DUBAI: Adspend levels rose by more than 20% in the Middle East during the first half of this year, as the financial climate in the region began to improve.

Estimates from the Pan Arab Research Centre suggested that advertising expenditure in the area climbed by 21% in H1 year-on-year.

Overall totals came in at $6bn (€4.8bn; £4.0bn) between January and June, including increases of 40% in Bahrain and 36% in Egypt, while pan-Arab media revenues jumped by 34%.

Less positively, figures declined by 4% in the UAE, a major local market, amounting to a drop from $712m to $680m.

This was largely a result of adverse conditions facing the national property sector, although Elistat, the telecoms giant and the UAE's biggest advertiser, slashed its outlay from $17.1m to $7.3m.

In contrast, brands in the communications and utilities segment across the Middle East as a whole boosted their investment by 39%.

Data sourced from The National; additional content by Warc staff