Arabian Business / Accenture Web Index - July 2002 Report

It’s all go in August: MSN Arabia says it will start supplying data next month, Middle East Online goes pop (but perhaps only temporarily) and Arabia.com is busy building up its service

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By  David Ingham Published  September 9, 2002

Signs of dot-com life are all around|~||~||~|Click here to view the Arabian Business/Accenture Web Index for July 2002"

It’s all go in August: MSN Arabia says it will start supplying data next month, Middle East Online goes pop (but perhaps only temporarily) and Arabia.com is busy building up its service

First day back from holiday, and completely out of the blue an e-mail lands in my inbox telling me that MSN Arabia is ready to release its traffic statistics to the Web Index. MSN Arabia was planning to make a splash by announcing the event at a press conference in September. If all goes according to plan, the Web Index will be presenting you with MSN Arabia’s August traffic in Arabian Business’s November issue.

MSN Arabia officials told the Web Index that they decided to release their traffic because they felt it was a good time to give the online industry a boost. Or perhaps, after months of nagging by the Web Index, the portal has decided that the figures are now respectable enough to share with the public.

Elsewhere, signs of the shakeout in the regional internet industry continue. Middle East News Online, www.middleeastwire.com, released a statement on August 23 saying that it was having funding problems. The statement, entitled ‘Middle East News Online at a Major Crossroad’ and signed off by Fadi Z. Chahine, chairman & CEO, reads: “We must choose to continue our operation through debt related instruments or temporarily close our doors until funding is secured.

“Sadly, I am tasked with informing you that we have decided to close MENO’s doors pending the securing of additional funding. As we continue negotiations with financiers within the United States and the Middle East, it is our hope that this closure shall be temporary.” The site was still operating on August 25. Insiders suggested the end of August would be the most likely cut off date for the site if funding was not found.

Meanwhile, Libanis.com was still telling us on August 25 that it has been taken over and that, “…the site will be having a total revamp in the weeks to come.” The only problem is that the statement is still dated April 2002.

One dot-com that most certainly is still alive, but has been through a shakeup recently, is Arabia.com. In June, the company confirmed to Arabian Business that it would part company with two senior employees and relocate a large part of its back office overheads to Jordan in order to cut costs. Since then, Arabia has been busy. Following a tieup with Egyptian online bookstore, e-Kotob (www.e-kotob.com), in July, Arabia entered a partnership in August with Lebanon’s Aldoukan (www.aldoukan.com) to sell various Lebanese products, such as food and handicrafts, online.

Arabia.com has also become one of Egypt’s latest ‘virtual’ ISPs. In partnership with EgyNet, Arabia will offer Egyptian users internet access for the price of a local telephone call. “We are pleased with the portal’s growth over the first half of 2002 and we still have a number of exciting announcements to follow in the fourth quarter of 2002,” says Ramzi Zeine, CEO, summing up Arabia.com’s recent activity. “Internet penetration is growing steadily in the Arab world and Arabia.com will continue to grow with it by offering a varied and relevant service to its users, whilst still remaining a fun and friendly online experience for Arabs on the Web.” Perhaps Arabia.com will start sharing its traffic with the Web Index again soon.

Click here to view the Arabian Business/Accenture Web Index for July 2002"

Please send your feedback and forward your Web site’s results to: david.ingham@itp.net.

||**||Web Glossary|~||~||~|Ranking in category by page views: Web sites are ranked according to the total number of page views reported in the sample period.

URL: Internet address of the Web site.

Site description: Web site owners have submitted their own descriptions. These have been edited by Arabian Business.com due to space constraints.

Site category: Categories have been formed by Arabian Business.com for the purpose of comparing Web sites in a like-with-like environment.

Total number of visits in period: The cummulative total of visits to a site in the specified period. A person visiting more than once in the sample period will be counted every time that person visits. Visitors to a site for a prolonged period, i.e. opens a Web site and leaves that site open on his machine all day, can count as several visitor sessions in that day. Web tracking software can effectively call a visitor session closed if it remains inactive for a predefined period.

Average duration of visitor session in period: The time taken between entering a site and leaving a site.

No. of new visitors in period: A count of visitors who have not at any time been logged by the Web tracking software.

No. of unique visitors per month: Unique visitors are counted using the visitor's IP address, domain name, or cookie.

No. of page impressions in period: A count of hits to pages defined as documents or forms by the Web tracking software. In most, but not all cases, a cick to a new page within a Web site will count as a single additional page impression. The supporting graphics on pages are not counted.

Sample period: The dates during which the log data was generated.

Verified by: Note of whether the visitor data has been checked by Arabian Business.com and Accenture or whether the site owner has supplied data without independent verification.

Click here to view the Arabian Business/Accenture Web Index for July 2002" ||**||

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