Smartphones a major addiction for UAE residents

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BlackBerry Q10
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A recent study has found that UAE residents are big spenders on technology, especially smartphones and game consoles.

BlackBerry Q10 en_ca
The famous Blackberry smartphone. (BB Q10 shown)

Conducted by dmg events Middle East, the study has revealed that around 53 percent of UAE residents spend Dhs10,000 annually on technology, while about 15 percent splurge Dhs15,000 a year. Around 71 percent of residents admit to being addicted to their smartphones or laptops. About ten percent of the polled residents also own at least three game consoles.

Another study by VISA showed that about 43 percent of MENA travelers take their gadgets along  with them on holidays. The gadgets are chosen mostly on the basis of their weight and factors such as internet connectivity. In recent years, the mobile phone market has recorded tremendous growth in the MENA region.

The Middle East and North Africa region boasts an estimated one billion mobile phone subscribers, with the GCC countries leading in terms of mobile phone usage. Currently, the UAE has the world’s highest mobile penetration rate at over 230 percent.

The Middle East itself, has a strong base of 77 million internet users, with about 45 percent of accessing the internet from their mobile. As Middle East users are avid users of smartphones, the region offers an attractive audience for the mobile phone advertisers. The online advertising market in MENA is also forecast to grow at an annual rate of 37 percent per year to climb to USD 2.8 billion in 2016. The MENA region is also expected to achieve strong mobile data traffic growth at a cumulative average of 104 percent by 2016.

Figures from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimate that the UAE’s consumer electronics industry will reach USD 4 billion by 2015. The increased spending on gadgets by UAE residents is largely attributed to an increase in disposable incomes and growing consumer interest in latest gadgets that allow round the clock connectivity.

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