Middle East gears up for mobile-enabled Ramadan

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Middle East Gears Up For Most Mobile-Enabled Ramadan Yet.

Tech-savvy Muslims Turn To Smart Devices To Manage Holy Month Commitments.

Popular Apps Likely To Aid Prayer Scheduling, Diet And Online Protection.


Screenshots of a popular app iPray
Screenshots of a popular app iPray

Muslims in the Middle East are gearing up for what could be the most mobile-enabled Ramadan in history.

The region is embracing mobility in record numbers, pushing smartphones and tablets into the limelight as crucial organisational and awareness-raising tools when the Holy Month commences on July 10th.

David Gorodyansky; “Mobile technology is clearly more widely available and important in the region this year, and it will undoubtedly make its influence felt throughout Ramadan.

Ramadan requires a huge amount of coordination, which can be now be supported by an unprecedented galaxy of apps. What’s more, smartphones and tablets can add a powerful new dimension to the ability to share experiences with friends and family both near and far throughout the Holy Month. Interestingly, the proliferation of visually-appealing, user-friendly apps is also proving a compelling way for non-Muslims to learn about the significance of the occasion.” — David Gorodyansky, CEO and founder of internet privacy and security pioneers AnchorFree

More than ever before, mobile technology is taking centre stage in the Middle East. Penetration currently stands at 109 per cent across the region to encompass 284 million customers.

Eight million new subscribers signed up to Middle Eastern telecom operators during Q1 2013, according Ericsson’s recently published Mobility Report.

One in 16 global mobile subscriptions during Q1 2013 hailed from the Middle East.

The UAE is particularly connected. According to the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, the country is one of the most connected in the world with a penetration rate of 171.8 per cent.

All of which is set to drive considerable traffic to thousands of Islam and Ramadan-specific apps, across all platforms. These include Qibla direction, calendars, health guidance for diabetics, live wallpapers, 3D virtual tours of Mecca, informative broadcasts, the Qu’ran on the go, and even educational games.

On Google Play alone, top Islamic apps such as the multi-functional Muslim Pro and Salatuk (Prayer Time) have already racked up millions installs, and figures are expected to soar next month.

Hotspot Shield is another app likely to appeal during Ramadan, mainly for its ability to provide mobile bandwidth savings, protect against malware and repel increasingly sophisticated cybercrimes like identity theft.

In 2012, MENA-based Hotspot Shield users benefited from 66,292,362 MB in bandwidth savings and were shielded from 16,324,642,275 malware incidents.

Hotspot Shield encrypts every accessed webpage and provides a secure, private tunnel for online browsing.

“As mobile use rises, so too will multifaceted. Hotspot Shield is one of the more effective methods to arm against potential attacks and enjoy an optimal, unencumbered online experience during Ramadan,” added Gorodyansky.

Hotspot Shield is the world’s most popular VPN, with 120 million downloads across 190 countries. 6 million new downloads now take place each month. Five billion pages views are made secure every month and over 700 million malware threats have been thwarted to date.

A significant portion of AnchorFree’s recent success is due to the Hotspot Shield mobile app, which has been downloaded over 10 million times in just 18 months. Around 1.5 million new downloads are now taking place per month across both Android and iOS platforms.

Hotspot Shield is currently the number one security app on the iPhone and iPad. It also ranks number one in the Apple App store’s Productivity category in over ten countries.

Earlier this year, AnchorFree was hailed as America’s sixth most promising company and Gorodyansky was identified as one of the country’s most promising CEOs. Hotspot Shield was also named by popular download site Softonic as “one of the best apps” at Mobile World Congress 2013.

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