Internet ad spend on the increase in MENA

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 29-09-2011

The Middle East and North Africa is one of the fastest growing regions for digital advertising, although it still currently accounts for just 2% of the total regional advertising spend, according to Yahoo! Maktoob.
"In the Arab world, the bulk of the advertising spend goes to print and television, with only about two per cent of advertising dollars being spent online," said Ahmed Nassef, vice president and managing director, Yahoo! Maktoob, at Abu Dhabi's Internet Show.

However, although the total regional advertising market has stayed flat or even declined this year, he says online spending is on the rise.
"We're seeing the digital space continuing to grow. We're probably looking at anywhere between a 10 and 15% growth in digital advertising spend in 2011. We hope that it will be more than that," he is quoted as saying by The National.
Speaking at the Internet Show, Nassaf said the UAE is leading the growth in internet advertising spend in the Middle East. He added that globally, year on year growth on digital spending is between 25 and 30%.
"We believe that the more we as an industry work together and invest in establishing greater understanding about the tools and the technologies, the more investment will shift online," he added.
"The regional market is also in a development stage, with online data still not fully standardised or widely shared. This is not much different from where some European markets were only a few years back. Establishing industry standards is key to the growth and success of this medium, and requires a collaborative effort from brands, agencies, media owners, and publishers alike," urged Nassaf.
Yahoo! Maktoob claims to now host over 500 million users across the Arab world.