SEO Expert Dubai

If you’re aiming to capitalize on business opportunities and enhance your online presence in Dubai through improved search engine visibility, this SEO-friendly guide is tailor-made for you.  While there are commonalities in SEO practices across various cities globally, this comprehensive guide delves into the specific aspects of SEO in Dubai. It offers valuable insights for both DIY marketers and those seeking a better understanding of the competitive online search landscape in this city.

Increasing SEO Awareness

Dubai stands out with its significantly high level of SEO awareness compared to other cities in the Middle East. This can be attributed to multiple factors. Firstly, Dubai hosts a considerable Indian tech community, and since SEO enjoys popularity in India, this has contributed to raising awareness about SEO in the region. Additionally, Dubai serves as a prominent tech hub in the area, with specific zones dedicated solely to internet-related activities. However, despite the overall awareness of SEO, there remains a prevalent misconception surrounding best practices and the distinction between black hat (unethical) and white hat (Google-approved) SEO techniques.

Before attempting to rank in Dubai, there are several factors to consider

Before delving into strategies for achieving high search engine rankings in Dubai, it is important to assess the feasibility of such efforts. Consider the following factors to determine if optimizing your website for improved rankings in Dubai is worthwhile:

  1. The size and relevance of your target audience in Dubai
  2. Sufficient market demand in Dubai that justifies investing in SEO
  3. The capability to offer and deliver your products or services effectively in Dubai
  4. An existing presence in Dubai or the means to establish one
  5. A commitment to long-term investment in SEO, as tangible results require time and patience, without overnight success.

Search Engines in Dubai

In Dubai, Google holds the dominant position as the primary search engine. Yahoo and Bing, collectively, account for less than 3% of the overall search market. Consequently, marketers in Dubai should prioritize optimizing their content for Google initially. However, considering Bing’s incorporation of ChatGPT in 2023, there is a possibility of its market share expanding in the coming years. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to consider optimizing for Yahoo and Bing in the future, if it aligns with your overall strategy.

Language of Search Queries

Given Dubai’s status as a multilingual city, Google recognizes the significance of providing its search engine in multiple languages.


In light of Dubai’s status as a prominent Middle Eastern hub with a substantial Arab population, it is evident that Arabic holds significant importance for search purposes. While Emiratis constitute a small portion of the population, Dubai is also home to numerous Arab individuals and families from various Arab nations. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of Arabs visit Dubai annually from neighbouring countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Since Arabic serves as the native language for these demographics, marketers seeking true effectiveness in Dubai must develop proficiency in Arabic SEO.


Considering Dubai’s multicultural nature, English emerges as the predominant language spoken within the city’s limits. It serves as a common trade language that facilitates effective communication among the diverse nationalities residing in Dubai. Moreover, English holds the status of being one of the official languages of Dubai and is extensively used in advertising across the emirate. When targeting expatriates living in Dubai, prioritizing English in your SEO endeavors is likely the most logical choice. Additionally, English is the most commonly utilized language among tourists visiting Dubai. Therefore, if your aim is to target tourists exploring Dubai, incorporating English into your SEO strategy becomes essential.



While Dubai is an Arab city, it is worth noting that the largest ethnic population in Dubai originates from India. To effectively target this significant expatriate population, it is advisable to consider optimizing your website in Hindi, in addition to English. However, the necessity of offering Hindi depends on the nature of your product or service. Many affluent Indians proficiently speak English and conduct business primarily in that language. On the other hand, individuals who predominantly use the internet in Hindi are often less likely to belong to the affluent or upper-middle-class segments. They are more likely to be migrant workers engaged in low-paying occupations such as construction or manual labor. Nevertheless, to fully leverage the marketing opportunities that Dubai presents, it is worthwhile to target Hindi speakers due to their substantial presence in the population and their collective purchasing power


Dubai, located just across the Gulf from Iran, has a significant population of Persians due to its proximity to the Farsi-speaking country. Moreover, Persians have played a pivotal role in the development of modern Dubai, contributing significantly to its growth. Many Persians hold key positions in businesses throughout the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai, and maintain their influence within the local business community. While many of these individuals are accustomed to conducting business in English or Arabic, Farsi remains their native language. Therefore, optimizing your website for the Farsi language can be worthwhile if you aim to effectively reach and engage with this particular segment of the population.


