Giant hoardings: trendy to some, an eyesore to others

DUBAI — The Dubai Roadshow has taken on a new look with several giant outdoor hoardings springing up overnight at several spots in the city. These colourful hoardings are regarded by some as eye-catching while others see them as eyesores.


Asma Ali Zain

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sat 20 Aug 2005, 10:21 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:14 PM

“The new trends in advertising worth appreciation. They point to the fact that the emirate is growing. But they also spoil the city's look,” a resident Katie David told Khaleej Times.

“Shaikh Zayed Road has the look of a bustling metropolitan city with impressive high-rises on both sides. Then, suddenly, there's an endless stretch of wooden plank with people scrambling over the top and hurrying off to somewhere. For a moment, I was taken aback when I first saw this spectacle before I realised that this was a new kind of advertising. It seemed in bad taste then. Even now it is very distracting.”

Advertising gurus think that these huge hoardings are turnkey projects that are big money churners, but are also part of the landscape.

"I do not think these hoardings are in any way spoiling the look of the city because they kind of blend in," Mahmoud Al Haj, general manager of Trinet Outdoor Advertising, told Khaleej Times. "The region is desert and once such big sized hoardings are put up they fit in well with the landscape, and also fill in the emptiness of the space. Besides, they can easily be dismantled without causing damage to the road or any other place."

Mala Singh, a media person, however, had a different view. "I don't understand why companies have to resort to using such big boards to display their stuff. They are anyway doing it well even on smaller advertising spaces."

“Such hoardings are quite distracting to motorists, and personally, I do not think that wasteful ‘usage’ of space serves any purpose,” she added.

“These hoardings are definitely eye-catching, and most of our clients know that they would get a very good turnover even though they have to spend a lot on such kind of advertising,” said Al Haj. “We also know that many people want to become the talk of the town and what best is there to do so except to find unique ways of advertising,” he added.

Quoting the estimated amount an advertiser had to spend on hoardings, he said that Dh4 million would be the minimum amount spent by any advertiser.

“Our largest hoarding, which is 400x1200 metres in height and 470 metres long has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records, and we have several of them all over the city, while there is still demand for more,” he claimed.

An executive from another well-known advertising agency, who did not wish to be named said, “The reason that all kinds of advertising are being used in Dubai is because the media publicity in the UAE is not being monitored, therefore, there is a wider range of growth in this sector.”

Said Mohammed Kareem, advertising professional, “I do not think that this new trend has any shortcoming. From an advertising point of view, it is the best eye-catcher and an innovative way to promote a product. Such ads automatically become a part of the landscape once the people get used to it.”

More news from