High net worth individuals power internet spend

68% of Mideast internet users in top income bracket of $5000+ per month have bought items online.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  July 17, 2007

58% of Middle East users have bought items online, a figure that rises to 68% for those in the top income bracket of US $5000+ per month, according to the results of a new poll by Middle East recruitment website Bayt.com.

For GCC-based Arabs, the figure recorded was 52% per cent, with 49% of users in the UAE for instance saying they had bought products or services over the internet, compared to just 25% in Egypt.

As for the types of purchases Arabs are making, travel buys are currently the most popular, with 41% of Middle East respondents confirming they had made online travel-related transactions over the past 12 months. This spending category was followed by software and books at approximately 40%.

On the online services front, 42% of respondents said they had found a job online, while Government officials and utility providers might be interested to note that 39% of respondents now pay their bills online.

Interestingly from a branding standpoint, of the 4,600 Bayt.com users polled, 81% admitted that the internet has made them more favourable towards certain brands.

According to Bayt.com CEO Rabea Ataya: "The results of this survey should serve as a wake-up call to anyone in this region who has an interest in marketing and media. Our latest study marks a pioneering step in understanding how people in the region use the internet when making their buying decisions."

Bayt.com's online consumer survey is the latest in a series commissioned by the job site. Company representatives were keen to stress however that the survey's results only demonstrate the behaviour of people who have internet access and use Bayt.com, and is not indicative of the general public's behaviour.

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