x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Four years on, DIFC ticker springs back to life

The new LED screen – which at 96 metres long and 1.3 metres high - is the longest outdoor digital sign in the Middle East.

The stock ticker in front of DIFC Gate in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National
The stock ticker in front of DIFC Gate in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Four years after being turned off in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the giant electronic ticker outside the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is back.

The new LED screen – which at 96 metres long and 1.3 metres high is the longest outdoor digital sign in the Middle East – was resurrected at 9.15am on April 8 at the start of the bell-ringing ceremony for the Emirates Reit IPO – the first share sale on the Nasdaq Dubai for five years.

The screen will report the share price for companies listed on the Nasdaq Dubai and will be updated continuously throughout the day’s trading session. Advertisers will also be able to put their messages on the ticker.

Dubai-based Elevision Media, which owns the massive screen, had until now focused on installing video screens showing tailor-made adverts in residential towers and other public spaces in Dubai, including the DIFC.

“We’ve been a partner of the DIFC for about two years,” said Niall Sallam, who founded Elevision Media with his brother and two other partners in July 2011. “About eight months ago some of the people in the communications department said they planned to bring the ticker back to life and, as their media partner, they would like us to do it. We jumped on it.”

The previous screen was turned off in March 2008 after Lumidiem, the company that provided the display, went out of business.

Elevision now has 335 screens in 76 towers across Dubai. The company has signed contracts for 15 other towers and is in talks for 60 more. It also plans to install its first screens in buildings in Abu Dhabi later this year.

Mr Sallam said providing outdoor screens may represent a new line of business for the company.

“Outdoor media takes home about 15 per cent of total marketing budgets in the UAE, but is dominated by static displays,” he said. “However the industry is now shifting and we are seeing a far greater opportunity through digital signage by creating more value through a customised and inventive solution that is adaptable, targeted and effective.”

lgutcher@thenational.ae