Arc Winner Gulf Marcom BahrainTamkeen’s 2014 annual report won the Silver Award in the category of “non-traditional annual reports” for government agencies and offices at the 29th ARC International Awards – the world’s oldest and largest annual report competition.

Over 2,000 entries from 35 countries around the world competed in the awards’ various categories this year, including entries from all GCC member nations. Organised by MerComm, Inc., the world’s only independent awards organization, the ARC Awards aims to set the standards of excellence in the communications fields.

Entitled Empower, the 62-page award-winning report emulates the look and feel of a lifestyle magazine, and presents a timeline of the organisation’s evolution and future roadmap, as well as detailing how it enhanced its operations and support programmes to become more customer-oriented and results-driven, in line with its 2015-2017 strategy.

Hala Sulaiman, Director of Marketing Communications “Winning this award underlines the high standards of excellence, quality, and transparency that we strive to achieve across all areas of Tamkeen’s operations. This annual report is part of our concerted efforts to ensure that stakeholders are informed of how Tamkeen serves them and the pivotal role it plays in supporting the private sector and Bahrainis.”

The Annual Report was designed by Gulf Marcom and written by Hill+Knowlton Strategies. The content of the report presents an engaging insight into the evolution of Tamkeen’s journey since its inception to present day through features and editorials, case studies, and stories of Bahraini customers, individuals and enterprise, all of which are illustrated with high-quality images and infographic diagrams.

Mr. Khamis Al Muqla, Chairman of Gulf Marcom “The challenge was to create a piece of literature that adds value and genuinely interests the general public while at the same time highlighting the organisation’s achievements, and we felt the lifestyle magazine approach allowed us to do that.”

The 2014 annual report can be viewed on Tamkeen’s website (


The Managing Director of Gulf Marcom Group, Mr. Thamer Khamis Al Muqla, was invited to speak at the National Skills & Employability Summit 2015 on June 10th held under the patronage of the Education Minister H.E. Dr. Majid bin Ali Al Nuaimi.

Mr. Al Muqla shared his views on talent requirements in the media sector with an audience that comprised representatives from universities, government bodies, students and other industries.
He emphasised on the role of the Public Relations & Media sector in the social and economic growth of the kingdom, remarking specifically on how technology has revolutionised the way we create and use information. Internationally we are witnessing a radical transformation in this field as a more integrative approach is being applied to media usage for communication whereby traditional media and social media are being intermixed for most impact.

“News and information are now available round-the-clock and can be accessed easily through channels and devices which were non-existent just a few years ago! We expect explosive development in this field over the next few years which, needless to say, would generate many job opportunities for Bahraini students in the fields of advertising, communication, marketing and media.”

He remarked on the exciting times that lay ahead as the various components of the media eco-system whether television, music, internet etc., have become increasingly interdependent and interconnected. This could only mean wider opportunities for job-seekers across a range of positions right from front-desk staff to pre-production, editing, acoustic engineering, copy writing, print and graphics staff and many more relevant services.

Mr. Muqla further explained the many challenges this sector faces especially that of lack of trained talent be it marketing communication skills, media relations, creative writing or customer management.

Commenting on whether Bahrain’s market is ready for the challenge of harnessing media’s true potential, Mr. Thamer continued, “Since the market of Media and Public Relations has witnessed a rapid growth recently, there is a need to keep up with the pace and work towards the enhancement of infrastructure apart from increasing the awareness among students and developing sufficient educational support that addresses the skills gaps and allows better access to the market.”

The goal as he sees, is clearly to increase the number of qualified workers in this industry which is where the role of formulating bodies, universities and such training institutes becomes crucial. On the other hand one can continue to increase the awareness among the Bahraini youth of the available vacancies in the sector through regular and targeted communication.


Gulf advertising spending in some Arab markets such as Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, grew in 2013 by 14% to total $17.66 billion against a total spending on advertising of $15.45 billion in 2012, said Pan Arab Studies & Research Company (PARC) in its annual report 2013.

The report said advertising spend focused on Arab satellite TV channels to have a share of 70.66% of the total Gulf advertising spend after having increased on the Arab satellite TV channels by 19% to reach $12.47 billion compared with $10.53 billion in 2012.

In the local markets, advertising spend increased in the UAE by 5% to reach $1.65 billion against $1.57 billion and declined in Saudi Arabia by 6% to reach $1.34 billion against $1.42 billion in 2012. In Kuwait advertising spend increased by 2% to reach $988 million in 2013 against $968 million in 2012. In Qatar spending rose by 36% to reach $630 million in 2013 against a total spend of $464 million in 2012. In Oman advertising spend increased by 9% to reach $356 million in 2013 against $271 million in 2012. An increase of 5% was registered in Bahrain where advertising spend totaled $94 million in 2013 against $90 million in 2012.

