I have spent all this week with clients and partners in the Middle East and I am struck, as I always am when I come here, how fast the PR industry is developing.
Some observations, probably not very useful for those here for whom this may seem blindlingly obvious:
- I have seen a report that suggests that the PR agency industry in the Gulf Cooperation Council or GCC region (United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) is worth about 52 million euros in fees.
- There are well over a hundred agencies in the GCC region, but probably only about 10 dominant ones that can offer what might be called a full service with a multi-practice structure and covering more than one of the markets
- They are all growing very fast as the economies here race to develop on the back of oil revenues and the associated industries and economic diversification activity. Dubai, which has very little oil, is the biggest PR market and is at the moment the default ‘hub’ communications market though this is beginning to be disputed. All of this means there is a big requirement for talent both local and international
- Some of the bigger agencies are exporting significant business to the European and US partners as firms and investment vehicles from the region look to acquire and set up businesses on the global stage
- The GCC with an increasingly rich 35 million population is where the bulk of the action is, but the Arab world has over 300 million consumers and huge economies like Egypt. And most of the region is peaceful and safe to do business.
- In-house departments are also growing fast and some of the conglomerates have, what are in effect, in-house marketing communication agencies serving their operating companies and increasingly outside clients also
The Arab World and the Gulf states in particular are a growing economic force and they need and want to be better understood which means this is a great place right now to be in our business.
[tags] GCC, PR in the Middle East [/tags]