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UAE maintains first rank in Arab Internet markets: a study

posted on 16/05/2002: 846 views

Expected competition in the UAE's Internet and datacomm markets will sustain the UAE's first rank status amongst Arab Internet markets, according to a newly released report from the Arab Advisors Group ( fully analyzes the UAE Internet and datacomm, content and E-commerce markets. 'Internet accounts will grow from 251,000 in 2001 to exceed 600,000 accounts by 2006, a penetration rate of 14.4%. The thriving Internet and datacomm market in the UAE will always be an attractive market.

The Internet revenues for yearend 2001 were close to USUS$ 73 million, contributing close to 10% of ETISALAT's total revenues, the report said. The Group also projects the Internet market to grow substantially to reach more than USUS$ 137 million in year 2006. The datacomm market contributed a bigger share of the operator's total revenue in 2000 whereby it generated more than USUS$ 95 million that year, 5.1% of ETISALAT's total revenues compared to the Internet's contribution of 2.8%. A new report, entitled UAE Internet and Datacomm Landscape Report 2002, was released to the Arab Advisors Group's ( Strategic Research Service subscribers in May 2002.

The 45-pages report is the culmination of painstaking primary research over more than two months by Arab Advisors Group's analysts. "The UAE enjoys the highest Internet penetration in the Arab world. Of course, with close to 80% of the country's population made up of expatriates, most of these users are not Arabs. With an envied position as the region's technology and IT trading hub, the UAE has all the pillars for Internet growth in the country." Wrote Hala Baqain, an Arab Advisors Group's analyst in the report.

According to the report, the datacomm market in the UAE encompasses a wide array of services. Datacomm services are ETISALAT's third major revenue stream following the fixed and mobile services. The UAE is amongst the leading countries in the Arab World regarding the adoption of datacomm services. As much as the datacomm market in the country is eye-catching it remains closed to all but ETISALAT.

"The Arab Advisors Group believes that the liberalisation of the telecom and datacomm sector in the UAE has strong backing amongst circles in the ruling families in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Nonetheless, a blue print for liberalisation does not yet exist which could mean a haphazard approach in liberalisation that would yield less than optimal results." Ms. Baqain commented. "Our projections assume some level of liberalization in the country's datacomm and Internet segments in the late 2002 / early 2003 time frame", she added.

The report features and analyses ETISALAT, the UAE's sole Internet and Datacomm provider, content providers and E-commerce companies in the UAE as well as data centres and important government initiatives, the report found. The UAE Internet and Datacomm Landscape Report 2002 includes 5-year historical figures on 40 plus indicators of the communications market as well as 5-year projections (till 2006). The report's table of content can be downloaded in PDF format from Arab Advisors Group's web page ( The report analyses the operations of all the companies in the market and presents detailed profiles of their operations and strategy. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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