Urdu, akin to Hindi, is spoken by a significant number of Indian and Pakistani residents in Dubai. Although the Urdu-speaking population may be smaller compared to Hindi speakers, it remains a crucial language for many of the reasons previously mentioned for Hindi. When targeting Urdu speakers in Dubai, it is important to consider that the majority of Urdu speakers are Muslims, which may necessitate adapting your messaging accordingly in certain cases.

Fundamentals for achieving high rankings in Google within Dubai

  1. Keyword research
  2. Allocating keywords to their respective pages
  3. Utilize your desired keywords within the title, URL, and Meta description for optimal impact
  4. Content
  5. Links relevant to the local Dubai area
  6. Enhancing the user experience for visitors from Dubai
  • Keyword research

In order to achieve successful SEO results in Dubai, conducting thorough keyword research serves as the foundation for your efforts. Utilize tools such as the Google Keyword Planner and other paid tools to gain insights into how potential customers search for your products and services specifically within Dubai. It is crucial not to assume that the same keywords used in other cities or countries will be effective in Dubai, as each market possesses its own unique characteristics. Given Dubai’s multicultural environment, it is likely that potential customers employ a diverse range of search queries related to your industry. Consequently, it is beneficial to target a wide variety of keywords relevant to your industry to capture traffic from different demographic segments in Dubai.

Invest significant time and effort into meticulous keyword research, as it plays a vital role in the success of your SEO endeavors. Properly executed keyword research will significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your SEO efforts, while selecting incorrect keywords can yield subpar results. If you are focusing on local keywords, consider incorporating keyword modifiers to align with how people search locally. For instance, you may include phrases like “restaurants in Dubai” or “Dubai dentist”.

Once you have identified the most suitable keywords for your website, the next step involves determining how to optimize various pages of your website to target those keywords effectively.

  •  Allocating keywords to their respective pages

Once your keyword research is done, the next step is to strategically assign your list of keywords to specific pages on your website. You can start by identifying existing pages on your site that align with a group of 3 to 5 related keywords. In some cases, you may need to create new pages tailored to target specific keywords that have emerged from your keyword research. This process ensures that each page of your website is optimized effectively for relevant keywords, maximizing their potential impact on search engine rankings.

  • Utilize your desired keywords within the title, URL, and Meta description for optimal impact

To ensure SEO friendliness, incorporate the designated keywords into the page’s title, URL, and Meta description. Considering your focus on Dubai, it is advisable to include the city name alongside relevant keywords in the page title. Additionally, if you are targeting a specific area within Dubai, it would be beneficial to include that information in the title as well

  • Content

High-quality content plays a vital role in achieving SEO results. For effective indexing by Google, it is crucial that your website’s content contains relevant keywords and their variations. Keep in mind that search engines cannot perceive content embedded in images, videos, or design elements. Therefore, they heavily rely on textual content to assess its relevance to specific subjects or search queries.

While it’s important not to excessively use target keywords, modern search engines are adept at recognizing their usage even in limited instances. Employing synonyms and related words alongside your target keywords can help Google clearly understand the focus of your pages and website. As a general guideline, aim to have approximately 20% more content on your pages compared to other websites in your industry.

Remember that your content serves not only search engines but also your website visitors. Thus, make it engaging, interesting, and worthy of their time. Strive to provide value through your content by highlighting key features and benefits of your products or services. If your objective is to encourage specific actions from visitors, such as making a purchase or signing up, incorporate compelling calls to action that guide them towards your desired goals.

