UAE: the most wired Arab nation by 2008

By the end of 2008, the UAE will have more than 2.41 million internet users, roughly 50% of the population, making it the Arab world’s most wired country.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  April 11, 2004

By the end of 2008, the UAE will have more than 2.41 million internet users, roughly 50% of the population, making it the Arab world’s most wired country. Currently, there are estimated to be 1.25 million internet users, representing 31% of the population. The projected figures are quite impressive considering that population will have a substantial segment of unskilled labourers, according to a study by the Dubai-based Madar Research Group. “By 2008, the Dubai eGovernment would have reached the ultimate stage of transactional e-governance, bringing the bulk of the population into the fold of eServices,” says Salem Al Shair, director eServices, Dubai eGovernment. Currently, the Dubai eGovernment is involved in a multi-pronged strategy to increase IT penetration across all segments of the community and businesses. The e4all is an educational initiative aimed at enhancing the IT skills of UAE citizens, through classroom and online learning programmes. Other initiatives include eLearn, which offers the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) online. From the internet access point of view, Etisalat the state-run ISP, is now beefing up its cable internet, internet via TV sets, ISDN LAN, broadband internet and the new iZone wireless network. Al Shair believes such two-way initiatives from the public and the UAE government will boost internet penetration over the next four years. “Dubai eGovernment is fully convinced about the all-embracing role IT plays in our lives and has laid an infrastructure that will make it easy for all people to switch to electronic channels,” adds Al Shair.

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