UAE residents spend more than 7 hours a day online

Most popular website and social media platform revealed, as report says residents spent 320 million hours on smart phones in 2020

A man points a finger to the Google Play app logo on his Huawei smartphone in this illustration picture May 20, 2019.

A man points a finger to the Google Play app logo on his Huawei smartphone in this illustration picture May 20, 2019.

Reuters/Marko Djurica/Illustration

The total value of digital payments in the UAE reached $18.50 billion (Dh68 billion) in 2020, as residents on average spent 7.24 hours on the Internet per day, according to a new report released on Saturday.

According to the World Digital Report 2021, a resident spent 40 hours per week browsing the Internet via a smartphone, while 86 per cent of the population played electronic games.

The report also found that the UAE residents spent 320 million hours on smartphones in 2020. About 97.6 per cent of the country’s population owned smartphones. Around 99 per cent of Emiratis were also found to be active on social media.

A recent survey conducted by Ding, a global mobile top-up service, had found that 70 per cent of people in the UAE favour pre-paid mobile plans.

According to the World Digital Report 2021, Google ranked first in terms of the number of visitors, with a total of 244 million visits. YouTube is the most used social media platform at 87.4 per cent.

The report also stated that the average Internet speed on smartphones reached 177.52 megabytes per second, an increase of 104.6 per cent from 2019, while the fixed Internet speed reached 131 megabytes per second - a rise of 44.6 per cent.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, director-general of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority and head of the Digital Government of the UAE government, said: "The emergency faced by the world last year has made 2020 a digital year of excellence, as websites, social media pages, portals and smart sites thrived. They were the only means for the world's population to pursue their lives, work and education.

"The communications and information technology sector's overall infrastructure has been a decisive factor in enabling many sectors of society to maintain the continuity of various aspects of everyday life like work, education, and shopping. Most importantly, the period has proved that digital transformation is an urgent necessity and not a technical luxury."


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