The cost of outdoor advertising in Dubai has rocketed by more than 500 per cent since 2003, say industry sources. And a further rise of up to 20 per cent rise is expected over the next two years, according to the head of one company.
A popular display known as a unipole consists of a single support carrying one, two or three large billboards facing different directions.
A billboard on such a pole on Sheikh Zayed Road formerly cost Dh400,000 a year to rent. But the price today is between Dh1.5 million and Dh2.5m, depending on the size and location. And hoardings have shot up in price from Dh1.5m a few years ago to more than Dh9m.
Major players in the outdoor advertising sector such as Shoof, Concept Group and Emirates Outdoor say the increases have been driven by demand for advertising space from the real estate market.
“The emergence of Dubai as a business hub, especially the growth witnessed in the real estate sector, banking, fast-moving consumer goods and luxury products, is having a great influence on the outdoor advertising industry,” said Jamal Makki, Shoof’s Chief Operations Officer.
“The volume and scope of outdoor media have grown by leaps and bounds, mainly due to the booming real estate and construction sectors in the UAE.” He said prices were on the increase again as new construction projects are being launched every day.
“We are expecting another 15 to 20 per cent increase in the cost of outdoor media space in the next two years. In 2009, the prices will stabilise.”
However, Makki said the outdoor media market would not reach saturation point as there was room for expansion and no shortage of outdoor advertising space.
Concept Group CEO Aldrin Fernandes said: “The growing real estate market has been a boon for outdoor advertising because many companies in that sector have huge advertising budgets.