The UAE will be the only GCC country to record a drop in advertising revenues this year, according to the Pan Arab Research Centre.
Advertising revenues in UAE down 2.7%
The UAE will be the only GCC country to record a drop in advertising revenues this year, according to the Pan Arab Research Centre (PARC).
In the first 11 months of the year, advertising spending in the UAE declined 2.7 per cent compared with the same period last year. The total GCC and pan-Arab region spend rose 25.4 per cent in the same period.
Other GCC markets experienced gains of between 7.7 per cent and 37.2 per cent compared with the same period last year, PARC said.
Elie Jichi, the production and operation manager at PARC, said that while the figures did not take this month into account, he expected them to be representative of the entire year.
"Advertising spending has decreased by almost 3 per cent in the UAE. I think it will remain at that level in December," Mr Jichi said.
Markets such as Saudi Arabia had not been affected "too much" by the advertising downturn, he said.
Newspaper and TV advertising in the UAE, down by 4.4 per cent and 18.3 per cent, respectively, accounted for the bulk of the losses suffered by the country's media, PARC said.
But a rival media monitoring agency, Ipsos MediaCT, said newspapers were the only area of regional media to experience a decline in advertising revenue so far this year.
"There has been an increase in all of the markets in the region. Only newspapers in the UAE saw a decline," said Elie Aoun, the managing director for the MENA region at Ipsos MediaCT.
Abdulrahman Awadh al Harthi, the director of the Abu Dhabi Radio Network, said there was a "5 per cent" shrinkage in total spending on UAE radio advertising this year. But he expects growth next year.
"Our expectation for 2011 is that there will be an improvement of around 8 per cent in the radio market share," said Mr al Harthi. "The market is recovering now."
The Abu Dhabi Radio Network is part of the Abu Dhabi Media Company, which owns and publishes The National.
Mr al Harthi also said radio was the only medium to benefit during the downturn last year, because of its lower advertising rates. He pointed to the opportunity in digital forms of radio such as streaming and mobile applications. "It's another source of revenue that we are thinking of," he said.
Roller coaster ride for media, b7