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Culture and E-Business in the UAE – Infographic

If you want to successfully conduct e-Business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there are many factors to consider like digital marketing, culture and consumer preference. This blog provides a useful infographic and whitepaper summary to help businesses better understand consumer behavior and cultural values in the UAE.

Globalization Partners International has released updated market research for 2014 on e-Business which provides statistical information and data related to culture, search engine marketing and digital marketing for the UAE. This report is avaliable for download at: Website Globalization and E-Business – United Arab Emirates.


Facts about the UAE Market
  • There are seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They are: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, and Fujairah. Each of the emirates is named after its principal city.
  • The social life in the UAE is greatly influenced by tribal values. This is due to the fact that the Emiratis often identify themselves by tribal origins, and in smaller states, primarily associate with those who share their tribal affiliation. (CultureGrams)
  • According to the UAE Ministry of Planning, the UAE is the most wired nation in the Arab world and one of the top nations of the online world. (Source: Euromonitor)
  • Currently there are 29 free trade zones in the UAE, with another nine in development. The Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai is the most prominent. In these free trade zones, foreign companies are permitted to establish wholly-owned branches which are exempt from the requirement to appoint a national agent (sponsor). (Source:
  • 84% of the online users looking to make a purchasing decision on a product gather online purchasing recommendations. (AME Info)
  • 52% of Internet users in the UAE have created their own online content. This includes creating web pages, writing personal blogs, uploading photos, music or videos, and participating in online gaming. (AME Info)
  • UAE is top Arab state in the web-measure index which assesses the extent to which governments are providing e-government policies, applications and tools, and the 12th in the world. (Source:
  • Dubai won the right to host Expo 2020. Dubai estimates a successful Expo 2020 bid will generate $23 billion between 2015 and 2021, or 24% of the city’s gross domestic product. They say total financing for the 6-month-long event will cost $8.4 billion. (Source: The Economic Times)
UAE Culture Values

The United Arab Emirates is a traditional society full of symbols, rituals, traditional values and contextual elements.

UAE Consumer Values:
  • Tribal Values: Tribal values are derived primarily from Islam and the family’s heritage. They influence political, social and financial endeavors. (Culture Grams)
  • Prestige: It is considered important to carry items that give a person prestige and these items can be designated by the consumer segments. These include western items and technology gadgets. (AME Info)
  • Family: Family ties, both nuclear and extended, are extremely important to UAE consumers. It is expected that people will share resources with their family. Although women play a central role in the family, it is considered unacceptable for them to live alone. (Culture Grams)
UAE Consumer Decision Making:
  • Product Type: The husband is the key decision maker in the purchase of luxury items. On the other hand, the wife plays a decisive role when it comes to household items. (Euromonitor)
  • Price: UAE consumers seek out the best product price for the quality and required benefits. (
  • Quality: UAE consumers look for high product quality and durability. (
Search Engine Optimization in The UAE

If you are considering any digital marketing (SEO) campaigns, it is important to understand search engine optimization in the UAE and the top search engines to consider when targeting your consumer. According to latest stats, Google is the top search engine for the UAE.

Top search engines in the UAE:
  • Google (93.26%)
  • Yahoo (3.05%)
  • Bing (1.85%)
Social Media in the UAE

Understanding the social media landscape in the UAE and Dubai market is one of the most important components for digital strategists looking to leverage their strategy to the target consumer.

Key insights from the digital landscape in the UAE:
  • The number of Facebook users in the UAE went up from 3,397,760 on 1 Dec 2012 to 3,593,704 on 31 May 2013. This represents an increase of 5.8% over the 6 month period, or an average monthly increment of 0.9%. (Source:
  • The UAE has the highest penetration rate in the Arab region, with more than 45% of the population having Facebook accounts. (Source:
  • UAE is considered one of the most active blogging communities around the world.
Top social media networks in the UAE:
  • Facebook (77.76%)
  • Twitter (14.18%)
  • YouTube (3.08%)
  • Pinterest (1.79%)
Infographic: Culture and E-Business in the UAE

The following infographic provides several useful facts and insights about the UAE. The infographic contains a handy graphical sampling of what’s inside the GPI report.


Conducting Online Business in the UAE

If you are planning to do business in UAE, it is important to understand the needs of your target customers. Our updated research report for the UAE on Website Globalization and e-Business covers a wide range of topics from language facts to website translation tips for the UAE.


The UAE country research report is 14+ pages and provides useful information and statistics about the country and local consumers and market. The newly updated report for 2014 is available in PDF format and is free to download at: Website Globalization and E-Business Series.

Looking to sell your goods or services in the UAE?</h4

If you are looking to expand into the UAE market and have a website localization project in the works, this reports is for you. First published in 2008 and updated for 2010, 2012, and 2014, the report contains tips and information on e-business, website translation and web consumers in the UAE. The report also has a nice link library with useful sites and resources for those wanting to do business in the UAE.