The year of digital lifestyle

The Digital 2021 Report ‘We Are Social’ makes an observation about the world’s efforts in the digital field during 2020.

By Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori

Published: Sun 28 Feb 2021, 7:58 PM

A year has passed since Covid-19 struck. There is no doubt that it has been a difficult journey, but things are changing and hardships seem to be coming to an end. Presently, we have a new success story to share with the world.

The Digital 2021 Report ‘We Are Social’ makes an observation about the world’s efforts in the digital field during 2020. Since the report is over 100 pages, I will share excerpts that demonstrate that the past year was the year of ‘digital lifestyle’ in the UAE.

The percentage of Internet users in the UAE reached 99 per cent of the population, and almost the same number used social media channels. The average time people spent browsing the Internet was about 7.5 hours a day, more than half of which was via smartphones.

People in the UAE spent nearly $6 billion through digital commerce platforms; an increase of 38 per cent over the previous year. In some areas, such as the food delivery sector and online content, the increase in spending amounted to more than 65 per cent. Spending on applications for smart devices reached more than $320 million. There are surprising numbers on the smart home sector as well.

According to the report, this digital activity and the great pressure on the networks was accompanied with an increase by 104 per cent in the Internet speed.

These numbers add to the UAE’s achievements in related indicators, as it was ranked first globally in mobile broadband subscriptions, mobile network coverage by population, broadband wireless networks index, public-private partnership index, in addition to other regional indicators.

A few days ago, we were pleased with the news that the media circulated about the advanced position, the UAE has achieved in the telework index. We have surpassed advanced countries, including the United States of America, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia and China. Moreover, we have been ranked first in the Arab region by UK-based technology solutions and service provider CircleLoop.

This was not the first pandemic, and it certainly is not the last. The conclusion is, we need to draw lessons and enhance our readiness for the future. Whoever works towards it, will always have more success stories.

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