DUBAI: Advertising expenditure levels in the Middle East rose by 11% in the first half of this year, but revenues in the UAE, the region's biggest market, fell by 26% over this period, says the Pan Arab Research Centre.

Total adspend in the UAE reached $712 million (€507m; £435m) in H1 2009, with second quarter revenues up by $2m compared with the first three months of the year, PARC estimates.

By category, the property sector was down 75%, while financial services spending was off by 43%, and the household appliances, apparel, toiletries, automotive and governmental categories also all posted declines.

Newspapers published in English recorded a 39% drop in ad revenues, with Arabic-language titles also seeing negative growth of 27%.

Magazine advertising slid by 7% on an annual basis, but television ad sales increased by 27% year-on-year.

While the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain were the only markets where adspend contracted in Q1, Saudi Arabia, down by 5%, and Oman, by 2%, also saw negative growth over the first half as a whole.

However, pan-Arab spending, largely driven by satellite TV, increased by 40% between January and June, taking the medium to a total share of 43% of Middle Eastern adspend overall.

Data sourced from The National; additional content by WARC staff