Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make up for 80 percent of the companies in UAE and are numbered at around 200,000 with 12,000 SMEs being added annually, according to a report by Google and Du. They are the true drivers of economy and contribute towards 40 percent of the country’s annual GDP. A startling fact though is that only 10 percent of the SMEs have some kind of online presence, the other 90 percent of SMEs in the UAE have no online presence, severely hampering their growth prospects, according to a top Google official.
Though the rate of internet penetration in the UAE is among the highest in the world, and as a result 71 per cent of all purchases made in the country are researched online first. And also, according to annual TNS Mobile Life Study which shows that 78 per cent of UAE residents own a smart phone compared to the global average of only 42 per cent, hence creating a huge potential for businesses to make their presence felt.
This is a clear indication of the fact that UAE residents are going digital. And SMEs need to look no further in order to reach their customers.
Here is a quick snapshot of how UAE users use internet compared to other Middle Eastern countries.
- UAE scores the highest amongst all Arab countries in terms of Facebook penetration at 41%
- The highest usage of online streaming services is in the UAE (54%)
- Music, games and video are the three most downloaded types of online content. In the aggregate, 63% of UAE’s internet users download these three types of content
- UAE is the largest e-commerce market in the Middle East, with consumers spending $2.9 billion online last year.
- UAE has the highest number of LinkedIn users amongst the Middle East countries
Are you an SME who Is yet to explore the power of internet? Share your comments.