  • Links relevant to the local Dubai area

acquiring links from websites based in Dubai serves as a strong indicator of your website’s relevance to the local area. Fortunately, in numerous industries, finding opportunities to obtain such links from other Dubai websites is relatively achievable. Consider the following examples of valuable link sources:

1. Local business clubs relevant to your industry.
2. Dubai event websites.
3. Niche directories specific to the Dubai region.
4. Dubai resource pages.
5. Community pages focusing on Dubai.
6. Partner websites.
7. Vendor websites associated with Dubai.
8. Websites related to local contests taking place in Dubai.
9. Dubai job posting platforms.
10. And various other potential sources.

By actively pursuing links from these types of websites, you can strengthen your website’s local SEO relevance in Dubai.

  • Enhancing the user experience for visitors from Dubai

The user experience, often overlooked in SEO, holds significant influence over your website’s rankings. While a site may initially reach the top position for target keywords on Google, its rankings can decline rapidly if the user experience is subpar. Even if other SEO factors are well-optimized, a negative user experience can hinder your ability to maintain a high ranking. Essentially, when visitors arrive at your website and fail to find what they’re seeking, they quickly bounce back to the search results. This signals to Google that your site lacks relevance for that particular search query, potentially leading to lower rankings as other websites surpass yours.

Therefore, it is crucial to consider not only technical SEO elements but also the design, user experience, and overall professionalism of your website to effectively engage potential customers from Dubai.

International Targeting for Dubai

In general, we have observed that websites in the Dubai region often opt for a .ae domain, given its association with Gulf business. While this indicates to Google that the website primarily targets the local audience residing in the Emirates, it may also be deemed relevant to the wider GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region due to Dubai’s recognition as a hub for GCC businesses. If you decide to use a .ae domain and intend to target other GCC countries, it is advisable to either set your Google Webmaster Tools location setting to “unlisted” or employ the hreflang tag to convey this intention effectively. This ensures proper geographic targeting and enhances the website’s SEO performance.

The significance of having a .ae domain

We conducted an analysis of 10 competitive search queries in Dubai and assessed the presence of .ae websites on the first page of Google results for those queries. Our findings revealed that approximately half of the cases had no .ae websites ranking on the first page. In the remaining instances, there were typically one or two .ae websites within the top 10 search results. Only in one particular case did we observe a total of four .ae websites on the first page.

ae domain for dubai seo

Based on the above information, it appears that having a .ae domain is not exceptionally crucial for achieving high rankings across most keywords. However, it is worth noting that country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) such as .ae have shown some advantages in helping websites rank well in Google within their respective countries, assuming all other factors are equal. It is possible that due to the relatively recent introduction of this domain extension, few companies have invested in it. Nevertheless, this situation may evolve over time.

Another noteworthy observation is that in many instances, there were more .ae domains appearing in Google’s paid search results for various queries compared to the organic search results. This trend could be attributed to the fact that paid advertisers tend to have a higher level of internet savvy compared to naturally ranking websites in organic search.

Additionally, it is interesting to highlight that when Amazon entered the Middle East market and acquired, they chose to use as their primary domain for the UAE, despite not utilizing a .ae domain. A similar approach was taken by Amazon for the Saudi market with the launch of in June 2020.

In light of these findings, our recommendation from IstiZada is as follows: If your primary focus is Dubai and you are strongly motivated to achieve quick rankings, we suggest considering the purchase of a .ae domain. However, if you already have an existing website or your primary focus is not Dubai or the UAE, it may not be worthwhile at this time to invest effort in acquiring and utilizing a .ae domain.

Local Dubai Website Hosting

Local website hosting options are readily available in Dubai, offered by various providers. Dubai stands out as one of the few cities in the region with reliable servers located within its borders. Theoretically, hosting websites on local servers should contribute to improved local and regional rankings. However, since it is more common to host websites on servers located in other countries worldwide, there is currently no conclusive data to substantiate this claim specifically for Dubai.

