Syria flag Syria: Buying and Selling

Advertising and marketing in Syria

Marketing opportunities

Consumer Profile
Syria has an estimated population of 19.4 million, with a median age of 23.5 years (CIA, 2020). One-third of the population is between 0 and 14 years, 19.3% are between 15-24 years old, 37.3% have between 25 and 54 years, 5.4% between 55 and 64, and 4.4% are 65 years old or more.
Syria has different ethnic groups, including: Arabs (around 50%), Alawites (15%), Kurds (10%), Levantines (10%), and other groups like Druze, Ismaili, Imami, Nusairi, Assyrian, Turkoman, Armenian (15%). Religions include Muslims 87% (official; includes Sunni 74% and Alawi, Ismaili, and Shia 13%), Christians 10% (includes Orthodox, Uniate, and Nestorian; though many fled during the war), Druzes 3%, Jews (few remaining in Damascus and Aleppo).
The urbanization ratio is estimated at 55.5% as of 2020. Normally, larger concentrations of population are found in the major cities of Damascus (the capital), Aleppo (the country's largest city), and Hims (Homs); and more than half of the population used to live in the coastal plain, the province of Halab, and the Euphrates River valley; however, the ongoing war has altered consistently the population distribution. As of 2020, about 5.6 million Syrians are refugees, and another 6.2 million people are displaced within Syria, with nearly 12 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (UN).
Purchasing Power
No reliable and/or official figures have been released in recent years concerning GDP, however since the beginning of the civil war the country’s economy has been badly weakened (with a GDP contraction of 60% between the 2010/2016 period, according to World Bank estimates). The ‘all items’ CPI in Syria in May 2020 stood at 2700 points, with the year 2010 as the base year, which means that the prices of ‘all items’ such as general goods and services increased almost 27 times in the period 2010-2020. However, salaries have not been increasing at the same pace as inflation, and a study from the London School of Economics shows that in 2020 wages should be raised 420% to compensate the surge in consumer price index, compared to the 2010 pre-war level. The estimations show that food and beverage prices in Syria rose by a factor of 32.5 times since 2010. Almost half of that increase took place during the first five months of 2020, particularly in May.

The Syrian currency has depreciated greatly in recent year: the value of the Syrian pound has gone down over 90% since 2010. Syria has always been characterized by wealth inequalities, but this trend increased consistently since the civil war started. In 2020, the WHO's representative in Syria noted that more than 90% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line of USD 2 a day, and that the humanitarian needs are increasing (the number of people lacking basic foodstuffs has increased by 1.4 million over the first six months of the year).

Consumer Behaviour
No recent market studies have been carried on to analyse the buying patterns of Syrian citizen, as the ongoing civil conflict has brought dramatic changes in the consumption behaviour of Syrian consumers and households, which in most cases have to worry about fulfilling basic needs (almost 12 million people have experienced displacement from their homes, and more than 80% of the population lives below the poverty line compared with 28% in 2010 – data UN).
Consumers Associations
Syrian Consumer Protection Associtation
Main Advertising Agencies
UG (United Group) is Syria's most  renown agency.
Araboo: main advertising-marketing agencies

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Latest Update: March 2024