Market Research and Feasibility Study for Media Industry in Dubai UAE and KSA

The media industry across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has seen substantial growth over the last decade, driven by economic development, technological disruption, and changing consumer habits. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) specifically have invested heavily to build out media hubs and attract foreign investment into the sector.

This report aims to assess the opportunities in the Dubai and Saudi Arabian media markets for an international media conglomerate looking to expand their operations in the region. It will analyze market size, segmentation, forecasts, regulatory policies, consumer behaviors, competitive landscape, risks, and conduct feasibility analysis on viable investment models.

Dubai has established itself as the leading regional hub for media businesses seeking to target the MENA region through its tax-free media zones, infrastructure connectivity and presence of global media names. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia presents massive potential with an young, internet-savvy population and reformist vision to localize much of the Pan-Arab media content.

This report will focus on dynamics across TV, film, print, digital, and outdoor media. It will compare different languages, formats, geographies, delivery platforms and content types. The feasibility analysis will assess options like launching new channels or productions vs. acquiring existing assets vs. strategic investments/partnerships.

Market Analysis for the Media Industry feasibility study:

UAE Media Industry Overview

The UAE media industry was valued at $2.2 billion in 2021. TV advertising constitutes 42% of the overall market. Digital advertising spent has seen 22% YOY growth and now makes up 32% of total media revenues. Print media accounts for 15% while radio, OOH and music streaming make up the rest.

Key Segments

  • TV: Fragmented market with many free-to-air channels. MBC Group and Abu Dhabi Media dominate Pay TV. Online streaming growth with Shahid and Starzplay.
  • Digital: Young, mobile demographic driving uptake. Display ads shifting to social & video platforms.
  • Film: UAE a production hub for regional content, especially web-series as OTT gains traction.
  • Music: Anghami acquisition shows potential but piracy issues persist.

Saudi Arabia Overview

Saudi media industry revenues were estimated at $3.5 billion in 2021. The sector is slated to grow at 8% CAGR from 2022-2027. TV advertising is the largest segment at 46% currently. Digital media is expanding rapidly at 34% driven by changing preferences of a young, tech-savvy population.

Key Opportunities

  • Growing film production outsourcing
  • Niche publishing segments
  • Localized streaming platforms
  • Navigating shifting regulations

Consumer Analysis for the Media Industry feasibility study:

UAE Consumer Profile

The UAE has a diverse, expatriate-heavy population, with migrants making up ~90% of total population. Media preferences vary across different consumer cohorts:

  • Western expats increasingly consuming content online via subscriptions to platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and OSN.
  • Asian expats more oriented toward free TV, Bollywood content, and streaming cricket.
  • Arab youth and professionals highly active on social media and viral video apps like YouTube, Facebook Watch, and TikTok.

Overall TV still retains >80% penetration across UAE households. But digital shifts are gaining pace—on average consumers spend 4 hours per day consuming online media now.

Saudi Arabia Trends

Saudi Arabia is witnessing rapid adoption of streaming media among a very young, native population:

  • ~75% population under age 35 with increasing disposable incomes
  • ~93% have smartphones, social media penetration at 67%
  • Online video viewers to reach 23 million by 2025
  • Higher willingness to pay for quality, localized Arabic content

Significant potential as streaming ecosystem evolves from YouTube focused toward subscription services like Shahid, Netflix and regional rivals.

Opportunities Assessment for the Media Industry feasibility study:

Key Opportunities

  1. Streaming Media Growth – SVOD revenues in MENA expected to reach $2 billion by 2025 driven by exclusives and Arabic content investments. Potential for niche targeted services.
  2. Events Media – Dubai’s Expo 2020 sparks demand for multimedia content capabilities spanning broadcast production, streaming and digital engagement for events and conferences.
  3. Film Production Outsourcing – Dubai and Abu Dhabi media cities offer attractive rebates, tax incentives and production infrastructure for regional projects. Under-tapped opportunity.
  4. Advertising Technology – Adtech ecosystem needs more sophisticated audience analytics, cross-channel attribution, and personalized regional ad solutions to unlock digital potential.
  5. Niche Publishing – Verticals like luxury lifestyle, technology, Islamic economy and youth segments underserved by current print landscape. Potential for both digital and print models.

Segment Growth Outlook (2022-2025 CAGR)

  • Video Streaming: 25%
  • Digital Advertising: 20%
  • TV & Radio: 5%
  • Print Media: -5%

Highest potential lies with consumption shifts to on-demand digital media. Production outsourcing, events multimedia and niche publishing also offer viable models given economic expansion plans in both markets.

