MENA Trends and Change to watch in 2017

Lynn Bizri, Mar 02 2017

There’s never been a more important time for brands to keep tabs on forecasts and emerging consumer behaviors than in 2017. JWT recently released their latest Consumer Trends document following the changes in consumer habits and behaviors in everything from culture and luxury to health and retail in the MENA region. Here are 5 (out of the 100) that we think you should keep an eye on:

#11: Smart Transport: Mobility, Safety, and Sustainability

Automated vehicles are the most buzzed-about theme in mobility today, and Dubai is well underway with plans to make 25% of all trips in the city driverless by 2030. The city has confirmed that the world’s first Hyperloop One, a vision of Elon Musk, is coming to the Emirates in 2020, and will slash the duration of commute between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to as little as 12 minutes! In addition to impacting our infrastructure, welfare and environment, the next generation of smart transport is bound to transform the way we interact with brands around us.

#13: 3D Health

3D Printing has made its way into several industries, and recently into health. In 2017, startups will be producing organs to order, opening up a range of possibilities for medical education, and changing the ability to heal ourselves. The 3D printing market in MENA is set to grow by a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 16.7% over the period of 2015-2025, and by 2017, hospitals run by the Dubai Health Authority will adopt 3D printing technology, enabling them to print artificial limbs and models of organs for doctors to simulate surgeries before actual procedures.

#15: Digital Palestine: Innovation under Occupation

A vibrant startup hub is shaping up in Palestine, in a natural display of resilience. Optimistic forerunners are innovating in the face of adversity, overcoming metaphorical barriers, power cuts, weak internet infrastructure and political restrictions to set up businesses against all the odds. Young Palestinians are increasingly stepping in where the government is unable to tread and charting the path for progress in areas that lack it the most.  Some examples include Mashvisor, a real estate platform that optimizes the rental performance of investment properties, and Fadfid, a virtual platform for connecting with licensed psychologists.

#17: Techucation

Educators are increasingly turning to tech to make learning accessible and relevant to young mindsets. The rise of new media is changing how we learn and communicate, and according to a report published by Research and Markets, schools are going to see a surge in wearable tech over the next five years, and an expected growth rate of 46% per year. Across regional schools, Google’s Cardboard ‘VR Expeditions’ app is being used to make lessons more creative and engaging for students, regardless of age.  Augmented reality will also be another potential classroom favorite.

#34: New Immersive Landscapes: VR, AR, and Hyperreality

Brands are making the shift from interactive content to crafting full-on immersive environments. In 2017, multi-reality experiences, which mix online with real world experiences, will emerge as the next canvas for futuristic storytelling. The MEA’s VR and AR industries are poised to grow from $182 million to $6 billion in 2020, signaling the democratization of the technology as a medium. Using elements of both VR and AR, we are on the brink of mixed reality experiences, blending 3D digital content into the physical world.

#36: The Second Screen Comes First

Until recently, apps and social networks were delegated to a background role during televised events. Today, these ‘second screen’ platforms are opting to host live TV themselves and augment the traditionally linear viewing experience, blurring the lines between the first and second screens. As handheld devices become ever more popular, brands, media outlets and influencers are streaming live content to reach out to the 21% of MENA consumers watching TV online, and social platforms are increasingly providing companies with enhanced commercial avenues to reach that audience.

Interested in reading more about these five trends (and the 95 others)? Download the full report here


Catch up on what you've missed