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Brief Published: 10 Feb 2016

Arab Women & Tech

Some 90% of women in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates own a smartphone and use it to access the internet

Arab women are defying stereotypes with their savvy and social use of technology, according to a survey conducted by global research firm Nielsen. Initial insights were shared during the Marketing to Women conference, held in Dubai on February 8, and the full report is due to be published in March 2016. Highlights include:

  • Tech-Engaged: Around nine in 10 women in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates own a smartphone and use it to connect to the internet. Eight in 10 believe themselves to be tech-savvy – although their reasons for using tech differ widely.
  • Motivations Vary: More than half (56%) rely on their smart devices for keeping in touch, while around 40% use them to relieve boredom and play games. Although nearly half would download a brand's app, just one in five shop online.  
  • WhatsApp Wins: Over 90% of Arab women are regular WhatsApp users, making it the most popular social network in the region. Around two-thirds use Instagram (66%) and Facebook (64%), while half are on Snapchat. Only a third (34%) have a Twitter account.

For more insight into the tech and social media habits of consumers from the Gulf states, see Dubai Lynx 2015. To learn how to communicate with this group across digital platforms, take a look at Asil Attar: Luxury in Dubai.