Dubai: The Dubai Future Council on Media, chaired by Mona Al Marri, director general of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), held a meeting on Thursday to review the current state of local media and the impact of recent global developments on it.

The discussions were part of the Council’s efforts to develop a strategy to promote the growth of the media sector in Dubai and cement its position as the media hub of the region.

The meeting, held at the offices of the Omnicom MediaGroup, discussed a number of topics related to the strategic objectives of the Council. The meeting also discussed the rapid development of media platforms, the growing importance of content, and the use of big data and artificial intelligence in the media sector.

Members of the Dubai Future Council on Media also shared their perspectives on the $617 billion (Dh2.26 trillion) global advertisement industry, whose growth is being driven by digital advertising. They also discussed the development of various new media content channels and the predominance of mobile platforms in the content distribution landscape.

During the meeting, Al Marri highlighted the importance of keeping pace with global developments and trends, adding that media industry regulations are in a state of transition as we move increasingly to a digital world and new technologies like artificial intelligence are set to revolutionise the sector.

She further said that the council needs to monitor and analyse data to develop a clear vision for the local media sector to keep pace with global media both technologically and professionally and play a key role in shaping the future of media in the region. The Chairperson of the Council highlighted the importance of Arabic content and the need to develop strategies to support its development.

She also said that bridging the quality gap in Arabic content requires the training of local talent and new strategies to attract talent from across the world, as well as investment in content-related infrastructure. Promoting the growth of Arabic content requires a conducive environment that fosters greater collaboration between content developers and the growth of fresh talent.

She further said that though the advertising sector is growing rapidly, average advertising spend in the Middle East and North Africa region does not exceed $6.17 per person, compared to $680 in the US, and $270 in Western Europe. This points to significant growth opportunities in the region’s advertising market. More work is required to unlock hidden opportunities in the regional market, she said.

Digital advertising accounted for the lion’s share of total advertising spend in 2018 at 46 per cent globally compared to 36 per cent in the MENA region, while TV advertising came second with 33 per cent globally and 24 per cent regionally. Radio advertising represented 5 per cent of total advertising spend globally, compared to seven per cent regionally. The meeting also reviewed a number of trends in the global media scene including the growing competition between content providers.