The UAE Advertising Market is probably the hub for the Middle East. With Dubai Media City in place, the UAE has realised that, in order to promote the FDI, and enable foreign companies to transact, slick advertising and opportunities to do so must exist. Despite this, the prominence amongst the press dominates, with press related activities holding three quarters of the total $1 billion spent annually. With another 15% spent on magazines, 90% is on print related activities. Other freezone related areas such as studio city and the media production zones look to capitalise on this strong position and perhaps diversify the market somewhat.
The market appears to be dominated by a few niches. Electronics feature prominently, and it is not surprising that Nokia is the number one advertising spender in the UAE. In addition, the automobile market is huge with the UAE's want to quality cars, especially with no clear public transport system yet available. However, three of the biggest spenders are local property related companies, or that contain property related elements. Dubai Holding, Emaar and Nakheel have obviously spent heavily, but with good rewards to create the market awareness for the transformation and availability of property. Although you would expect Emirates to feature, the brand recognition is high and it has sought to tackle the global market with huge expenditure on football, with sponsorship in the English premiership league as well as the FIFA World Cup.
The TV market is a difficult one, because viewership is Pan-Arab. And advertising that caters to this really targets the Saudi market due to the high population. There a large amount of channels, both Arabic and English and the market is a disparate one. Online looks to increase as penetration levels increase, but again, the market does not necessarily focus on just one country with its global aspect, though companies such as AMEInfo have done well to grab large amount of spend due to its heavy readership.
The prominence of print will remain until 2015, but should diversify somewhat, as the market looks to provide targeted propositions.