If you are considering local hosting to enhance both SEO performance and page load speeds, we strongly recommend ensuring that your chosen hosting provider actually operates servers within the UAE, rather than being a reseller of hosting services with servers located outside the country. Notably, Amazon Web Services (AWS) now offers local hosting services in Dubai, with pricing options scalable to accommodate websites of all sizes.

Google Maps Optimization

Google Maps optimization, also known as local SEO, plays a crucial role for companies in Dubai that operate physical locations. This optimization approach revolves around several key factors that contribute to improved local rankings:

  1. Establishing a local business presence with a Google My Business page.
  2. Maintaining a consistent business name, address, and phone number (NAP) across various websites where your business is listed.
  3. Acquiring authentic reviews on Google and other reputable review platforms.
  4. Earning backlinks from high-quality websites based in Dubai.
  5. Incorporating relevant local keywords within your local listings and web pages.

While there are additional factors that can impact local rankings, the aforementioned five factors are among the most important. Due to space limitations, we cannot delve extensively into this area, but focusing on these aspects can significantly contribute to optimizing your presence on Google Maps and improving your local SEO performance.

Strategies for Creating a Local Presence Without a Physical Location

To improve your rankings in Google’s local search results in Dubai, despite being an international company, there are a few SEO-friendly strategies you can implement. Firstly, you can target local keywords on specific pages of your website or dedicate a section of your site solely to Dubai-related content. Google prioritizes locally relevant results, taking into account the authority and relevance of your website in relation to the industry you are targeting. By providing highly informative and valuable content that focuses on Dubai-related topics, you increase your chances of ranking for relevant keywords.

For instance, let’s say you want to rank for the keyword “Dubai Investments” even though you don’t have a physical presence in Dubai. However, you do offer investment opportunities related to Dubai. In this case, you could create an extensive guide highlighting the best investment opportunities in Dubai. If this content proves valuable to your target audience, you may find yourself ranking for the keyword “Dubai investments.”

Another option for businesses aiming to appear in Dubai’s local search results is to obtain a local address. Many companies starting out in Dubai utilize services like Regus or SERVCORP to acquire a virtual office address in Dubai, even if their actual presence is located elsewhere. This approach provides a local touch and can help improve your visibility in search engines for Dubai-related searches.

By implementing these SEO-friendly techniques, you can enhance your online presence in Dubai’s local search results, despite not having a physical presence in the region.

Now, let’s explore a few instances of organic local search results as seen from the perspective of an individual based in Dubai.

Example:- Optimizing Local SEO in Dubai for Dentists 

In the following section, we will assess the local SEO outcomes in Dubai for both Arabic and English languages.

In the following section, we will conduct an evaluation of the local SEO results in Dubai for both Arabic and English languages.

Let’s begin by examining the competitive field of dentistry. In the example below, we search for the keyword “Dentist in Dubai,” which is likely the primary keyword for this industry in Dubai.

The displayed results on Google showcase a 3-pack of local listings. Surprisingly, all three listings have garnered a significant number of high-quality reviews, resulting in the display of star ratings alongside them. It is noteworthy that businesses opting not to engage in SEO efforts will face intense competition in English for paid ad positions on this results page. All available ad spots on the first page of Google are occupied, indicating the high competitiveness of this keyword for PPC campaigns.

In Arabic, the results are very different…

Remarkably, the Arabic search results also feature the standard 3-pack of local listings, similar to what we observed earlier. However, upon examining the map results, we noticed a scarcity of optimized business pages in Arabic. This presents a significant opportunity for businesses capable of providing services for Arabic speakers. It is worth noting that Saudi Arabia alone attracts 1 million tourists to Dubai annually, with many of these visitors drawn to Dubai for its shopping opportunities and more relaxed regulations. Additionally, the local Arab population residing in Dubai further adds to the potential market for businesses targeting Arabic speakers.

