Survey reveals UAE internet users avoid online shopping

75% of those surveyed worry internet is "unsafe" and "too risky"

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By  Quintin Smith Published  March 4, 2008

An annual survey performed by security solutions provider Symantec indicates that 75% of UAE internet users avoid online shopping because they believe it is "unsafe" and "too risky".

Meanwhile, out of those that do perform transactions online, a supposed 78% do so without any security systems in place.

Around 400 UAE residents were involved in the survey.

Con Mallon, EMEA Consumer Product Marketing Director, Symantec Corporation said the results "demonstrate a lack of willingness on the part of the consumer to be pro-active when it comes to protecting themselves from online hackers even though there are a number of easy to install security solutions available".

Symantec's survey follows a fairly positive survey conducted by the Arab Advisors Group in the second half of 2007, which showed the UAE to have the highest e-commerce penetration in the region at 25.1% of the total population.

The next highest nation was Saudi Arabia at 14.3%, followed by Kuwait at 10.7% and Lebanon at 1.6%.

While the UAE had the highest per capita online expenditure, Lebanon managed the highest expenditure per user, most likely due to its user base largely consisting of wealthy early adopters.

3503 days ago
George

one of the main reasons why I personally think that online shopping is sort of high in lebanon is due to several issues, be it political and economical. it has been YEARS now that you can buy pre-paid credit cards (or on the go credit cards) for internet use only along with "credit card" scratch cards type, so security is not a big issue (pre-load the account or prepaid the exact amount you need). Another thing, Libanpost (mail delivery) is ran by a canadian (or italian? can't remember). They are accurate, quick and get everything done for you even the customs duty if any! political issues, censorship is not as high as neighbouring countries, it's the most free country (in its own weird way) in the middle east, banned books/videos/dvds are bought online with no trouble with the customs, which is sort of weird. personally, i know some people (including myself, lebanese) who spent in the last 5 years over 5k on online goods. It all goes back to mentality I guess.

3541 days ago
A Spence

I would have to agree with Al Ghaf, I used to do a lot of shopping online when I lived in the UK and Australia but since coming here over 3 years ago, I have never had one package delivered (and this includes standard letters and mail from home!). This is so much more of an issue than the security (which I think is actually very good these days anyway and I have purchase insurance on my credit card as well).

3545 days ago
AL Ghaf

I shop online in the UK but not in Dubai. This has nothing to do with internet security and everything to do with how I rate Emposts ability to deliver.

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