By Philip Fenton
Internet use in the UAE is being spurred on by the boom in Internet cafes, according to Emirates Internet and Multimedia, the ISP business of Etisalat.
Internet use in the UAE is being dramatically enhanced by the current boom in public Internet cafes, according to Emirates Internet and Multimedia, the ISP business unit of Etisalat. July 2002 saw the biggest monthly increase of new cafes to date, with a total of 28 new cafes opened and 290 new PCs installed.This brings the number of cafes in the UAE to 191, of which 98 have sprung up in 2002 alone. To date, 2,563 Internet enabled PCs are installed in the cafes, and demand is increasing every week. In the last seven months alone 1,252 new PCs have been added."We are seeing an unprecedented demand for Internet surfing centers throughout the UAE, said Maroua Naim, general manager, EIM. "There is a new Internet cafe community arising in the country that is not only connecting people to the Internet, but also bringing communities together on common ground. Every day thousands of people use the cafes to search for information and contact friends and family."The cafes were first introduced to the UAE in September 1996, and have since attracted a lot of attention. The country's large expatriate community, who use the Internet to communicate with friends and family from their home country, is thought to have amplified the surge in demand.