Market Research and Feasibility Study for Media Industry in Dubai UAE and KSA

Feasibility Analysis for the Media Industry feasibility study:

I. Financial Viability Models

  • SVOD Platform Launch
  • Content, marketing, infrastructure costs
  • Revenue model – ads vs. subscriptions
  • Breakeven analysis
  • TV Channel Acquisition
  • Purchase price benchmarks
  • Revamp costs – technology, branding
  • Advertising/distribution revenue potential
  • Payback period
  • Film Production Firm
  • Typical margins analysis
  • Infrastructural needs – studios, equipment
  • Breaking into outsourcing vs. own IP

II. Partnership Evaluation

  • Criteria for co-production partners
  • Thematic/genre strengths
  • Regional distribution networks
  • Funding abilities, revenue splits

III. Investment Risks & Mitigation

  • Pivot analysis – worst/best case uptake
  • Securing exclusives to retain viewership
  • Navigating censorship & regulation

IV. Conclusions

  • Top recommended media sectors/models
  • Assumptions factored into projections
  • Next steps for prioritized investments

Conclusions and Recommendations for the media industry feasibility study:

Conclusions

The MENA region presents strong growth potential for international media firms, with projected healthy expansion in digital media, continued TV dominance, and rising production outsourcing needs.

UAE offers the most developed media ecosystem and Dubai specifically provides attractive incentives for foreign investors. Meanwhile Saudi market has massive scale but carries bigger regulatory uncertainty.

Our analysis finds highest viability for a niche streaming platform launch focused on localized content. Film production JVs also display decent return metrics. While TV and print acquisitions face digital disruption risks without thorough competitive revamps.

Recommendations

  1. Launch Arabic-focused SVOD channel
  • Target youth demographic with original productions
  • Blend low-cost acquired content with high-value exclusives
  • Emirati co-producer partnership for market access
  1. Explore co-production film agreements
  • Leverage production infrastructure in UAE
  • Start with JVs on regional mainstream projects
  • Consider branching into Hollywood / Bollywood
  1. Monitor maturing ad-tech scene
  • Martech and multicultural segmentation solutions have potential
  • Ensure thorough consumer data protections

In summary, a differentiated Arabic streaming platform anchored in original UAE co-productions offers the most sound media investment thesis at this juncture for aligning with local dynamics. AVOD models can follow based on viewer scale and ad-sales capability development.

Contact us today for a free consultation and let’s discuss how we can help you turn your Media vision into a sustainable success story.

Feasibility Study Services

Retail:

  • Bakery
  • Catering Company
  • Convenience Store
  • Clothing Boutique
  • Department Store
  • Florist
  • Furniture Store
  • Jewelry Store
  • Sporting Goods Store
  • Toy Store

Hospitality & Tourism:

  • Hotel
  • Resort
  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Travel Agency
  • Tour Operator
  • Theme Park
  • Amusement Park
  • Hotel Apartment

Services:

  • Car Rental
  • Cleaning Service
  • Construction Management
  • Consulting
  • Event Planning
  • Facility Management
  • Gym/Fitness Center
  • Hair Salon
  • IT Services
  • Landscaping
  • Legal Services
  • Marketing Agency
  • Pet Sitting/Walking
  • Property Management
  • Real Estate
  • Security Services
  • Spa
  • Taxi Service, Limousine Service

Education:

  • School
  • University
  • Online Education Platform
  • Language Learning Center

Healthcare:

  • Clinic (variety of specialties)
  • Hospital
  • Dental Practice
  • Veterinary Clinic
  • Medical Devices Manufacturer
  • Pharmaceutical Company
  • Mental Health Services

Finance:

  • Fintech Startup
  • Insurance Company

Technology:

  • Software Development Company
  • App Development Company
  • Artificial Intelligence Company
  • Data Analytics Company

Food & Beverage:

  • Restaurant (various cuisines)
  • Cafe
  • Food Truck
  • Catering Company
  • Grocery Store

Logistics:

  • Warehouse
  • Freight Forwarding Company
  • Delivery Service
  • Shipping Company

Manufacturing:

  • Food & Beverage Manufacturing
  • Clothing Manufacturing
  • Construction Materials Manufacturing

Other:

  • Supermarket
  • Agricultural Farm
  • Construction Company
  • Media & Entertainment Company
  • Renewable Energy Company (solar panel installation)
  • Non-profit Organization
  • Childcare Center
  • Coworking Space
  • Car Wash
  • Recycling Plant

This list is not exhaustive, but it gives a much broader picture of team’s expertise in conducting feasibility studies across a diverse range of industries.

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