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SpotLite 2.0 - CEO's Remarks

Dear Readers,

In an era dominated by digital platforms and the privacy concerns that come with it, Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising has become a more prominent and credible medium. OOH surrounds audiences in their everyday environment, reaching them when they are close to the point of sale and less distracted by other media.

The UAE’s OOH market continues to thrive, with a staggering 12% year-on-year growth, showcasing our industry’s resilience and adaptability. At BackLite Media, we are proud to be at the forefront of this evolution, pioneering innovations that redefine how brands connect with their audiences.

In the realm of Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) and Programmatic DOOH (PrDOOH), we stand out as trend-setters, harnessing the power of technology to deliver targeted, data-driven campaigns. Our commitment to data integration has increased campaign effectiveness, highlighting the impact of strategic insights on driving results.

Experiential marketing remains a cornerstone of our approach, with immersive campaigns that captivate audiences and drive engagement at UAE’s most famous malls and destinations like The Galleria Al Maryah Island and Al Qana. Our collaborations with leading brands have seen a significant uplift in brand recall, showcasing the power of memorable brand-building experiences.

Partnerships lie at the heart of our success story. This year’s highlight has been our acquisition by Multiply Group, propelling us towards extended reach and accelerated growth. We are poised to unlock new opportunities, expand our footprint, and deliver unparalleled value to our clients and partners.

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of OOH, one thing remains constant – our unwavering commitment to innovation, creativity, and excellence. We invite you to join us on this journey as we continue to illuminate the world with impactful campaigns and transformative experiences.


Company News
BackLite Media releases SpotLite 2.0 in collaboration with Campaign Middle East

BackLite Media has announced the release of SpotLite 2.0, its annual publication created in collaboration with Campaign Middle East.

This edition of SpotLite focuses on the dynamic and ever-evolving Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising industry, particularly emphasising the transformative potential of Data, Measurement and Programmatic Digital Out-of-Home (PrDOOH).

SpotLite 2.0 brings together insights from some of the industry’s most influential voices.

Contributors include experts from the UAE Government Media Office, World Out of Home Organization, IAB MENA, The Out-of-Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), Data Partners like Seventh Decimal and Admobilize, and Programmatic Platforms like The Trade Desk and Place Exchange. Each offers unique perspectives on the current state and future direction of Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising.

James Bicknell, CEO of BackLite Media, said, “The publication delves into a wide range of topics, from integrating data-driven techniques to the creative opportunities offered by Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising.

“These articles provide a comprehensive overview of the trends and innovations poised to shape the next chapter of OOH advertising.

“We thank Motivate Media Group for their invaluable assistance in agency distribution across the UAE, enabling SpotLite 2.0 to reach an even wider audience.

“This collaboration underscores our commitment to expanding its influence and fostering growth within the industry.”

SpotLite 2.0 is a crucial resource for marketers, brand managers, and out-of-home specialists. It provides valuable insights and strategies for navigating the rapidly changing landscape of OOH advertising. The contributions from esteemed authors reflect the industry’s current state and provide a forward-looking view of its promising future.


Company News
BackLite Media launches first ‘SPOTLITE’ magazine

BackLite Media, one of the UAE’s leading digital outdoor media companies, has proudly released the first edition of its new magazine, “SpotLite“.

With its first annual magazine dedicated to the out-of-home media industry, this publication provides an in-depth overview of the UAE’s OOH landscape and BackLite Media’s contributions and dedication to pushing the boundaries of the industry. This year’s edition of SpotLite intricately focuses on programmatic advertising, data analytics, industry partnerships, sustainability, and state-of-the-art media evolution.

The magazine features contributions from esteemed industry professionals, including Havas Middle East, World Out of Home Organization, and Seventh Decimal, among others. SpotLite is poised to be a must-read for the UAE media community, with the next edition of the magazine scheduled for release early next year.


Company News
Advertising firm wins $272m deal to ‘transform’ signage in Dubai


BackLite Media, an out-of-home advertising company, has secured a AED1 billion ($272 million) contract with the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) to transform signage in Dubai.

The 12-year contract will see BackLite deliver a mix of digital and traditional outdoor signage across 26 locations along Sheikh Zayed Road, including the Golden Boulevard – between Dubai World Trade Centre and Interchange 1 – and up to the Mall of the Emirates.

