to maximise their return on investment.

D) Measurable Results and Insights:

One of the key advantages of social media advertising is the ability to track and measure the performance of your campaigns in real-time. Social media platforms provide detailed analytics and reporting tools that give you insights into key metrics such as reach, impressions, engagement, click-through rates, and conversions. This data allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your ads and make data-driven decisions to optimise your campaigns. By constantly monitoring and analysing the results, you can refine your targeting, messaging, and creative elements to achieve better outcomes.

E) Enhanced Brand Visibility and Awareness:

Paid advertising on social media platforms can significantly boost your brand’s visibility and increase awareness among your target audience. Consistent exposure to your brand through strategically placed ads helps create a sense of familiarity and trust. When potential customers repeatedly see your brand and its messaging, they are more likely to recognise and remember you when the need for your product or service arises. This increased brand visibility can ultimately lead to higher brand recall and customer loyalty.

F) Increased Engagement and Customer Interaction:

Social media platforms offer various ad formats that encourage engagement and interaction from users. From interactive polls and quizzes to immersive video experiences, these ad formats capture the attention of your audience and encourage them to actively participate. By creating engaging ads, you can foster a stronger connection with your target audience, elicit valuable feedback, and build a community around your brand. This level of engagement goes beyond traditional advertising methods and allows for meaningful interactions that can lead to increased conversions and customer loyalty.

G) Retargeting and Re-marketing Opportunities:

Social media advertising provides powerful retargeting and re-marketing capabilities. By placing a tracking pixel on your website, you can create custom audiences of users who have previously interacted with your brand. This allows you to serve tailored ads to individuals who have shown interest in your products or services, reminding them of their initial engagement and encouraging them to take the desired action. Retargeting campaigns often have higher conversion rates as they focus on re-engaging with warm leads who are already familiar with your brand.

H) Keeping Pace with Consumer behaviour:

Consumer behaviour has evolved significantly in recent years, with a significant shift towards digital channels and social media platforms. By investing in paid social media advertising, you ensure that your business stays relevant and visible in the places where your target audience spends their time. Neglecting social media advertising means potentially missing out on valuable opportunities to connect with your audience and losing ground to competitors who are actively engaging with them through these channels.

What Makes A good social media ad?

A good social media ad has several elements that make it effective. First and foremost, it needs to be visually appealing. In the fast-paced world of social media, attention spans are short, so it’s crucial to capture the viewer’s attention with an eye-catching image or video. The ad should use high-quality visuals that are relevant to the product or service being advertised.

In addition to being visually appealing, a good social media ad should have a clear message. It should convey a specific message or offer in a concise and easily understandable way. The ad should communicate the key benefits or features of the product or service, so that viewers know exactly what they can expect.

Another important aspect of a good social media ad is a strong call to action. The call to action is what encourages viewers to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or visiting a website. It should be clear and compelling, so that viewers feel motivated to act immediately.

Targeting is also crucial in social media advertising. A good social media ad should be relevant to the target audience. Understanding the demographic and interests of the audience is essential in creating an ad that resonates with them. By tailoring the ad to the specific needs and interests of the audience, it’s more likely to capture their attention and convert them into customers.

Language is another important factor in creating a good social media ad. The language used should be concise and impactful, while still being relatable to the target audience. It’s important to use words and phrases that speak directly to the pain points or desires of the audience, so that they feel a personal connection with the ad.

What kind of social media ads are audiences in Dubai, UAE attracted to?

To determine the kind of social media ads that audiences in Dubai, UAE are attracted to, we need to look at several factors including demographics, psychographics, and cultural nuances. While there are variations in preferences and interests based on individual factors, we can identify some common trends based on the available data.


Dubai is a highly diverse city with a large expat population. According to the World Population Review, the UAE has a population of 9.9 million, with approximately 89% of the population being expatriates. The city is dominated by Millennials, making up the largest demographic group, followed by Generation Z and Generation X.


Psychographics refer to the personality, values, interests, attitudes, and lifestyles of individuals. Understanding psychographics is essential to developing social media ads that resonate with the audience. Based on the available data, here are some psychographic factors that may influence the preferences of social media users in Dubai:


Dubai is known for its luxury lifestyle and high-end shopping, making luxury brands a popular choice among consumers. Social media ads promoting luxury goods and services, such as designer clothing, jewelry, and premium cars, may appeal to consumers in Dubai, especially those who follow high-end lifestyles.

In summary, audiences in Dubai, UAE, are attracted to social media ads that reflect their psychographics and cultural predispositions. Closely understanding demographics, psychographics, and cultural nuances are essential to developing social media campaigns that resonate well with audiences in Dubai. The above considerations are a good starting point but companies should continually analyze data, test and optimize social media strategies to ensure they engage with the right audiences.

Cultural Nuances

Travel enthusiasts: Dubai is a hub for global tourism, with millions of tourists visiting the city every year. Social media ads that promote travel-related products and services, such as airline tickets, hotel stays, and adventure activities, are likely to catch the attention of travel enthusiasts in Dubai.

