Moto aims to tap into Dubai’s energy

By Eliot Beer

- Last updated on GMT

Moto me-too? “If you do something away from Red Bull’s taste profile, you’ll never succeed."
Moto me-too? “If you do something away from Red Bull’s taste profile, you’ll never succeed."

Related tags: Red bull, Abu dhabi

Moto, a new Dubai-made energy drink, made its entry at Gulfood and is aiming to leverage the emirate’s growing reputation to carve out its identity in a crowded market.

The drink is owned by Sheikh Nahyan Bin Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family. Moto came into existence in 2014, and is now seeing its full market launch, according to Mohammed Awada, deputy manager of Sheikh Nahyan’s private office in Dubai.

This is our second year at Gulfood – last year we were in Hall 9, with a very small booth - six square metres. This year we decided we were going mega – we’re launching into the market, and also the region. So we have this lovely location, this lovely stand​,” said Awada, referring to the Moto stand just outside the main entrance to Dubai World Trade Centre.

Moto is now being acquired by several distributors in the region – we’ve closed Iraq, Iran, Qatar. We’re in the process of closing a couple of African countries. At Gulfood we’re signing with Malaysia, Egypt and Nigeria. So things are going very well​,” he added, saying the drink would also shortly be widely available across most UAE retail outlets.

Different, but not too different

According to Awada, Moto was keen to differentiate its product from competitors such as Red Bull, particularly in terms of the design: “When we came up with Moto, we wanted to do three things: a great-tasting product, a simple look, away from animals, fire, power, and a very short name that people can remember easily. So we came up with ‘Moto’ – it’s about your motive in life, what’s your motto in life?​”

As for the drink’s taste profile, Awada explained they stuck closely to the Red Bull taste, but without some of the negative elements such as an unpleasant aftertaste. He suggested that trying to move too far from Red Bull in terms of taste did not offer any advantage.

If you do something away from Red Bull’s taste profile, you’ll never succeed. Red Bull is number one – and we all accept that, we can’t deny it. But you have to make something which is within those parameters for people to at least link you to the energy beverage business​,” said Awada.

Making the most of Brand Dubai

dubai landscape istock

He said Moto is also hoping to capitalise on Dubai’s increasing visibility: “We’re emphasising ‘Made in Dubai’ big-time. Dubai, the UAE, is not a country, it’s a brand – it reflects quality, lifestyle, cosmopolitanism. We’re proud we’re made in Dubai. Dubai is now the centre of attraction for brands, for the lifestyle​.”

For marketing activities, Moto is trying to differentiate itself from Red Bull, but Awada admitted that as a sports or energy drink the brand needed to associate itself with sports. One initial focus area is skydiving, with Skydive Dubai coming on board as a strategic partner.

We’re trying to find sports which haven’t been taken 100% by Red Bull – one of them is the skydive, and things that evolve around skydiving. We’re trying to join things with motorsports, with skydiving, and some music festivals – we’ll be sponsoring one of the biggest DJs in the world​,” said Awada. 

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