Yahoo expects advertising surge

Yahoo Middle East expects a 20-30 increase in online advertising revenue from within the Mena region this year.

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Yahoo expects its advertising revenues in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) this year to increase by as much as 30 per cent, double the industry average.

The US internet giant said Mena was one of its fastest-growing regions globally, despite the total local online advertising market being worth just US$175 million (Dh642.7m).

Ahmed Nassef, the vice president and managing director of Yahoo Middle East, said the online advertising market was set to buck the trends experienced in the broadcast and print-advertising sectors.

"It's been a year where probably the total advertising market has stayed flat, and maybe even declined," said Mr Nassef.

"But we're seeing the digital space continuing to grow. We're probably looking at anywhere between a 10 and 15 per cent growth in digital advertising spend in 2011. We hope that it will be more than that."

Mr Nassef said the growth in Yahoo's online advertising revenues was outpacing the industry average.

According to Google, the total advertising market in the Mena region is set to rise to $175m this year, up from $120m last year.