The Arab Spring brought the effects of the Internet in the Middle East and North Africa Region into the limelight. In the past, the Internet had never been a part of the Middle East’s geo-political landscape and yet today, it is being applauded for bringing down suppressive regimes and changing ideologies.
The ArabNet conference in Riyadh highlighted the growth of the digital economy in the GCC and KSA in particular showing staggering digital growth trends.
However, based on study results from Speedtest.net, that compares and ranks consumer download speeds around the globe, and Internet World Stats, Middle east shows the highest internet user growth rate. Internet users have risen from 3,284,000 in 2000 to a whopping 90 million in June, 2012.
Statistics from Discover Digital Arabia had thrown light on some emerging trends in the region. Here are some of the interesting findings:
- When it comes to overall Internet usage, Saudi Arabia was in the lead with highest home broadband connection and highes active domains and the second highest mobile internet usage.
- Iran has the highest number of Internet users with well over 36 million!
- UAE showed the highest digital marketing potential followed by Saudi Arabia.
- Iraq ,Egypt and Algeria showed the highest spikes in Facebook usage, while UAE had the highest number of Facebook penetration.
- 4 out of 10 Internet users in the middle east used E-commerce.