UAE leads Arab world in telecoms penetration

Arab Advisors report shows UAE has highest level of telecom services connectivity

Tags: Arab Advisors GroupInternet penetrationKuwaitLibyaQatarSaudi ArabiaUnited Arab Emirates
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UAE leads Arab world in telecoms penetration Cellular line growth drove improvements in telecoms penetration across the Arab world in 2009, says the report. (Shutterstock)
By Staff Writer Published  September 10, 2010

The UAE leads the Arab world in telecom services penetration, according to a new report from Arab Advisors.

The latest results from the Arab Arab Advisors Group's Total Country Connectivity Measure (TCCM) study, to end of 2009, showed the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar had the leading levels of fixed, cellular and internet penetration in the Arab world.

The TCCM is calculated by adding the household mainline penetration, cellular penetration, and Internet user penetration rates in each country, to show the extent of connectivity of individuals in a given country. The UAE led the ratings with 352% penetration, followed by Saudi Arabia on 286% and Qatar on 254%. The figures reflect a certain degree of overlap, with many individuals using all three services, but still provide a measure of penetration of ICT services.

Samer Abbas, senior research analyst at Arab Advisors Group commented: "By looking at the TCCM scores, it is noticeable that high scores are correlated with high-income levels. GCC countries dominate the TCCM, as income levels and GDP per capita in these countries is significantly higher than the rest of the Arab countries. Moreover, countries with competitive markets have seen their scores improve rapidly as competition drove down rates and enhanced awareness amongst consumers."

The results of the annual study showed improvements overall, with cellular services particularly showing strong growth, along with strong growth in internet connections.

The TCCM scores by country were:

  1. UAE 352%
  2. Saudi Arabia 286%
  3. Qatar 254%
  4. Bahrain 250%
  5. Libya 246%
  6. Kuwait 201%
  7. Oman 189%
  8. Algeria 161%
  9. Lebanon 155%
  10. Morocco 149%
  11. Jordan 148%
  12. Tunisia 145%
  13. Syria 142%
  14. Egypt 140%
  15. Palestine 109%
  16. Iraq 100%
  17. Yemen 66%
  18. Sudan 51.2%


The full report, Arab Advisors' Total Country Connectivity Measure (TCCM) for end of 2009 for the Arab World is available now from

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