Arabian Business / Accenture Web Index - September 2002 Report

A change of ISP meant that Maktoob did not sup-ply figures to the Web Index this month, which meant that Planetarabia is top of the unique visitors chart for one month at least. Maktoob expects to resume normal service next month.

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By  David Ingham Published  November 10, 2002

Arabia says goodbye to its CEO and co-founder|~||~||~|Click here to view the Arabian Business/Accenture Web Index for September 2002"

A change of ISP meant that Maktoob did not sup-ply figures to the Web Index this month, which meant that Planetarabia is top of the unique visitors chart for one month at least. Maktoob expects to resume normal service next month.

That aside, the biggest news in the dot-com world this month is that Ramzi Zeine, CEO and co-founder of Arabia.com, has left the company. His departure had been expected and the decision was formally made at a meeting of Arabia’s board last month. An official statement said: “Part of the Board discussion revolved around the portal operation in addition to management and structural changes in the immediate and near future. As part of the restructuring, the resignation of Ramzi Zeine from his operational post of CEO was accepted and the Board appointed Mohsan Parvez as the new CEO.”

Zeine will remain a major shareholder in the company. Arabia has parted company with several senior managers in recent months and has moved most of its operations back to Jordan from Dubai in an effort to bring down costs.

Little is known about Zeine’s replacement, and the new CEO has so far declined to give interviews. According to a statment released by Arabia, Parvez has a financial and business background. He is described, somewhat cryptically, as the ‘finance director of a large non-profit making organisation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has been instrumental in transforming this organisation into an efficient and highly productive business unit. His role extends to the operation, management control as well as long and short-term strategic planning.’

He is a Canadian national and was educated in the UK where he obtained his Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) degree in 1980. He is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ontario, Canada. “Arabia.com enjoys the largest dot com client base in the Middle East,” Parvez said in a statement. “We are moving the company towards a better understanding of our customer requirements and becoming a truly customer focused portal. We want to give better value to our stakeholders, these being: our loyal service users, our advertisers, our employees, our investors and the community we are part of.”

Elsewhere, Emirates Internet and Multimedia (EIM), the ISP business unit of Etisalat, says it has cut online advertising rates by up to 50%, and has introduced a new pricing model and a range of new, interactive banner designs. The new pricing model allows for fixed monthly payments. Advertisers can opt for this model or the existing method of a fixed sum per 1,000 page views.

“Our bi-lingual Arabic and English portal receives over 1,250,000 individual visits every month from around the region,” said Abdulla Hashim, acting general manager, EIM. “By reducing our costs and introducing new designs and pricing options, we will be offering advertisers a highly competitive and innovative marketing solution to reach an educated audience with disposable income in several markets around the Middle East.” The new designs include interactive ‘scratch’ adverts, where a user can scratch away half the banner to reveal a new graphic. Other designs include the ‘expanding graphic’; the ‘scrolling slide show’; and ‘page crossing’ images. An ‘expanding HTML’ design allows an online form to drop down on a site for completion by the user.

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

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