Dubai finance body picks M&C in bid to put country on map

The government of Dubai has picked M&C Saatchi and Bell Pottinger to put the Arab state on the map as one of the world's leading financial and commercial centres.

A reported £15 million is being put behind an integrated initiative, which aims to secure Dubai's place as a major player alongside London, New York, Frankfurt and Hong Kong.

The appointment ends a six-month selection process in which shortlisted agencies were asked to pitch alongside a PR partner. Bates Worldwide and TBWA contested the business with Financial Dynamics and Gavin Anderson respectively.

The winning partnership has been briefed to raise Dubai's profile with financial institutions and investors across the world.

The pitch was conducted by the Dubai International Financial Center, a government-backed body charged with creating the environment that will allow Dubai to become the main gateway for the flow of capital between the Middle East and the international capital markets.

Geoff Rapp, the DIFC's corporate communications manager, said: "This is a very sophisticated proposition that requires a specialist understanding of the financial sector."

Michael Moszynski, the M&C Saatchi senior manager who led the successful pitch along with Bell Pottinger's Anthony Fisher, said: "The campaign will help bring prosperity not just to Dubai but to the whole region."