UAE is a launchpad for British tech firms looking to expand

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Blis is a UK advertising tech company with an office in Dubai that uses powerful geo location data to allow companies to precision target potential customers.

The firm, which recently became a member of the UK government’s Future Fifty development programme, uses software that allows advertisers to identify customers through the places they visit.

For instance, football fans read reports on matches, visit hospitality venues that show the games and sometimes go to stadiums. Knowing their whereabouts can help ad firms to target their marketing.

Puja Pannum, Blis’ managing director for the Middle East, says Blis opened its Dubai office in January 2016 and has been seeing business soar in the region since then. The Middle East is home to huge numbers of malls, shopping centres and car showrooms, for example, and it is essential for advertisers to get accurate data about audiences’ offline behaviours and habits.

“It’s really important in this region. Advertisers who are relying solely on what content is consumed on a device are not understanding audiences’ offline behaviours. What is happening in their online world may be very different to how they actually behave in real life. Accurate geo targeting bridges that gap, providing advertisers with a much clearer picture of their consumers,” Ms Pannum says.

Blis provides advertising agencies with deeper insight into how ads are targeted. It has been able to hire local Arabic talent and provide an Arabic creative service that puts the firm ahead of other international operators.

The firm aims to expand this year. “Last year was all about brand building for Blis, starting revenue streams and partnering with agencies. This year is about expansion and partnering with agencies across the region, for example in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait,” says Ms Pannum.

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