Dubai tops MidEast rankings for technology benefits

Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha named most networked cities in new list published by Ericsson
Dubai tops MidEast rankings for technology benefits
By Andy Sambidge
Mon 23 Sep 2013 02:12 PM

Dubai is the best networked city in the Middle East, according to a new index released by global technology giant Ericsson.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha have been named the best regional cities for delivering technology-based benefits to its residents.

The first Networked Society MENA City Index analysed the levels of ICT-driven benefits created in 11 of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region's largest cities.

One of the key findings of this report was that, in general, the 11 cities covered showed high ICT maturity levels in terms of infrastructure development and usage of ICT services when compared to major cities in the global report.

The report also highlighted the increasing influence of ICT in supporting entrepreneurial activities within the region.

The importance of connectivity for businesses, and the empowerment it brings, was clear from the high levels of internet usage with penetration rates comparable with many international business hubs, including Shanghai and London.

Furthermore, mobility was also a key indicator from the study, with Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha all revealing 100 percent mobile phone usage, and other analyzed cities falling no lower than 83 percent.

The results revealed a strong correlation between high levels of ICT maturity, and usage, within a city to the number of start-up businesses and entrepreneurial innovations being launched, for example in music and video streaming, e-commerce and cloud services.

Anders Lindblad, president, Region Middle East and North Africa, Ericsson said: "ICT has become an integral part of our working environment and will continue to be an important resource for business growth.

"The environment of entrepreneurship and innovation is enhanced by ICT as it provides the tools and infrastructure that make it easy for entrepreneurs to start a business. ICT nurtures innovation and helps people to realise their ideas for new companies, products and services. It provides access to a market far greater than was previously possible for start-ups."

Lindblad added: "Trends suggest that more than 60 percent of all people in the region will live in cities by 2030. In the future, advances in technology and infrastructure performance will continue to change our lives, as ICT has the potential to help us meet some of our great societal challenges.

"The report shows high levels of ICT maturity in the MENA region in terms of infrastructure and usage and indicates the untapped opportunities to leverage the socioeconomic benefits."

Other cities that were part of the index included Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Jeddah, Riyadh, Khartoum, Istanbul and Muscat.

A total of 28 indicators were used to measure the total benefits in the index for each city.

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