Middle East sees significant rise in mobile usage
Dubai, August 27, 2013
Mobile usage has significantly increased throughout the Middle East, with the UAE posting the highest penetration at 74 per cent, said a recent study.
The study conducted by Google also showed that consumers are becoming increasingly reliant upon their mobile devices, with 56 per cent of those surveyed stating that they never leave home without it and they access the internet with it daily.
Government and public sectors are trying to capitalise on this trend, with the Dubai government recently introducing its services for mobile users around the clock, said the study.
It also revealed that 60 per cent of UAE mobile users searched for products and services daily, of which 49 per cent sought travel-related information and 38 per cent made a purchase or booking.
As many as 23 apps are downloaded on average per month per user, said the study.
In Saudi Arabia, smart phone penetration is only slightly lower at 73 per cent, but consumers seem to have a stronger appetite for travel with 52 per cent searching for related content.
Amer Al Halabi, regional manager of Mena for HotelsCombined, said: “Mobile has clearly created a new business opportunity in hotel booking and it’s an ideal channel through which to sell rooms that otherwise would remain unoccupied. Mobile devices are an essential medium to engage customers on the move.”
HotelsCombined’s range of smartphone and tablet apps have been available to Mena consumers for over two years and remains the only hotel price comparison apps providing a fully-localised Arabic user interface. The apps, which are available in 39 languages, also cater to the expat communities in the region. - TradeArabia News Service