Web users in ME to hit 413 million by 2015



Published — Wednesday 14 August 2013

Last update 2 October 2013 1:20 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

JEDDAH: FADIA JIFFRY


Internet users in the Middle East are currently estimated at 90 million and are expected to reach 413 million by the year 2015. Daily social media activity among Internet users in MENA region is 88 percent, with over 36,000 new Facebook users alone coming up every day in the region.
Saudi Arabia and UAE have the highest rates of smartphone penetration at 63 percent and 61 percent respectively.
“I believe it is clear that the number of Internet users in the Middle East is increasing with time. This is a fact,” says Saud Kateb, New Media professor at King Abdulaziz University. “The use of social media is reaching global level, especially in Saudi Arabia. Internet and smartphone penetration in Saudi Arabia have been rising among other Gulf countries. People, both men and women, use social media to communicate and share their views; be it political or religious,” he said.
Topping the list of the top 10 countries in Internet penetration is Bahrain at 77 percent followed by UAE at 71 percent, Oman 68.8 percent, Kuwait 62 percent, Qatar 61 percent, Saudi Arabia 60 percent, Iran 53.3 percent, Lebanon 52 percent, Jordan 48 percent and Oman 28 percent.
The average broadband speed in Middle East grew to 3.7 Mbps in 2012 from 3.1 Mbps in 2011, registering a 20 percent increase in a year. Four out of ten Internet users in the Middle East purchase goods online. Saudi Arabia being the second largest e-commerce market in the GCC, saw $520 million in e-commerce sales in 2011.
E-commerce sales in MENA is expected to reach an average of $15 billion by the year 2015.
“People in Saudi Arabia are more inclined to use e-commerce nowadays,” says Kateb, adding: “In the beginning, people didn’t trust the method of online payments and were afraid to use e-commerce due to privacy and security purposes, but now it has become a habit.”
Today, online methodologies have completely taken over traditional forms of business communication. The value and rapidity of trade has improved significantly over the past decade due to the Internet. These platforms are of vital significance for businesses and individuals in their quest to make use of social media to develop their professional brand name or individual image.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

ALKHOBAR: A power failure at the King Fahd Causeway on Wednesday night resulted in a massive traffic congestion, even as officials failed to explain the cause of the snag, local media reported.A power outage for 74 minutes on the link between the Kin...
JEDDAH: A female Saudi lawyer was able to get a stay order on a ruling by the general court in Jeddah that awarded custody of a two-year-old girl to her father. She successfully argued to get the court order reversed that gave custody back to the mot...
JEDDAH: The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) said that combating harassment cases is part of its responsibility to promote Islamic values and morals in society.“Those harassing women will be brought to book,” s...
RIYADH: A thick layer of sand covered the city’s skyline on Saturday with a heavy blanket of dust caused by strong winds hampering visibility and creating traffic snarls on busy roads.The traffic department advised motorists to drive slowly and exerc...
JEDDAH: More than 26 million Umrah pilgrims and worshippers visited the Grand Mosque during the month of Ramadan and in the first few days after Eid Al-Fitr, thanks to a smooth transport arrangement under the guidance of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-...
AL-AHSA: An outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) has been discovered in cattle in Al-Ahsa which is an area with many cows. All necessary measures have been taken to protect the livestock, said Mahmoud Al-Shuaibi of the Agriculture Department in Al-Ah...
RIYADH: An architectural masterpiece — the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center (KAHC) — in Riyadh is a huge complex dedicated solely to collecting, preserving, promoting and showcasing the history and heritage of Saudi Arabia. The KAHC is a three milli...
RIYADH: The Saudi Blind Society (Kafif) has made all preparations for the three-day workshop for the blind to be held here next week and attended by delegates from various Asian countries.Mohammed bin Suleiman Al-Shuwaiman, Kafif director general, th...
JEDDAH: The number of Saudis who took early retirement schemes last year stood at 38,647, the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) has said. The Eastern Provinces got the lion's share of disbursements for retirees, amounting to SR3.8 bill...
JEDDAH: Meat and poultry topped the list of food items seized by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) at the border crossings for violating the health standards in the last two months.Approximately 267,137 kg of unfit meat and poultry were reject...
JEDDAH: Many sponsors and workers of small companies are struggling to get a comparatively cheaper health cover for renewal of iqama (residential permit) as the insurance companies have stopped issuing the same.The passport department has made it com...
RIYADH: Police have detained 11 Indonesian nationals, who arrived in the holy city of Makkah for Umrah a few days back.The Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry is working closely with the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah to assist the group of citizen...
JEDDAH: The National Committee for Bakeries at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) said this Haj season would see no shortage in supplies of bakery items.The committee said there was need to increase operational labor by about 20 percent.It confirmed...
LONDON: Members of Osama Bin Laden’s family were among four people who died when a private jet crashed in Britain, Saudi Arabia’s embassy in London said on Saturday.The Saudi-registered plane plowed into a car auction site and burst into flames in so...
JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al Hamzi, director general of prisons, has sacked Brig. Ahmad Al Shahrani, director of Jeddah prisons, after the case of a video clip about prisoners taking heroin went viral, according to local media.Quoting informed source...

Stay Connected

Facebook