99% of people in the UAE use the internet

As the enabler of the digital government, the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority has released the “Digital UAE – Facts and Figures 2023” report.

This report sheds light on the aspects of digital life and some indicators in the digital transformation process within the United Arab Emirates.

The facts and figures in the report indicate the expansion of the digital landscape, in line with the authority’s strategy to support the transition towards comprehensive and integrated digital life in all government and private sectors, and among individuals in the UAE.

The report shows that the percentage of internet users in the United Arab Emirates has reached 99% of the population. Internet usage serves various purposes, from social communication, work, and information search, to learning, entertainment, shopping, and accessing public services.

According to the report, the download speed on smartphones reached 161.15 megabits per second, with an annual speed increase of 2.3%. Meanwhile, wifi internet download speed reached 207.41 megabits per second, with a significant speed increase of 80.1%, which is considerably higher compared to previous years.

The UAE: An Integrated Digital Environment

Commenting on the report, His Excellency Engineer Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Director-General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority, said: “The report reflects the digital landscape in the country in general, especially the high level of usage of digital solutions, whether in everyday life or government services.

This, if anything, indicates the level of digital maturity that both users and service providers possess. It makes the UAE an integrated digital environment, ready to make leaps towards more leadership and excellence.”

Al Mesmar added: “At the authority, we are moving forward in line with the vision of ‘We Are the UAE 2031’ and the wise guidance of our leadership to continue digital transformation as a strategic and essential choice, given the rapid global changes.

In this context, we emphasize that our successes in all initiatives are the result of joint efforts from all government and private entities that have worked and continue to work in accordance with the principles of partnership and the national team.

Therefore, we are confident that future reports will continue to demonstrate progress in all relevant areas.”

The Unified Digital Window

The report highlights the performance of the Unified Digital Window of the United Arab Emirates government (U.ae) as the digital presence interface for the government and the main reference for all information and services provided by government entities.

According to the report, the number of visitors to the portal reached 19 million visitors who recorded 30 million visits to the portal in 2022.

The portal is linked to 221 government entities providing 2,630 digital services. The visitor satisfaction index for the portal is approximately 90%, reflecting the success of the portal as a leading digital platform both locally and globally.

The digital window witnessed significant development in the current year after being equipped with an AI-powered search feature. This has made a qualitative leap in search results in terms of accuracy, speed, and exclusivity.

As a result, the report indicates that the first month of launching the new service saw 60,000 search operations, with results being satisfactory at 98.5%.

In a related context, the UAE PASS digital identity application achieved remarkable progress and presence in the digital arena with a user base of 5 million registered users by the end of 2022. According to the report, the digital identity services included approximately 15,000 electronic services.

The report revealed that the .ae UAE domain saw wide adoption, with the number of websites registered under the UAE domain reaching 300,000 sites.

In 2022 alone, more than 46,000 domains were registered, marking a 20% increase compared to the previous year.

In this context, the report included figures for the “Name Idea” service launched by the authority, which utilizes generative AI algorithms to select suitable domain names for businesses. The report revealed significant interest in this service, with a 65% uptake in May, just one month after its launch.

Regarding social media platforms, the report counted up to 10 million active accounts in the United Arab Emirates, with the account ratio being 105.5% compared to the population and 106.6% compared to internet users. The average time spent on social media sites was 2 hours and 20 minutes daily.

In terms of electronic application downloads, the total number reached 569 million,with an annual increase of 16.4%.

While expenditure on purchasing applications reached 1.587 billion dirhams, with a 25.3% increase compared to the spending on applications.

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