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UAE emerges as best connected Arab country

Survey highlights UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia as the region’s leaders in terms of mass adoption of telecom services

The UAE, along with Bahrain and KSA, emerged as the “best connected” Arab countries.
The UAE, along with Bahrain and KSA, emerged as the “best connected” Arab countries.

The UAE has emerged as the best connected Arab country followed by Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, according to the Arab Advisors Group’s latest Total Country Connectivity Measure (TCCM), which looks at the penetration rates of household fixed lines, mobiles and internet in each country.

The UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia scored 321%, 249% and 248% respectively in the survey, owing to their extensive adoption of telecoms services compared with other countries in the region.

While Qatar gained a respectable score of 205%, putting it in fourth place, other Gulf countries struggled in comparison to the top three. Kuwait emerged as the next highest scoring country in the Middle East, with a score of 184%, followed by Oman on 170%. Jordan, Syria and Lebanon followed with scores of 141%, 129% and 125% respectively.

Iraq and Palestine trailed on 100% and 95%, possibly reflecting internal difficulties faced by both countries. Yemen languished in last place among the Middle East countries with a score of just 55%.

Many of the African countries surveyed performed relatively strongly. Libya came in fifth place overall with a score of 199%, while Algeria and Egypt followed with scores of 141% and 128% respectively. Tunisia scored 128%, Morocco 127%, Mauritania 74%, while Sudan came last with just 34%.

For Jordan-based Arab Advisors Group, the lower scores of many of the countries represent a huge opportunity, with latent demand likely to drive significant telecoms growth in the next few years.

“Only four out of the nineteen countries covered in this year’s study have a total country connectivity measure that exceeds a 200%,” said Andrawes Snobar, research manager, Arab Advisors Group.

“This indicates a substantial potential for more growth in most Arab markets, especially in the under penetrated Internet markets.”