May 26, 2021


General, News



Posted on: Wednesday 26 May 2021 | IAB GCC
Updated on: Thursday 28 March 2024 | IAB MENA

Established in May 2019, The Interactive Advertising Bureau MENA (IAB MENA) is the regional voice and thought leader of the region’s interactive marketing and advertising industry, committed to building a sustainable future for digital advertising.

We are the only trade association exclusively dedicated to the development and promotion of the digital marketing and advertising sector in the region.

As a not-for-profit association, IAB MENA represents the region’s most respected media agencies, publishers, tech platforms and measurement companies. Our members come from a diverse range of stakeholders in the rapidly growing digital marketing and advertising sector in the MENA region, and include numerous small and medium sized enterprises.

We promote industry collaboration among our members to develop standards, best practices, critical research and providing the educational resources businesses need to grow their brands both successfully and sustainably.

If you’re interested in becoming a member visit www.iabmena.com/membership



2023 marked our busiest year to date at IAB MENA. Our membership continued to grow with a 13% increase year-over-year. Task force participation rose to over 135 people representing 65 different companies. We conducted more webinars, more events and released more content than in any previous year.

The year kicked off with an event in January supporting the UN Women Empowerment Principles, resulting in many of our members signing up for the WEP’s, a framework for companies to implement effective DEI strategies.

On a steady release schedule through the year, the seven task forces delivered a series of whitepapers guides and videos on topics such as DOOH, CTV, Attribution and Mixed Reality, complemented by webinars, events and podcasts. To house this new content, our website was enhanced to feature a Knowledge Centre which with the addition of certifications, online training and company profiles, becoming a hub for anyone looking for MENA Digital insights and information. To bring daily life in digital to life, 15 of our young stars across the membership recorded a “Day in the Life” video series, which highlights their job functions, challenges and provides advice, in their own words, to inspire those interested in a career in digital advertising.

Of course, building on previous years, our annual Adspend Survey was our most detailed yet, and attracted record crowds at its release in June 2023. With a market estimated at $5,5B, it was again one of the largest and the fastest growing markets in EMEA.


The year started with the launch of Programmatic Insights Survey across the MENA region to gain an understanding of the scale of the programmatically bought media market, as well as gain deeper insights into the attitudes and criteria that inform decisions relating to suppliers, operational setup and future investments.

The, now-annual, Digital Adspend Study pegged the MENA market at $4,6B around 25% larger than the previous year, and was expanded to include more detailed breakdowns.

With the new board elected in April, the Committees and taskforces were revamped and updated to reflect the changing needs of the industry, with a focus on providing insights on newly developing channels and on supporting and developing the region’s talent.

A highlight from the Taskforces was the from the Channel and Ecosystem Taskforce focused on CTV who produced a number of useful guides into the Current state of the CTV market in MENA including a landscape, and a list of the key players who are active as of November 2022.  They supported this with a well attended regional webinar, the first industry-wide initiative looking at the CTV market. 

The biggest highlight of the year, was the transition from IAB GCC to IAB MENA.  To better reflect the market structure and provide a more holistic support for the region, we began the rebranding in December ready for a January kickoff to relaunch our efforts with a clear MENA remit and mandate.


The region’s first cross-industry Digital Adspend Survey is launched, pegging the digital market at $3,6 billion in 2020 and uncovering a number of key insights.

The IAB partnered with the Advertising Business Group (ABG) to launch a diversity survey as part of a global initiative and then again to support the launch of TAG (Trustworthy Accountability Group) certifications in MENA, helping to reduce adfraud risk.

Furthering the aims of supporting a diverse workforce, we committed to 5 key gender diversity principles for our Board, operations, and subcommittees.

MENAVOICES monthly video series is launched showcasing the views of MENA’s digital talent on a range of topics.


A new board is appointed representing a cross section of Industry players from Media Agencies, Publishers and Technology platforms. Soon after, a Business Planning and Governance Committee alongside six committees and a series of member sub-committees are launched. The Board appoints an acting Executive Director and an Operations Director to accelerate the Association’s activities and commits to a Diversity target of at least 20% of Board members being female. The IAB GCC reaches a milestone of 40 members including an Advertiser for the first time, despite the pressures of the Global Covid-19 pandemic.


The IAB GCC is officially launched after receiving the go head from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and the Dubai Association Centre to operate as a non-profit industry association.  The Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association with various governance modules are created. The first research project measuring the video streaming market in KSA and UAE is conducted in collaboration with IAB globally.


The first IAB GCC branded industry event is held to discuss the value of a potential industry funded Adex Study measuring the digital marketing industry in the region for the first time.


A collection of digital industry leaders meet to discuss the formation of an industry body to represent the digital industry in MENA.  After numerous previous attempts were thwarted due to regulatory and other challenges, the industry is determined to make it happen.  An interim board is appointed with 7 companies stepping up to prepare the legal framework, liaise with regulators, establish a business plan to obtain a licence to operate and to begin gaining industry support to join as members.

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