The Arab consumer is unique and needs to be treated differently than consumers in other parts of the world. Below we will examine some of the consumer behavior, traits, characteristics and demographics of a Middle Eastern Arab consumer that set them apart from consumers in other parts of the world. It should be noted that many of these points are broad generalizations with the intent to help inform businesses looking to operate in the region on how they can better reach their target audience. Since these are broad generalizations about Arab consumers there will always be exceptions to these traits that defy the norm.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Situated on the Persian Gulf, next to the Gulf of Oman, the city of Dubai is a renowned global city whose importance to the global economy is almost unparalleled. Because of its strategic position, actively-diversifying economy, and excellent trade relations and prestige, Dubai is an excellent location for any businesses looking to expand or invest, especially into Middle Eastern, North African, and Central and South Asian markets, or anyone looking to do business in the Middle East region.
When seeking to target any region of the world online it is a good idea to have an understanding of which regional search engines you need to target. This is no different when targeting countries in the Middle East. Unlike many other regions in the world the Middle East does not have an alternative to Google that dominates the region. Despite this there are some important observations to make about Middle East Search Engines that we will go into more detail about here.
According to the Northwest University Qatar estimates in their Media Industries in the Middle East 2016, the total ad market in the Middle East was valued at 5.5 billion USD in 2015. While it only accounts for a small percentage of global ad spend in 2015, the market in the Middle East is ripe with opportunities for marketers to expand their advertising. Though the current market structure differs greatly from that of the global market, or even other underdeveloped markets, the MENA region is seeing a gradual shift into the modern era of digital marketing, an area especially pertinent to the region’s 141 million internet users.