FEATURE20 February 2017

Research Arabian style

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Features Media Middle East and Africa People

Laura Chaibi, head of digital research for Middle East broadcaster MBC, was born in Canada and has lived on five continents. She considers herself a ‘global citizen’ who currently calls Dubai home. We asked her to share her international experiences


Most of your career had been spent in the UK before you headed to the United Arab Emirates to work at MBC – what made you go overseas?

Laura Chaibi: I had set up research programmes worldwide and the Middle East was proving – and is still proving – the most challenging region in which to practise research. I was also speculating that digital video and mobile were the two areas of growth, and Middle East consumers are the most advanced with their use. The biggest work challenges, coupled with the Dubai lifestyle and weather, brought me here. 

How does working in market research in the Middle East differ from the UK?

LC: Where to start! There is very little infrastructure in place to do digital research and measurement at an industry level. At the very least in other markets you have reliable syndicate sources to create viable weighting frameworks for effective sampling. The diaspora of the Arabic ...