Online & Social Media
Internet Use

Internet use is widespread among the MENA countries covered in this study, but is by no means evenly distributed between these countries. Overall, more than two-thirds of adults in this study use the internet (69%). Access to the internet is highest in the Gulf states. Nearly all adults have access in the UAE (96%) and internet penetration is also very high in Saudi Arabia and Qatar (87% and 85%, respectively). In Lebanon, less than two-thirds use the internet, and only a minority of those in Tunisia (62% and 47%, respectively). Use is, by far, the lowest in Egypt (36%).

Three-quarters of men use the internet, considerably more than the two-thirds of women who do so (74% vs. 63%). Younger people are much heavier internet users than older individuals. Nearly nine in ten of those under 25 are on the internet, compared to a minority of those 45 or older (86% vs. 40%). 

Internet use increases dramatically with education; nearly all of those with a university education use the internet, while very few of those with just a primary education do so (95% vs.16%). Three-quarters of those with children under 18 in the household use the internet, compared to about two-thirds of those without children (75% vs. 62%). Among those in in households with children, the children are often as likely to be online as their parents – two-thirds of the children use the internet (66%).[1]   

Nationality plays only a moderate role in internet use in the countries with an expatriate population, as the large majority of all groups in these countries use the internet. Almost all U.S. and European expatriates use the internet; internet use is also near universal among all nationalities in the UAE.  In Qatar, though, 78% of Qatari nationals use the internet, compared with 84% of Arab expats, 91% of Asian expats and 100% of Western expats. In Saudi Arabia, about 85% of nationals and Arab expats use the internet.

 

[1] People that have a child under 18 in the household were asked about their children’s internet use; children were not interviewed.