Karim is BackLite’s Sales Director and in the second of our regular series of interviews with members of the BackLite family, he gives us his perspective on Dubai’s OOH sales environment…
Hi Karim, how long have you been working with BackLite?
I’ve been in the BackLite family for over 16 years! I started working for the company in Cairo and was there for 4 years before joining BackLite Dubai in 2006.
What similarities – and differences – have you noticed between the Cairo & Dubai OOH markets?
Cairo has a population of over 20 million, so that brings its own issues and opportunities. Dubai Municipality and the RTA make Dubai a more regulated city whereas Cairo is a little more, shall we say, challenging! But both are highly competitive and dynamic cities with both large, multinational and local media owners and landlords.
How has the sales environment in Dubai changed since 2006?
The market trend is resulting in more short-term sales and, with the growth of the city and the increase in OOH locations, makes it even more competitive than before. As in other markets, digital OOH locations are beginning to make an appearance, which is a development that BackLite is very excited about.
Why has OOH advertising remained so influential over the years, especially with the proliferation of social media?
Although social media can be an effective platform for advertisers, OOH offers advertisers a powerful and cost-effective mass-market channel. OOH hasn’t suffered from media and audience fragmentation that has affected other ‘traditional’ media like tv, radio and print.
BackLite is regarded as the pre-eminent OOH supplier in Dubai – why is this?
In a word, quality! We offer our clients the best locations in Dubai, the best quality printing and lighting systems and the most elegant signs.
Lastly, your thoughts for the future of the OOH media industry?
I am very positive about the future and the opportunities that will come. Dubai is, and will continue to be, one of the most dynamic cities in the world. It’s a great place for establishing new businesses and Dubai will continue to attract regional and international businesses to set up here. And at BackLite, we are determined to take advantage of those opportunities!