Global market research company Synovate, in cooperation with Dubai Media City, held an event yesterday to share the results of Synovate's 2009 EMS Middle East survey, which tracks media consumption across eight key markets in the Middle East as well as purchasing habits, business decision making, lifestyles and psychographics of affluent consumers.
Synovate conducted 2,569 interviews with affluent consumers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan from mid June 2008 to September 2008, and the results represent 1.75 million high-end consumers across the Middle East.
Many major upscale international and regional broadcasters, media specialists and key regional publications in Europe and the Middle East use Synovate's EMS study as the basis for their media planning.
Mohammed Abdullah, Executive Director, Dubai Media City, said:
"Surveys are a vital tool that bring out valuable insights for enabling the international and regional media organisations, specialists and advertisers to chart future strategies. The Synovate survey outcomes will help organizations in the region to better understand prevailing market conditions and develop appropriate solutions founded on empirical studies. As a regional destination that hosts global media organizations, we are confident the survey will effectively guide our business partners to register consistent success."
Middle East affluents are internationally oriented
The 2009 Synovate EMS results show that elite consumers across the Middle East are highly internationally oriented.
Fifty-one percent are very interested in learning about foreign cultures and enjoy international media.
This is reflected in their media consumption figures, with nearly 90% watching international television programs on a daily basis and 34% reading international print publications on a regular basis.
Use of multi-media platforms
Computer penetration is high, with 80% owning a laptop and 70% owning a desktop.
Also, nine out of ten affluent individuals have internet access at home.
All forms of international media are regularly consumed, from print to TV to their website versions.
Around 15% of the total affluent Middle East population visit a print publication's website on a weekly basis and 19.7% visit a TV website once a week.
When considering the combined reach for print and websites, you see a remarkably low duplication between the sites and their media, which indicates that the web has introduced these publications and broadcast channels to a new and wider audience.
Middle East affluents are more affected by advertising and have a more positive attitude towards it then their European counterparts.
Thirty-six percent of Middle East affluents are more likely to buy and / or consider brands which are advertised in international media compared to just 4% of European elites.
The survey revealed that advertising is still an effective way to reach top-tier consumers in the Middle East as it's considered as a useful source of information and makes Middle East influentials more open to trying a new product.
Travel to shop!
Not surprisingly, a vast majority of affluents enjoy shopping.
Half like to try new things and are always interested in new products on the market, even more so than European elite.
Middle East affluents tend to spend their money on luxury items with the top three purchases on perfume, jewellery and holidays above 1500 Euro.
Their joy for shopping is also shown in their types of holidays abroad.
The number one reason to visit another country on holiday is... to go shopping! When they jet off for a holiday they prefer to use a regional airline, and 39% use a business or first class ticket.
Sixty-six percent stay in a hotel for at least one night and 56% will stay six nights or more.
Dubai - June 2009