Arabian Business Web Index - February 2003 Report

There are several newcomers in the Web Index this month, MSN signs new content deals and Zawya broadens its revenue base.

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By  David Ingham Published  March 31, 2003

Comings and goings in the Web Index |~||~||~|Click here to view the Arabian Business Web Index for February 2003"

There was lots of coming and going this month as four new sites swelled the ranks of the web index, but three dropped out due to technical problems. Hopefully, the absence of Bayt, and Tejari will prove to be only temporary. Offsetting those losses was the arrival of the Al Bawaba Network (including and;; middleeastdirectory. com; and

Al Bawaba is a Jordan-based company that runs as a broad portal site and as a more focused business resource. The other three sites are all managed by Cyber Gear and are a portal, search engine and entertainment guide respectively.

Internet news from around the region included a deal between MSN Arabia and publishing company, Al Hilal Group. The deal will see MSN Arabia provide its readers with content from TradeArabia, Al Hilal’s business and trade news portal and Gulf Weekly, a regional leisure, entertainment and lifestyle newspaper.

“Our partnership with TradeArabia is a critical part of our core strategy to bring innovative and interesting contents to our visitors”, says Ehab Fares, MSN Arabia’s general manager. “As a result of our association with Trade Arabia, a number of value added services are offered to visitors. MSNA visitors can now browse through extensive information on different sectors of Arab trade, ‘What’s On in the Gulf’ and keep themselves updated with news on the current happenings in the trade world,” adds Fares.

“This partnership with MSNA is a further step in our company’s integrated web strategy development where we have successfully combined traditional publishing with the power and worldwide reach of the Internet, added Ronnie Middleton, managing director of Al Hilal Group.

“MSNA is the first and only portal to receive the entire business and trade news content from TradeArabia, providing subscribers with unmatched daily business and trade news across every sector of the economy in the Middle East.”

Other news was ABQ Zawya’s closure of a deal with the UAE’s Higher Colleges of Technology, which signed an agreement to receive Zawya’s premium information service, the Corporate Monitor. This will allow HCT’s students to access Zawya’s database of over 9,000 regional companies and use its search service.

“We chose Zawya’s solution because it provides a highly relevant educational tool for our students. The agreement will allow students to access a wide body of local and international business information and to access the Corporate Monitor, a unique database which comprises 9,000 of the region’s largest and most dynamic corporations and organisations from over 20 countries,” said Dr. Suleiman Al Jassim, director of community relations and manpower development in HCT.

Zawya is well known as a business and finance portal for the region, but has recently been trying to diversify its revenue base by moving into market intelligence and other paid for services. “Until now, the up-take for this product has been mainly from large scale financial and commercial institutions – the likes of Citibank, Arab Bank, Visa and McKinsey & Co,” notes Zawya’s co-founder and director, Hani Al Maskati. “But this agreement with HCT clearly demonstrates that the Corporate Monitor can also service the information needs of educational institutions.”

Click here to view the Arabian Business Web Index for February 2003"

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||**|||~||~||~|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 due to space constraints.

Site category: Categories have been formed by Arabian 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 or whether the site owner has supplied data without independent verification.

Click here to view the Arabian Business Web Index for February 2003" ||**||

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