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Sun 15 Apr 2001 04:00 AM

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Arab Internet population grows by 1.5 million over the last year

Ajeeb.com's research unit puts number of Arab Internet community at 3.54 million

A survey conducted by Ajeeb.com’s research unit indicates that volume of Arab Internet users has risen by 1.5 million in the last 12 months. The research, conducted in conjunction with Visa International and Tejari.com, estimates the number of total Arab Internet users to be 3.54 million.

Based on the survey’s findings, Ajeeb.com is predicting that the total number of Arab Internet users should burst the five million mark — or nearly 2% of entire Arab population — by the end of the year.

Further forecasts estimate that by the end of 2002 the volume of Arab Internet users could be as high as 10 or 12 million.

According to Ajeeb’s research, the UAE topped the list, with the highest level of Internet penetration and the fastest growing user population. Survey findings indicate that the UAE’s Internet population grew a massive 57% during the course of last year, with the number of subscribers growing from 140,000 to 220,000 by mid-March 2001.

Ajeeb.com also says that the total number of Internet users within the UAE has surged to 660,000 — equivalent to 24.44% of the total population.

The UAE online community also constitutes the single largest national group among Arab countries stated the report.

In comparison to the UAE’s figures, Bahrain registered 16.67% of its population online, while Qatar had 10.27% of its population hooked to the Internet. According to the survey figures, the other Arab countries all registered single digit scores.

The authors of the report attributed the UAE’s high level of Internet penetration to the awareness and free training campaigns conducted recently by Etisalat. The e-government drive by Dubai's local government is also thought to have had an impact.

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