Digital Signage in MENA

New Opportunities in East, North and West

Many market participants solely focus on the United Arab Emirates as the sole market in the Gulf region. Dubai is definitely the hub and the most prominent market for digital signage. But MENA markets beyond the UAE offer exciting opportunities and large domestic demand. An overview of the region.
Future Projects drive demand (Photo: invidis)
Future Projects drive demand (Photo: invidis)

Dubai remains the Hub for the Gulf Region. The majority of all relevant marketing and digital signage experts are located in the UAE, followed by Saudi Arabia. Comparable small markets are the reming four GCC countries Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. With the exception of UAE – all GCC countries are keeping a close eye on infrastructure investments since oil prices have halved in the past 18 months.

Two large markets will be back in the spotlight from 2016: The Arab republic of Egypt is hoping to get back on track with huge infrastructure projects and new retail investments.The Egyptian economy has suffered tremendously in the recent years due to the political unstable situation since the upheavals of the Arab spring. The demand for digital signage is big for infrastructure related solutions like way guiding, floor directories etc and retail and hospitality projects. Many of the new investments in Egypt come from the Gulf region.

The most exciting opportunities are in Iran. The Islamic Republic returns on the map of high potential digital signage markets. The expected lifting of sanctions by the West enable vendors to directly sell displays, media players etc to the country without fearing penalties by the US. More than 600 shopping malls are planned to be constructed in the next years, 65 alone in and around the capital Tehran. Demand for digital signage is not expected to explode in 2016, but demand is poised to grow substantially. The Korean display vendors Samsung and LG are already active in Iran and recently upgraded their showrooms to feature the latest product portfolio. It is safe bet that Iran will fast adopt digital signage standards of the Gulf region or Europe, the questions currently remains when exactly this will start.

Besides Egypt and Iran many smaller markets offer substantial size and growth. Lebanon is often underrated as the small country has suffered from the proximity to Syria and the civil war in the greater region. But mid and upscale retail as well as DooH is widely used in Beirut. Digital advertising boards along roads are everywhere to see. Unfortunately Jordan remains s niche market for digital media in outdoor as well as instore. The North Africa region is still struggling to find its new position after the Arab spring. Only solid markets remains Morocco which is only partly inspired by Arab business. Most digital signage projects in retail and advertising are connected and driven out of France.

Many other retailer and brands integrate digital touch points in shop design will be presented and discussed at the upcoming Digital Signage Summit MENA. DSS MENA 2015 takes place 16 November 2015 at the Conrad Dubai – organized by ISE and invidis.