BackLite said the digital signage solutions will usher in a “new era of outdoor signage to the city”, using technology and visual solutions that are “far ahead of the systems used in global hubs across the world”.

Bill Fordyce, CEO of BackLite, said: “We are delighted to continue our long-term partnership with RTA, in bringing innovative signage to Dubai – which are not only best-in-class and of the highest aesthetic standards but also meet the Smart City vision outlined by Dubai’s leadership.

“Our signage will add excellent value to advertisers in addition to creating a powerful visual identity for the city. We are thankful to RTA for recognising our recommendations for the signage overhaul of the most strategic locations in the city, which will further contribute to civic pride and underline Dubai as a world-class city.”

BackLite Media is based in Dubai and first introduced its unique unipole signs into the UAE in 1996.


Company News
A PIONEER, A CONQUEROR, A VISIONARY: Celebrating Bengt Bendeus' Legacy

In advertising, where innovation meets visibility, few names stand as tall as Mr. Bengt Bendeus, the visionary Founder of BackLite Media. His journey, marked by a relentless pursuit of perfection, took him across continents, shaping landscapes and leaving an inspiring mark on the industry.

Born with an entrepreneurial spirit, Bengt ventured into outdoor advertising with a singular mission: to find the perfect billboard. Before long, his quest led him through various ventures in Sweden before destiny brought him to the vibrant cityscape of the United Arab Emirates.

Inspired by a backlit advertising sign at Heathrow Airport, he founded BackLite in 1986, introducing large vinyl signs illuminated from behind. Under his leadership, BackLite became a leading outdoor advertising company in 13 countries and cities, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

In Dubai, Bengt planted BackLite Media's roots, starting with just one unipole. Fuelled by his determination and astute business acumen, he navigated the complexities of the market, forged vital partnerships, and secured multiple deals with the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

The launch of The Curve at Al Qana in Abu Dhabi with Fouad Mashal, CEO of AlBarakah Holding Company 

Under his leadership, our company became a titan ofthe outdoor advertising industry, setting benchmarks and redefining standards,further venturing the company in destination, mall advertising and the launchof the iconic Landmark Series.


Yet, beyond the corporate triumphs, Mr Bendeus'slegacy resonates profoundly in the hearts of those who worked alongside him.His leadership was not merely about market dominance but nurturing a culture loyaltyand growth.

James Bicknell, CEO of BackLite Media,
shared a few words on his professional relationship with Mr. Bendeus.

Ahmed Emam, Chief Sales Officer & Dean Crossland, Chief Financial Officer at BackLite Media shared a few words on their working relationship and inspiration drawn from Mr. Bendeus.

Bengt's legacy transcends mere business success; it signifies the spirit of perseverance, innovation, and compassion. His journey reminds us that greatness is not measured solely by achievements but by the lives touched, the careers shaped, and the communities enriched.

As we bid farewell to a titan of industry and as he ventures out for new opportunities, we will never forget the torch he ignited, striving for excellence with integrity and passion. In honouring his legacy, we continue to dedicate our service to BackLite Media with the same enthusiasm and dedication that defined his remarkable life.


Company News
Multiply Group Fully Acquires BackLite Media; Strengthens its Media & Communications Portfolio

In a strategic move to expand its footprint in the burgeoning Out-of-home (OOH) advertising space, MultiplyGroup (ADX: MULTIPLY), an Abu Dhabi-based investment holding company, has acquired 100% of BackLite Media, a premier Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The deal encompasses all operating entities of BackLite Media and is a key step in Multiply Group’s broader strategy to enhance and consolidate its Media and Communications vertical.


With a portfolio that comprises 86% digital and 14% static advertising solutions, BackLite Media has established itself as one of the leading media companies in the UAE. Through notable partnerships, such as with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), BackLite Media has secured prime advertising locations including The Landmark Series along the iconic Sheikh Zayed Road, as well as in high-profile malls, destinations, and cinema advertising venues like The Galleria Mall, Al Qana, Dubai Festival City, and more. The extensive reach positions BackLite Media asa pivotal force in the UAE’s media landscape.


This acquisition seamlessly complements Multiply Group’s existing portfolio, which includes Media 247 and Viola Communications, and underscores the Group’s dedication to investing in profitable enterprises and creating synergies. The Group’s strategic pivot into DOOH advertising aligns with market trends and future growth opportunities.


