Tim Hortons in the UAE: And I thought you advertised heavily in Canada

Look, I have been one of the loudest proponents of the Gulf expansion. Why wouldn't I want one of the most constant and comforting aspects of my life back in Canada here with me in Abu Dhabi? But then I saw this:
















Okay, it's a little hard to tell from the picture I snapped on my Blackberry while travelling down Sheikh Zayed Road toward Dubai before Christmas, but each of the three billboards that can be seen here on either side of the road are ads for Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake shop. They were among a series lining the highway. A quiet, deserted highly, lined with the same giant ad everywhere you looked. Then, to our right we saw a giant Tim Hortons warehouse, just as a Tim Hortons truck overtook us to our right.

Spoooooky.

Can this kind of wallpapering of billboards be an effective advertising tool? They were not even helpful billboards. At least the ones in Canada tell you where you can find the next Tim Hortons.

Comments

LOWELL said…
haha, i too noticed this.and it did not end there. a whole building near Financial Cnter Metro station is covered up with its ad as well.
donsteve said…
my dear is it true that your thought about this?because i have the same feeling with you :)
Anonymous said…
Is there nothing else interesting going on in the U.A.E????
Anonymous said…
No, there is nothing else interesting going on in the UAE, and the author of this blog is not interesting and the section she "edits" is boring and the paper she "works" for is not interesting and her colleagues are mostly boring. Tim Hortons sucks, sucks sucks, as do most Canadians. Boring. Read the piece the author of this blog wrote several weeks ago in the National about food delivery. It was bland and lacking in nutrition, just like the National.
Anonymous said…
I can't find a phonenumber to any of the Tim Horton cafe's here in Dubai? I need for the one on Sheikh Zayed Road., thank u, Jen,
Anonymous said…
Look....Tim Hortons was founded many decades ago in Canada by a hockey player...how iconic can you get for a Canadian establishment. I'm a 5th generation Canadian and was practically raised on Tim Hortons (might explain why I am still vibrating). Tim Hortons is the corporate version of a cult figure or folk hero for Canada. Like it or hate it, it has become a Canadian symbol of prosperity and supporter of the working class. Tim Hortons in the UAE is not Tim Hortons. It is Apparel Group. They saw a business opportunity and so did Tim Hortons franchisers to reap the dirham in mass amounts. Just like everything else in Dubai, too fast, too soon. I think, in some way, Tim Hortons in the UAE is trying to catch up, in a short time, with Tim Hortons in Canada that has taken TH in Canada decades to achieve. I won't go into service or quality of product compared to its Canadian cousin...but the fact that TH in UAE has none of the passion for being a Canadian icon that TH in Canada has sincere affection for. It's Apparel Group serving the coffee and running the marketing. It's fine that they see a business opportunity and its here for a little bit of familiarity for Canucks but don't mistake it for a true Tim Hortons. It's a cash cow with a familiar name.

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