MEC's Susannah Llewellyn rides the boom in Dubai

Susannah Llewellyn is group business director at Mediaedge:cia Middle East.

Why did you choose Dubai?
Dubai gave me the opportunity to experience a number of markets all at once, as the media planning here works across different regions, from North Africa to the Gulf.

What's the media environment like?
Multicultural offices with a strong family feel is how the media world operates in Dubai. The media scene has been riding on a booming property sector for several years. Given the current climate globally, Dubai is adapting to different market dynamics and the next year will see a change in how media will be consumed and planned.

How proactive are media agencies?
Agencies need to be more proactive than ever as clients and publishers appear to have a closer relationship here than they do in the UK. Clients are looking for deals and offers and media agencies battle it out with suppliers to demonstrate the benefits that agencies can bring.

Main differences?
Magazine circulations are lower than in the UK. Newspapers have a regional target demographic rather than a social demographic and there are either pan-Arab titles or local titles to choose from. Regulatory bodies have taken time to become established here, but are now becoming the norm in the United Arab Emirates. The area where there is opportunity for creativity is in outdoor. This is less regulated and special builds are more easily allowed.

How advanced is digital?
Online opportunities are still small in comparison to the UK. The region will see major growth in this sector over the next year or so, as digital is still in its infancy.

Culture and social scene
The expat lifestyle has been described as "bling" and "decadent". This is exactly how it still is and you just can't escape it.

One thing the UK can learn from Dubai
Money rules. In business, if you have money then anything goes and the boundaries are endless.

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