Tech-savvy: Dubai is an innovative city, embracing a range of new technologies and digital advancements. Social media ads related to technology, such as smartphones, electronics, and gaming consoles may pique the interest of tech-savvy audiences.

Food lovers: Dubai is a melting pot of cultures, and its cuisine reflects this diversity. Food and beverage-related social media ads, such as restaurant promotions, subscription meal boxes, and cooking classes may attract food lovers looking to explore the city’s culinary offerings.

Localisation: Companies advertising in Dubai should make an effort to adopt a local perspective when developing advertisements. This includes leveraging local landmarks, customs and traditions to resonate with audiences and demonstrate an understanding of local culture.

Multilingualism: In Dubai, English is the primary language of business, but Arabic is the official language. Advertisements should be tailored to a multilingual audience, with messaging that is clear and easily understood by speakers of both languages.

Family orientation: Family values are central to Emirati culture, and advertisements that promote family-oriented products and services such as education, family entertainment, and home decor may be more successful in capturing audience attention.

Fitness enthusiasts: With the focus on wellness and fitness, social media ads related to this industry may also attract audiences in Dubai. Such ads may promote gym memberships, workout equipment, yoga classes, and healthy food options.

Conservative values: While Dubai is known for its luxurious and modern lifestyle, traditional and conservative values are still highly respected. Advertisements should not be too provocative or offensive in terms of content, especially given the local laws regarding morality.

Dubai is a city with its own unique culture, influenced by Islamic tradition and Western lifestyle. Companies conducting business in Dubai,UAW should be aware of the cultural nuances that may influence the preferences of audiences.

In summary, a good social media ad is visually appealing, has a clear message, and includes a strong call to action. It should be relevant to the target audience and use language that resonates with them. By testing and optimising the ad, it’s possible to create an effective advertising campaign that reaches the intended audience and achieves the desired outcomes.

Lastly, to help you navigate through paid social media advertising in Dubai, UAE, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest advertising trends. Here are five key trends you should know about:

1. Video Dominance:

Video content continues to dominate the social media landscape and is a powerful tool for capturing audience attention. With the rise of platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, short-form video content has become increasingly popular. Incorporating video ads into your social media advertising strategy can help you engage your audience effectively and deliver your brand message in a visually compelling and engaging manner. Whether it’s creating eye-catching product demonstrations, behind-the-scenes footage, or storytelling narratives, video ads have the potential to make a lasting impact on your target audience in Dubai, UAE.

2. Influencer Marketing:

Influencer marketing has gained significant traction in recent years and remains a prominent trend in social media advertising. In Dubai, UAE, where influencers play a crucial role in shaping consumer preferences, collaborating with local influencers can help boost brand awareness and credibility. Influencers have established loyal followings and can effectively promote your products or services to their engaged audience. By running ads on influencer-generated content, you can leverage their influence to drive awareness, engagement, and conversions.

3. Personalisation and Customisation:

Consumers in Dubai, UAE, value personalised experiences and expect brands to cater to their specific needs and preferences. Tailoring your ads to resonate with the local audience can significantly impact the success of your campaigns. Personalisation can involve using localised language, culturally relevant visuals, and addressing specific pain points or desires of your target audience. Additionally, leveraging dynamic ad formats that adapt to individual user behaviour and preferences can enhance the effectiveness of your social media ads. By delivering personalised and customised content, you can create a deeper connection with your audience and increase the likelihood of conversion.

4. Social Commerce:

Social media platforms are increasingly becoming integrated with e-commerce functionalities, giving rise to the concept of social commerce. In Dubai, UAE, where online shopping is prevalent, social commerce presents an excellent opportunity for businesses to drive sales directly through social media platforms. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest offer features such as shoppable posts, product tagging, and in-app checkout options. By optimising your social media ads for conversions and seamless shopping experiences, you can capitalise on the growing trend of social commerce and drive direct sales from your ads.

5. Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences:

Augmented Reality (AR) has transformed the way users interact with social media platforms, offering immersive and interactive experiences. Brands are leveraging AR to provide virtual try-on experiences, product visualisations, and interactive storytelling. In Dubai, UAE, where innovation and technology are highly valued, integrating AR elements into your social media ads can capture the attention of your audience and create memorable experiences. By allowing users to engage with your products or services in a virtual environment, you can enhance brand engagement, increase interest, and drive conversions.


Social media advertising presents an unparalleled opportunity to connect with your target audience, build brand awareness, and drive conversions in the Dubai, UAE market. By strategically leveraging the advertising options on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others, you can unlock the true potential of social media to propel your business to new heights. Remember, at Eighty Six Media, we are here to guide you on this exciting journey, helping you craft creative and effective social media advertising campaigns that deliver exceptional results. Embrace the power of social media advertising, experiment with different platforms and formats, and witness the transformation of your business in the dynamic landscape of Dubai, UAE.


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