Arabic Magazine Advertising

Arabic magazines both in print and online have continued to pop up over the past 2 decades throughout the Middle East. In this article we will discuss various aspects of Arabic magazine advertising in the MENA region.


Though there are many publications native to the Arab World, a large number of publishers from outside the Middle East have started to produce local versions of their magazines in Arabic. Some examples of print magazines that are following this trend with local Arabic versions include:

  • Good House Keeping
  • Forbes
  • Entrepreneur
  • Good Health
  • Wedding
  • Marie Claire
  • Newsweek
  • And many others

What’s different about Arabic Magazines?

In general Arabic magazines tend to be less text heavy, have fewer pages, and in many cases have fewer advertisements than their English versions. Many print magazines in big cities like Dubai are free or have a minimal cost to increase the circulation pool. Magazine subscription rates are relatively low compared to the rest of the world but given the fact that many large publishing houses have Arabic divisions it is clear the Arab market is still a lucrative one.


Publication locations of popular magazines in Arabic

There are Arabic publications in most major cities throughout the Arab world but when it comes to magazines that are popular throughout the Middle East there are typically 3 main locations they come from:

  • Dubai Magazines
  • Saudi Arabia Magazines
  • Magazines from Lebanon

Of course there are magazines from other areas in the Middle East it just happens to be that these are the most popular.


Arabic Magazine Formats

Magazines from the region can typically be found in the 3 different formats print magazines, digital website magazines, and PDF magazines.


Advertising Rates in Arabic Magazines

Advertising Rates in Arabic Magazines vary significantly based on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include:

  • The type of publication (business, health, women’s interest, etc.)
  • The circulation & readership of the magazine
  • The brand recognition of the publication in the region
  • The total number of ad spots in the magazine
  • Current demand for print ad-space in the region (demand spikes around seasons like Ramadan)
  • The location of the ad in the publication
  • Size of the ad in the publication
  • Time remaining before the publication is published again

Some of the Rates you might see in print publications in the Middle East

Below you will see a range of prices you might see for a variety of ad formats in the various publications that are focused on the GCC.

  • Strip Ad – $800 -$3,000
  • Full page ad – $1,500 – $7,000
  • Half page ad – $1,000-$4,000
  • Back cover ad – $7,000 – $14,000
  • Inside cover ad $6,000 – $12,500
  • Inside cover ad spread $9,000 – $22,000


Negotiating advertising rates

Most magazines and other publications have rates that are negotiable. Expect that the rate card rate can be negotiated by at least 10-15% and in some cases much more. The key to getting the best rates on advertising is having multiple publications to choose from and having lots of time to negotiate. You may not always get your top pick publication but you can usually save a bundle by getting publications to bid against each other.


Typical Timelines for Getting Ads Published in the Arabic Magazines

Timelines will vary from publication to publication across the Arab World. Given that it is common for there to be delays in certain countries due to holidays, employees being absent or differing priorities, getting your advertising agreement finalized and your ads submitted as early as possible is a good policy. Below are some common deadlines:

  • Agreement to advertise: 15th of month prior to publication.
  • Material: 20th of month prior to publication.
  • Cancellation: 16th of month prior to publication.


Types of magazines that are popular

In general there are about 6 popular genres of magazines in the Arab world. They are as follows:

  • Women’s interest (Fashion, Beauty, Cooking, etc.)
  • Business
  • Health
  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Automotive


Common traits of Advertising in Middle East Magazines

Common traits of Magazines in the Arab World would be that it is common to find a large percentage of the content that is not original but was translated from the original English article.  Due to a lack of strict compliance with copyright laws it is also common to find very little citation of sources in Arabic publications. That said this is not the case with all publications, it just tends to be more common when a publication has an Arabic and an English version.


Media Companies that own many of the magazines in Arabic

There are several companies across Arab World that own a disproportionate share of the print publishing business across the Middle East.

  • Media Quest
  • Saudi Research and Publishing Company
  • ITP Publishing Group
  • MBC Group

For a full list of publishers contact us


Does Magazine Advertising Work in the Arab World?

One of the most common questions about magazine advertising in the Arab World is whether or not it is actually effective. The answer is Yes, it does work, but not for everyone. There are many factors that go into the success of a magazine ad campaign including the ad messaging, the publication the ad is shown in, the cost of the ad, the position of the ad, and the time of year, in addition other factors. If any of these elements of a campaign is poorly executed it could lead to the failure of the entire campaign. The fact is that people wouldn’t continue advertising in magazines if it didn’t work. The challenge with magazine advertising compared to online marketing is you can’t track your campaign and figure out which aspects are successful and which aspects aren’t.



Arabic magazine advertising can be an effective medium if your campaigns are executed well and your ads show up in a great location in a publication with enough readership. That said we find that for most advertisers magazine advertising is not where they should start. For companies to be more successful with their marketing efforts in the region it makes more sense to start with an online advertising medium like Facebook advertising or Google Adwords advertising that will allow them quickly test with a small ad budget which messaging and audience will be most attracted to their offer. Once an advertiser has had some success online and has learned better who their audience is and the Arabic messaging that appeals to them most effectively, then they can consider print magazine advertising.


If you’re looking for help with marketing to Arabic speakers please contact us today so we can discuss how we can help with your specific situation.

Jordan Boshers

Jordan Boshers is the Chief Digital Strategist at IstiZada, a digital agency that helps companies market to Arabs. He has 10+ years of experience running successful digital marketing campaigns in the Arab world. His insights into Arabic SEO helped him grow previously unknown websites to dominate Arabic niches on Google including growing one site from 0 to more than 1 million users monthly. Jordan has consulted for hundreds of companies including helping corporations like Amazon, Berlitz, and Exxon Mobil with their Arabic digital marketing. Learn more here or on LinkedIn.