Opportunities for Seasonal Search Engine Optimization

Seasonal opportunities are highly regarded by SEO experts as optimal periods to leverage the substantial surge in search volume associated with seasonal search queries.

In Dubai, various holidays give rise to seasonal search volume spikes for specific goods and services. Some notable occasions include:

  1. UAE National Day
  2. Commemoration Day
  3. Eid Al Adha
  4. Ramadan
  5. Eid Al Fitr

Kindly note that the dates for Muslim holidays vary each year, so it is essential to stay updated with the most recent dates

News Results in Dubai

Gaining inclusion in the news results section of follows a similar process to that of acquiring placement in news results outside of Dubai. Google has established specific guidelines for news content. However, there are a few noteworthy aspects to consider regarding Google news search results in Dubai.

Firstly, Google tends to prioritize local news websites and platforms that are popular among the local population, even if they originate from outside Dubai or the UAE. This emphasizes the significance of catering to the preferences of the Dubai audience.

Secondly, there is comparatively less competition for appearing in Google news results in Arabic compared to English. This discrepancy can be attributed to several factors, including a lack of optimization knowledge among Arabic publishers, a smaller number of Arabic publications, and instances where adherence to Google’s quality standards may be lacking.

Considering these factors, it is crucial for Arabic publishers to focus on optimizing their content and ensuring it meets Google’s quality standards to increase their chances of being featured in the news results section.

Image Search in Dubai

Optimizing image rankings in follows a similar approach to other global locations. One crucial aspect is utilizing descriptive alt texts that provide clear information about the content of the images. Additionally, the authority and relevance of your website, as well as the surrounding content related to the images, can positively impact their visibility in Google search results for various keywords.

It is worth noting that while Dubai may have certain censored images, it is important to distinguish between censorship and image ranking factors. Censorship primarily relates to content restrictions, while image ranking primarily depends on optimization and relevancy factors rather than censorship considerations.

The Influence of Social Media on SEO in Dubai

Dispelling common misconceptions, there is currently no conclusive evidence indicating a direct impact of social media on SEO, including in Dubai. However, it is important to recognize the significant indirect influence it can have. Dubai boasts some of the highest internet usage rates globally, with a large portion of the population actively engaged on various social media platforms. When your website’s content gains popularity on social media, it has the potential to be shared and discovered by other websites. This, in turn, can lead to valuable backlinks being generated, ultimately contributing to improved search engine rankings.

Opportunities for Geo-Targeting in Dubai

In addition to targeting Dubai as a whole, certain businesses can benefit from implementing a more precise geo-targeting approach to focus on specific relevant areas within Dubai. To optimize their SEO efforts for these areas, businesses should consider incorporating the area names in their website copy or obtaining an address in the targeted area to include on their website.

Here are some prominent areas in Dubai worth targeting:
1. Dubai Airport Free Zone
2. Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone
3. Dubai Healthcare City
4. Dubai International Academic City
5. Deira
6. Bur Dubai
7. Jumeira
8. Sheikh Zayed Road
9. Downtown Dubai
10. Dubai Marina and the Palm
11. Dubai Internet City
12. Dubai International Financial Centre
13. Dubai Knowledge Village
14. Dubai Media City
15. Dubai Gold and Diamond Park
16. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre
17. Dubai Silicon Oasis
18. International Media Production Zone
19. Jebel Ali Free Zone
20. Dubai World Central Business Park

As demonstrated above, Dubai offers a diverse range of areas to target. As a modern city designed to attract businesses and global attention, various thematic areas have been developed. In the following section, we provide more detailed information about a few of these significant areas that may hold relevance for your business.

Dubai Internet City: A Hub for Digital Opportunities

Dubai Internet City, home to a significant number of internet companies in Dubai, presents a prime opportunity for businesses aiming to target this dynamic sector. Notably, companies established within the Freezone enjoy tax exemption for the initial 50 years of operation and are not obliged to have a local owner. For businesses seeking to engage with other internet companies, including local branches of industry giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google, directing SEO efforts towards this district can yield favorable results.

