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Tuesday, 3rd June 2014

The Arab World Online 2014: Trends in Internet and Mobile Usage in the Arab Region

Source: Arab Social Media Report, Dubai School of Government

From the Introduction:

From less than 1 percent of the world connected to the Internet back in 1995, today the number of Internet users around the world are about to cross the 3 billion users milestone. Meanwhile, the world is about to cross 7 billion mobile subscriptions; almost matching the number of people of the planet. In the Arab region Internet connectivity has transformed the ways in which millions of people do business, learn, socialize and interact with government. While Arab internet users today make up less than 0.5 percent of the global Internet population at best, they have been growing at a faster than average rate in the range of 20 percent annually. Today, our research indicates that the Internet penetration rate in the Arab region as a whole stands at 36 percent. In comparison, around 40 percent of the World’s population is connected to the Internet.

With more than 135 million Internet users in the Arab region and more than 71 million of them actively using social media today, many aspects of Arab’s lives have been greatly impacted by increased internet penetration. Additionally, with around 400 million mobile devices, and millions of other Internet connected ‘things’ used in the Arab world, the proliferation of ubiquitous digital connectivity is creating new opportunities and challenges for governments, businesses and societies on the economic, social and policy levels. In addition to opening new markets, this critical mass of Internet and mobile users in the Arab region has provided the key foundations for ambitious service delivery initiatives; such as smart government, mobile government, smart cities and technology-enabled citizen engagement initiatives.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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