The UAE has seen the biggest fall in ad spend in the Middle East region, according to first-quarter figures revealed today by the Pan-Arab Research Centre.
Ad spend in the emirates dropped by 14 per cent from $416 million to $356 million, said PARC. It is the first time the UAE has suffered a decline, after several years of successive growth.
It comes as no big surprise that the sharpest cuts were in the real estate sector, which fell 60 per cent, and the financial services sector, which fell 46 per cent.
Other countries that witnessed cutbacks were Egypt and Bahrain, with 10 per cent and 9 per cent drops respectively.
However, the region as a whole saw an 11 per cent rise, buoyed by significant increases in Lebanon and Qatar.
Across the region as a whole, the biggest advertiser was Saudi Telecom, whose spending rose from $21 million to $24.6 million. Completing the top five were Etisalat, Head & Shoulders, Toyota and Dabur.
Some of the biggest rises on last year were in the telecoms sector, with Du, Vodafone, Q-tel and Mobily all spending significantly more than last year.