Samia Bouazza, Group CEO and Managing Director of MultiplyGroup, commented: “The full acquisition of BackLite Media is another strategic milestone in our journey to build an integrated multi-brand media powerhouse. This expansion underpins our commitment to driving shareholder value by creating long-term growth and further strengtheningMultiply Media’s valuation as we continue readying the vertical for its eventual listing.”


Bengt Bendeus, Founder and Chairman of BackLite Media, noted: “The journey of BackLite has been one of constant innovation inthe UAE’s OOH advertising space. This acquisition by Multiply Group is a pivotal milestone, enhancing our capabilities and contributing significantly to the evolution of the advertising landscape of the UAE and beyond.”


Jawad Hassan, Head of the Media andCommunications vertical at Multiply Group, stated: “OOH advertising has evolved rapidly in the last few years in the UAE and BackLite has been at the very forefront, capitalizing on this growth. We believe that this acquisition will unlock immense value for Multiply Media as we continue consolidating premium media assets across the OOH sector. With BackLite’s robust market presence, prime locations, and exceptional team, together; we will deliver innovative and impactful advertising solutions in the UAE and beyond.”                        


James Bicknell, CEO of BackLite Media, added, “This impending partnership with Multiply Group opens a new chapter for BackLite Media. We are thrilled to expand our capabilities and continue to lead in the DOOH advertising space with enhanced reach and resources.”


Earlier this year, BackLite Media partnered with multiple Programmatic platforms including Place Exchange, AdForm, Hivestack, Vistar and Google DV360to accelerate the programmatic transformation of DOOH in the UAE, providing increased opportunities for DOOH to be included in omnichannel marketing strategies.


The acquisition is poised to transform the DOOH industry, introducing innovative and impactful advertising solutions in the UAE and beyond.


About Multiply Group

With its trademark growth mindset, Multiply Group PJSC is an Abu Dhabi-based holding company that invests in transformative cash-generating businesses it understands.


Multiply Group will continue to deploy capital across its two distinct arms, both of which follow a disciplined approach to investing and ensure consistent, sustainable value creation for our shareholders in the short-medium and long-term:


Multiply, the investments and operations in long-term strategic verticals, currently Mobility, Energy and Utilities, Media and Communications, Beauty and Wellness, and Fashion and Living. Anchor investments provide long term recurring income, through which bolt-on acquisitions are made.


Multiply+, a flexible, sector-agnostic and opportunistic investment arm.


For more information, visit www.multiply.ae


Company News
SpotLite 1.0: The CEO’S Remarks

Here at BackLite, we’ve recently launched the first edition of ‘SpotLite’, our new annual magazine dedicated to the dynamic world of out-of-home media. As part of the magazine, our CEO, James Bicknell, shared his thoughts on the future of outdoor advertising in Dubai & Abu Dhabi. Here’s what he had to say:

As digital becomes more prevalent, we continue adapting our product portfolio in the UAE. Digital outdoor advertising, using digital screens and displays, allows for real-time updates, targeted messaging, and even the ability to track metrics and gather consumer data. This means that advertisers can now reach their desired audience with precision and accuracy, leading to a better return on investment for the advertiser and a more engaging experience for the consumer.

At BackLite Media, we’ve been at the forefront of this shift towards digital outdoor advertising in the UAE. We have implemented new technologies and leveraged data to create dynamic, interactive, personalised ads that adapt to the context and audience, allowing for a more relevant and effective advertising experience.

But it’s not just about the technology; as a responsible and ethical company, we understand the importance of placing our digital media and displays in the most elite locations, respecting consumers’ privacy, and being mindful of the environment. We are proud to announce that we are working towards being fully sustainable and carbon neutral by 2026. Being a good corporate citizen is just as important as providing our clients with the best advertising solutions.

In conclusion, the future of outdoor advertising in the UAE is digital, interactive, sustainable, and truly exciting. At BackLite Media, we’re committed to staying ahead of the game and providing our clients with the most innovative and effective advertising solutions. With a focus on new technologies, data, responsible advertising, and sustainability, we’re confident that the future of outdoor advertising in the UAE is dynamic. And we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this zestful and ever-evolving country.


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