The GCC chapter of the Interactive Advertising Bureau released for a second consecutive year an estimate of the size of the Digital Adspend Market for the MENA region.

Posted on: Thursday 16 June 2022 | IAB GCC

MENA Digital Advertising spend reached $4,58B in 2021, nearly a full $1B increase on the previous year according to the IAB GCC who released the results of the study on 16th June. This reflects an increase of 25.9% over the 2020 investments for the region.

Following on from the inaugural 2020 study, this report included more detailed breakdowns and regional granularity highlighting the growth areas for the first time:

  • Social grew to account for as much as 62% of display investment, due to a 38% growth rate v non-social of 11%;
  • Video continues to account for more than the European average and now accounts for close to 50% of total investment in MENA having grown 33% YoY;
  • GCC investment dominates with 86% of the MENA total, with UAE and KSA accounting for an estimated 72.4%;
  • 37% of Digital investment was estimated to be through networked agencies.


Commenting on the results, Ian Manning, IAB GCC CEO said: ‘This year we had a significant increase in the number of companies taking part in the process and therefore we are able to provide a much more detailed and accurate picture of the market which benefits everyone. It’s great to see there is growth in excess of 25% in our market and I believe there is more available, just consider the investment per capita comparisons or the low investment in other channels, such as Audio, CTV, DOOH.”      

As in last year’s inaugural study, the methodology included a mix of actual spends, collaborative estimates, mathematical modeling and comparative benchmarks to reach agreed figures and growth rates.   

Rayan Karaky, Chairman of the IAB GCC Board highlighted the importance of industry participation. “Our commitment to provide the market with more granular and more accurate data is unwavering; we’ve adjusted a lot of the reporting data based on the market feedback from last year but I would like to stress the importance for all the players in our industry to lean into this initiative so we can all have a common understanding of the market and bring in a lot more detail & transparency to anyone who operates or wishes to operate in our region.”

Michel Malkoun, Vice-Chair of the IAB added the role these insights play in sound business decisions. “Insights like these are invaluable in making sound business decisions, so as the IAB we aim to bring more insights transparently to the market, to help raise the tide for the whole digital industry.  To do this we need even wider industry participation, across GCC, North Africa and Levant”

The full report can be downloaded for free below.

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