Gulf Arabs most active internet users and shoppers

GCC Arabs are the most active internet users and online shoppers compared to other nationalities in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena).

Gulf Arabs most active internet users and shoppers

About 35 per cent of Mena residents feel they are of expert calibre in their knowledge and use of the internet and another 47 per cent felt they were knowledgeable but still needed help at times, according to new research carried out by, the region's online job site.

Of 4,600 users polled, an overwhelming 81 per cent admitted that the internet made them more favourable towards certain brands, 83 per cent came to be aware of a new brand and 68 per cent bought a brand they first saw on the internet. The internet influenced 59 per cent to change brands.

The survey, conducted in conjunction with market research leader YouGovSiraj, shows that 47 per cent of those polled use the internet more than three hours per day, compared to only 18 per cent among television viewers.

In Kuwait, 54 per cent of internet users spend more than three hours a day online, followed by Egypt at 52 per cent, Saudi Arabia at 47 per cent and UAE at 42 per cent. About 55 per cent of users across the region regularly use blogs, social network sites, email discussion groups, community boards and other web-based sources.

"The results of this survey should serve as a wake-up call to anyone in this region who has an interest in marketing and media," said Rabea Ataya, CEO of

"Our latest study marks a pioneering step in understanding how people in the region use the internet when making their buying decisions," he said.

Among the findings in the study is that the internet currently ranks second to word-of-mouth (55 per cent) when it comes to influencing people's purchasing decisions, with 43 per cent saying they used websites as a source of information, compared to 55 per cent who relied on people they know. Newspapers came in third with 40 per cent.

Apart from word of mouth (55 per cent), the internet is ranked as the topmost source of information considered by respondents before deciding the product or brand to purchase. Websites were looked up by 43 per cent followed by newspapers at 40 per cent.

The survey revealed the internet goes beyond influencing purchasing decisions. About 58 per cent of respondents say they have bought items online. For GCC Arabs, the figure was 52 per cent, 49 per cent for the UAE and Qatar, 44 per cent for Saudi Arabia and 25 per cent for Egypt.

Travel topped online purchases, with 41 per cent of respondents making travel-related transactions over the past 12 months, followed by software and books at 40 per cent.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Temmuz 2007, 17:32