Al Arabia prevails in reviving the outdoor advertising sector in Saudi Arabia
Posted on 2022 Dec,23  | By Ghada Azzi

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One of Saudi Arabia’s leading outdoor advertising solution providers since 1983, Al Arabia offers clients expertise across a multitude of platforms and disciplines. It has invested across the entire media funnel to ensure quality from inception to delivery. ArabAd talked to Al Arabia CEO Mohamed Al-Khereiji, who explains the reasons behind the vitality of the out-of-home advertising (OOH) sector in Saudi Arabia.

Industry experts say 2021 saw a 300-percent increase in outdoor advertising revenue in KSA. What in your opinion are the factors that drove the medium forward? What are the categories behind the growth of OOH?

Vision 2030 focused on creating a vibrant society and an attractive environment in Saudi Arabia, wherein the happiness of citizens and residents were prioritized. This strategy has proven conducive to supporting the efforts of regions and governorates as well as non-profit and private sectors in holding festivals, events and outdoor activities, and has dramatically changed the lifestyle in KSA. Al Arabia has been a strategic partner throughout these continuous events by beautifying the Kingdom’s street with our screens.

Our fast recovery following the pandemic came as a result of the digital transformation strategy we have embraced since 2018. Not only did this increase our inventory and add more flexibility to our campaigns, but our business results this year reflect a growth that even exceeded pre-Covid 19 levels.


How would you describe the evolution of the OOH scene in Jeddah and Riyadh since Al Arabia’s establishment in 1983?

By introducing the latest technologies and advertising tools and platforms to the local market in Saudi Arabia, Al Arabia succeeded in leading and reviving the outdoor advertising sector in the Kingdom. It is also considered one of the main influencers in the Saudi advertising sector due to its strategy of keeping pace with the digital transformation, which has proven beneficial to all stakeholders.


What sets Al-Arabia apart from other OOH advertising agencies?

A market leader for years, Al Arabia today is considered national champion. We engage in setting up, operating and maintaining over 5,000 indoor and outdoor advertising billboards spread across the kingdom, with more than 60 percent of them digital. This not only positions us as the largest player in Saudi Arabia with a market share of over 62 percent, but we also ranked as the 10th biggest advertising company globally in terms of revenue in 2021.


Has Al Arabia made any recent investments in technology – i.e., innovative programmatic DOOH advertising technology utilizing large-format outdoor screens and curved screens in order to deliver experiential communication?

In 2021, Al Arabia invested in “Streach” as the first smart platform of its kind in Saudi Arabia. Streach is an independent third-party platform that provides data and indicators that enable us to measure the impact of OOH advertising on consumers. These digital solutions are paramount and will help provide brands with a data-driven platform blended with a customized creative OOH.


What can you tell us about the progress being made in Audience Metrics in KSA?

Technology and advanced digital infrastructure in Saudi Arabia have played a big role, while the advertising market has grown more educated and is welling to have access to real data / audience reports.


"With the announcements of mega projects/smart cities across the kingdom, this will surely contribute to sparking further demand for OOH creative campaigns."


To spend marketing budgets efficiently, brands must understand emerging DOOH technologies, as well as design best practices for creating eye-catching outdoor campaigns. How do you help advertisers with this regard?

Al Arabia has a strong Marketing & Sales team that supports the client by providing them the latest technology and best practices to get the best results and for them to have an effective campaign.


How do you view OOH's evolving role in the local Saudi media landscape? Do you expect the demand to pick up in the coming months?

The channel’s potential is quite evident, and increased investment in OOH from brands shouldn’t come as a surprise. We certainly expect demand to pick up in the coming months, as there are some new industries that have been very active this year, and with the announcements of mega projects/smart cities across the kingdom, this will surely contribute to sparking further demand for creative OOH campaigns. In addition, OOH’s renaissance – from legacy medium to effective, data-driven and measurable channel – is unrivalled. Saudi Arabia is currently witnessing one of the fastest transformations in the modern history, which opens up a lot of opportunities, and I believe that market leaders can benefit from this rapid transformation by turning challenges into opportunities.