Analyzing the results, Khamis M. Al Muqla, Member of the IAA International Council and President of Gulf Marcom said the Arab satellite TV channels, known as the trans-Arab media, had the lion’s share of the total Gulf advertising spend with a total of 70.66% while Qatar witnessed the highest growth rate of 36% followed by Oman 31%. Other Gulf local markets witnessed a very modest growth while the Saudi local market declined by around 6% which confirmed that a large proportion of advertising budgets for the local markets led by the Saudi market were cut. Of special significance is the cut in TV commercial budget cuts since the majority of advertising and publicity targets the Arab satellite channels that broadcast successful mass programmes.

Al Muqla added the print media were still in control in the local markets with the share in Saudi Arabia for example at 71% (66% for daily newspapers and 5% for magazines, followed by outdoor advertising with a share of 20%, TV commercials with a share of 7% and radio advertising accounted for a mere 2%. Likewise, in the UAE market the print media attracted a big share of 71% (65% for daily newspapers and 5% for magazines) followed by outdoor advertising of 14%, TV commercials by 10%, radio advertising by 3% and cinema advertising by 25%.

Speaking about advertising spend in the pan-Arab markets such as Egypt, there was a decline of 34% to reach $745million in 2013 against $1.13 billion in 2012. In Jordan, the advertising spend fell by 7% to reach $129 million against $139 million in 2012. In spite of the increase in advertising spend in Lebanon by 9% to reach $503 million against $463 million in 2012, the total spending in these markets declined by 21% to reach $1.38 billion in 2013 against $1.74 billion in 2012. Similarly spending fell in many other Arab markets due to the unstable political conditions in these markets and their impact on economic conditions and advertising business.

Commenting on advertising business in Bahrain, Al Muqla said the PARC report confirmed earlier forecasts that Bahrain’s advertising spent would not exceed $100 million in 2013 as it totaled $94 million against $90 million in 2012, an increase of 5%. However, advertising business is set for growth in Bahrain in 2014 to regain its earlier growth rate after having totaled $140 million in 2010, but with the impact of the global financial crisis and local political conditions advertising spend fell to such modest levels. Still the print media had a share of 86% which included 71% for daily newspapers and 15% for magazines, followed by TV commercials with a share of 8% and outdoor advertising with a share of 5%.

bahrain international airshow

One of Bahrain’s most prestigious events the Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS 2014) is poised to take off at the Sakhir Airbase from January 16 to 18, 2014. Now in its third year BIAS 2014 is being organised by Bahrain Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA), a part of the Transportation Ministry, in partnership with UK-based Airshow organisers Farnborough International (FIL).

As the first agency of choice for Media, Gulf Marcom has been assigned the task of media planning and buying, marketing and promoting the Airshow.

Established in 1974 as a full-fledged advertising and marketing communications company, Gulf Marcom has been leading the way in this industry. According to its Chairman, Khamis Al Muqla, “Gulf Marcom is proud to be associated with this unique event which has established itself as a highly exclusive aviation event on the global airshow calendar.”



At a Major Ceremony in London
International Advertising Industry Honours Khamis Al Muqla


The International Advertising Association (IAA, which was established in New York, USA, in 1938, held a major ceremony in London marking its 75th anniversary. The event was attended by delegates from the IAA 56 chapters in 76 countries worldwide representing senior executives of advertisers, media, advertising agencies, related companies, academics and prominent figures in the advertising and marketing communications sectors.


The event programme included a meeting of the IAA Board of Directors attended by Khamis Mohamed Al Muqla, Gulf Marcom Chairman and member of the World Board of Directors and representative of the Bahrain Chapter held on Wednesday 2nd October and then he attended IAA Leadership Forum which was held on Thursday 3rd October. Speaking at the Forum were key international figures who discussed the future of the advertising industry in the world or “Where to now?”, future of advertising companies, significance of market research and studies, trends in innovation and the next role of marketers.


In the evening of the same day, a gala dinner was held for honouring the pioneering and leading figures in the world for their leadership, vision and commitment to develop and advance the advertising and marketing communications industry and highlighting the vital role played by this industry in the service of their economies and serving their communities. The figures honoured included Khamis Al Muqla who has contributed to the creation of the IAA Bahrain Chapter in 1993. This is Al Muqla’s second honour by the international advertising industry as he received in 2010 at the IAA Conference in Moscow the Order of Merit for his significant contributions to the IAA activities in Bahrain and the Middle East.


