Digital marketing in UAE report for 2016

UAE Digital Marketing Report for 2016 by We are social

Digital marketing in UAE is touching the new heights. The growing number of internet users and mobile penetration in UAE is leading the chart with whopping internet penetration rate of 96% leaving behind UK and Canada with 92% and 91% respectively.

Same as last year, we are social has released a new digital media report for 2016 for the world’s 30 prominent economies for their digital progress.

Digital Marketing- UAE ranked top in We are social media report 2016

According to the We are social report for 30 countries, UAE holds the 1st position in internet penetration, which is a remarkable achievement for UAE. This shows the promising growth for the startup and ecommerce  ecosystem  in UAE.


Let’s talk about the overall digital picture of the UAE. UAE has a population of 9.21 million out of which 8.81 million are active internet users, which makes 96%  internet penetration rate. The penetration rate of active social media users is 68% and active mobile social user penetration is 61%.

There are 17.19 million mobile connections that are twice the size of approximately entire UAE population.

Digital Marketing- Digital landscape in the UAE by we are social



It’s not a surprise anymore that UAE population spends more time on the internet than watching TV.

Average daily internet use via a tablet or PC is 4 hour 25 min, while average daily internet use via a mobile phone is 3 hour 37 min.

Digital Marketing- Time spent with media in UAE by we are social report

Now let’s talk about the average use of social media via any device that  is 3 hour and 1 min, and here comes the bad news for the traditional media with average daily TV viewing time of 1 hour 42 min and last year it was 2 hour 4 min.



Total active internet users in UAE are 8.81 million which makes them 96% of total UAE population.

Digital Marketing- Internet usage in UAE by we are social report

According to We are social report for 2016, UAE stands at first position, while globally UAE stands at 5th position in internet use as 96% population using the internet.



Compare to last year, few positions have been slightly changed. WhatsApp climbed the first position in the chat app/messenger category leaving behind the Skype compared to last year.

Digital Marketing- Top social active platforms of UAE in 2016 by we are social

Top Active Social platform of 2016

Digital marketing - top social active platforms in 2015 by we are social

Top Active Social platforms of 2015

World’s most popular social networking site Facebook got the 1st rank in social network category with 46%. Whereas, last year Facebook’s position was at 39%.

Positive growth can be seen in Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and snapchat finally appeared on the radar, while, Pinterest has been lost.


Mobile penetration is rapidly growing with 71% population are using the mobile messengers while 62% population watch the videos on mobile. 41% of the population play games on their mobile and 47% of the population using mobile for mobile banking and 60% of the population use map services.

Digital Marketing-Mobile activities in UAE by we are social report



Here comes the real good news that 62% of the population purchased a product or service online in last 30 days.  80% of the population searched for any product or service in the past 30 days.

Digital Marketing- E-commerce usage by device in UAE for 2016 by we are social report

65% of the population visited an online retailer in the past 30 days and 53% of the population made a purchase via a laptop or desktop computer and 40% through mobile devices.



Undoubtedly, UAE is one of the top nations with the highest number of the internet users. A whopping rate of the population use the internet on daily basis, 7% at least once a week and 2% at least once per month and less than once per month respectively.89%

Digital Marketing- Frequency of internet use in UAE for 2016 by we are social report



Mobile Phones are leading the share of web traffic with 49% whereas, on 2nd position, laptop and desktops came with 47% while tablets got only 4% of the share.

Digital Marketing- Share of web Traffic in UAE for 2016 by we are social report


The total number of active social media users in UAE are 6.30 million which makes it 68% of the total population. Out of which 5.60 million are accessing social media via mobile phones.

Digital Marketing- Social media use in UAE for 2016 by we are social report


All these We are social slides are available for download at Slideshare.

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