The country's advertising spend grew by 24 per cent last year compared with 2009, according to the Pan Arab Research Center. Ali Jaber, the dean of the Mohammed bin Rashid School for Communications at the American University of Dubai, says the north African country has the strongest growth potential of all the Arab media markets. "I think there was a tipping point in the Egyptian market, which has a huge population base, especially in TV - the connection of almost every home to satellite TV created substantial viewership," he says. "I think Egypt has started to come out of its shell, and it will be contagious in helping [the] Maghreb countries to grow their media industries."
Saudi Arabia is the most populous GCC country but it attracts smaller ad spending than the UAE. Alain Khouri, the group chairman and chief executive of the advertising agency Impact BBDO, says Saudi Arabia has the strongest growth potential this year. "People closed the valves completely for the past year or so, and they weren't spending. But I see that changing."
Qatar's success in winning the bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 could boost its local media market, says Mr Jaber. "I believe that once Qatar kick-starts its plans for the 2022 World Cup, we will start seeing some activity there, which will spread throughout the Arab market."
* compiled by Ben Flanagan