Dubai Media City: Unleashing the Potential of Media and Communication

Dubai Media City has emerged as the central hub for media activities in the region. As a thriving free zone, it houses prominent media companies such as MBC and CNN. If your goal is to connect with the media industry in the Middle East, directing your SEO efforts towards this key location is essential. By focusing on Dubai Media City, you can effectively target and engage with the vibrant media community in the region.

Dubai Festival City: Embracing the Essence of Celebration

While Dubai Festival City may not be classified as a Freezone like other themed districts in the city, it is a bustling locale that encompasses a significant number of residences, commercial buildings, and office spaces. This vibrant area presents ample opportunities for businesses seeking to target a diverse audience base within a lively urban setting. By focusing your SEO efforts on Dubai Festival City, you can effectively connect with the community of residents, businesses, and professionals that thrive in this dynamic district.

Dubai Healthcare City: Transforming Healthcare Excellence

For websites aiming to attract traffic and target medical products, services, and content, prioritizing Dubai Healthcare City is a strategic choice. As a dedicated medical district, it was specifically designed to allure medical tourists from all over the world. Presently, this thriving hub encompasses not only hospitals but also a wide range of businesses and academic institutions relevant to the medical industry in Dubai. By directing your SEO efforts towards Dubai Healthcare City, you can tap into the vast potential and reach a highly engaged audience seeking medical expertise and resources.

It’s also worthwhile to optimize for the neighbouring emirates.

Contrary to popular belief, Dubai is not an independent country but one of several emirates within the United Arab Emirates (UAE). When strategizing your SEO efforts for Dubai, it’s essential to broaden your scope and consider targeting the other affluent emirates as well. The UAE encompasses a variety of wealthy emirates, and below is a list of these emirates:

1. Abu Dhabi
2. Sharjah
3.Ras al Khaimah
4 Ajman
5. Umm al Qaiwain
6. Fujairah
By optimizing for multiple emirates, you can maximize the effectiveness of your SEO approach in the UAE.

Trends in Dubai Search for 2022

The annual search trends report for 2022 by Google Zeitgeist revealed the top search queries in the UAE. Here are the most common searches:


  • وزارة تنمية المجتمع – (Ministry of Community Development)
  • نافس – (Emirati Talent Competitiveness program to support the economy)
  • FIFA World Cup
  • Wordle
  • Expo 2020
  • Russia Ukraine news
  • Monkeypox
  • Emirates draw
  • Earthquake today
  • Gitex

Restriction of information

In Dubai, online censorship exists, primarily targeting online platforms featuring specific religious content and inappropriate material for young audiences. Moreover, Dubai enforces laws preventing online platforms from promoting acts of public indecency.

Key Considerations Regarding Dubai SEO Companies

Despite Dubai’s prominent position in the Arab media industry, it’s important to note that many SEO agencies in Dubai primarily employ non-Arabic speakers. Typically, these agencies consist of individuals from India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, who may have limited or no understanding of Arabic and the Arab markets. Only a small number of Dubai SEO agencies have a significant presence of Arabic speakers within their teams. When seeking assistance in targeting Arab audiences in the region, it is advisable to research the agency on LinkedIn and assess the number of active Arab professionals they employ. If the count is two or less, it is likely that their ability to deliver strong UAE SEO results in Arabic will be minimal.


SEO in Dubai currently presents a relatively low level of competition. If Dubai is an important market for your business, implementing the tactics mentioned in this article should lead to improved rankings on Google. However, it’s crucial to understand that like any other marketing method, SEO requires continuous effort and time to yield substantial results. Merely testing the strategies briefly without ongoing commitment will likely produce minimal outcomes. If you lack the necessary time or expertise to execute these strategies, To attain the desired outcomes, it is recommended to consult with a proficient SEO Expert who can provide valuable expertise for optimal results.