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OOH industry snapshot: Paul Abouchacra, Arabian Outdoor

Paul Abouchacra is Chief Sales Officer – Arabian Outdoor [Partner content]

How can OOH work with other media?

By its very nature, OOH has always served as a supporting and complementary media choice, which is rarely ever employed as a stand-alone. This fact in itself has been crucial to the success of outdoor platforms, which have consistently proven to be very natural extensions. OOH has the unique ability to enhance the reach and frequency of any advertising campaign featured across TV, print, digital, etc.

In addition, OOH alone (unlike any other media type) offers the unmatched benefit of round-the-clock exposure and complete ownership of advertising space.

How is client demand changing?

Demands and requirements vary greatly from client to client in the region, but in general it would be
safe to say that when it comes to technological advancements, the region’s OOH scene still lags
far behind and is in its early infancy stage.

The primary demand is therefore still very much linked to the location of OOH signages, as opposed to the type of format (static vs. digital).

Is the definition of OOH changing?

In our part of the world, changes come at a slower pace and nothing indicates that the OOH scene will transform drastically in the very near
future. At the same time, we can all see that a transformation will arrive in the future, as both outdoor technology and the market begin to embrace digital. Once this occurs, I believe we will see new ways and means of strategising, planning and employing OOH, across the board.

Where are the biggest opportunities
for growth?

In today’s market scenario, growth opportunities are quite limited and the most important priority becomes maintaining and safeguarding your existing business. At the same time, we at Choueiri Group and Arabian Outdoor always keep our eyes open for new opportunities and these efforts have resulted in examples like us winning the Dubai Metro tender, and employing the first digital network within a confined community in Dubai (Jumeirah Golf Estates).

Today, more than ever before, any potential opportunity for growth needs to be thoroughly evaluated, analysed and judged to ensure its feasibility and commercial viability in the
long term.

What changes are you seeing from the
supplier side?

The UAE has always been an open business environment, which continues to welcome
both local and international players. Looking specifically at the OOH scene, we believe that
the addition of more market players (new local suppliers, or established international specialists) coming in to compete, would only help the market to mature and grow further.

New entrants need to potentially help infuse a greater degree of global best-practices, innovative ideas and greater professionalism into the marketplace. This would ultimately serve to elevate our industry’s overall standards and offerings for sustained overall market growth.

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