Al Muqla has been awarded the Order of Merit of the First Degree from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the advertising industry in Bahrain and the regional states. He is also a member of the Information and Communications Supreme Commission which has recently been set up under the chairmanship of HH Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Al Muqla has also been selected as part of 50 most influential figures in the Bahrain community according to a questionnaire organized by Arabian Business Magazine in 2009. He was one of the early members of the IAA as he joined it when he represented Bahrain at the International Advertising Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was a Promoter and Deputy Chairman of the IAA Bahrain Chapter in 1993. Then, he became President of the Bahrain Chapter until now. He has also taken part in setting up a number of professional associations in the advertising and public relations business in addition to organizing conferences, exhibitions and events in this area in Bahrain and the Gulf region and other Arab states, including 3 IAA conferences in Beirut, Cairo and Dubai.


Meanwhile, Al Muqla established Gulf Marcom Group which was launched in Bahrain in 1974 and used to be known as Gulf Public Relations Group. Its operations covered a wide range of services in the areas of advertising, marketing communications, public relations, publishing, translations, event management and other related services in Bahrain and the regional states. In 1985 Al Muqla set up the Hill & Knowlton Strategies Network to provide public relations services in the Middle East and he is currently its Board Chairman. It is part of the biggest public relations groups in the world.


The ceremony was attended by more than 250 IAA members and their guests from all over the world. Also taking part from Bahrain was Khalid Juman of Miracle Graphics who is a member of the Board of the Bahrain Advertising Association IAA Chapter.

BBK_Signing (1)
One of the leading financial institutions in Bahrain, BBK has appointed Gulf Marcom as their advertising partner. The signing ceremony took place at the BBK offices on Tuesday (September 10), and was attended by BBK CE Mr. Abdulkarim Bucheery, Gulf Marcom Chairman Mr. Khamis Al-Muqla, and members of the senior management from the two sides.


BBK, a premier financial service enterprise in the Gulf region, provides superior financial products and services through innovation, technology, and by building lifelong customer relationships. These lifelong relationships are also applied to partners, and by working with Gulf Marcom, BBK aims to take its image, identity and services forward even further.

Commenting on the signing, BBK CE Mr. Abdulkarim Bucheery said, “The agreement reflects BBK’s unwavering commitment to further bolster our leading position within our industry. We look forward to working together to enhance our brand in line with our future plans and ambitious vision.”


Established in 1974 as a full-fledged advertising and marketing communications company, Gulf Marcom has been leading the way in this industry. According to its Chairman, Khamis Al Muqla, “The signing is another example of the trust placed in Gulf Marcom by a major organisation to enhance and strengthen their brand, image and reputation. We anticipate that the agreement will form the basis for a long-term association between two of Bahrain’s most reputable institutions, and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”


Gulf Marcom’s Khamis Al-Muqla to serve as key panel member on Bahrain’s High Authority for Information and Communications.


Bahrain recently formalised a High Authority for Information and Communications tasked with preparing a national plan for information & communications and proposing necessary regulations to upgrade the media and communication profession. It will perform its functions freely, impartially and independently and propose the general policies of information and communications in the Kingdom as well as follow up on their implementation.


The authority will be led by Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, HM’s Personal Representative as President and Sameera Rajab, Minister of State for Information as Vice-President with a panel comprising seven key members including Gulf Marcom’s President Mr. Khamis Al Muqla – who is also President of the IAA Bahrain Chapter.


A true visionary, Mr. Khamis is highly respected for being a pioneer in developing the regional media and the marcom industry and his appointment to this panel is most appropriate and a proud moment for all at the Gulf Marcom Group.

The recently concluded Isa Award for Services to Humanity put Bahrain on the global map by being the first of its kind in the Arab world. The biennial award is named after the late Amir of Bahrain Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa who is highly respected by the nation for his work in the humanitarian field locally and internationally.

Established in 2009 the award seeks to honour individuals and organisations around the globe that have served humanity in a profound way. This was a proud moment for Gulf Marcom Bahrain too as the project’s incumbent agency since 2011.

Gulf Marcom successfully executed the design, development and production of all communication material from brochures, collaterals and website design to production, execution and Event Management of the award ceremony itself.  A Gulf Marcom team also travelled to Malaysia to shoot a documentary on the winning candidate producing an 8 minute film featured at the ceremony. In addition to this Gulf Marcom assisted with the production of a documentary film showing the life of Sheikh Isa also shown at the ceremony attended by His Majesty King Hamad.

Established in 1974 as a full fledged advertising and marketing communications company, Gulf Marcom’s Chairman, Khamis Al Muqla commented, “It was indeed a honour for the agency to be involved with this prestigious project and an example of the trust placed in us by the Royal Office.”