Methodology

Background

Results of Media Use in the Middle East, 2016, by Northwestern University in Qatar in partnership with Doha Film Institute, are based on 6,058 face-to-face and telephone interviews across six countries, conducted under direction of the Harris Poll, in conjunction with Pan Arab Research Center (PARC). The survey was conducted among the general population 18 years and older in six countries in the Middle East: Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. All fieldwork was conducted between December 20, 2015 and February 27, 2016. This is the fourth wave of the Media Use in the Middle East survey. The 2016 survey replicated many of the questions included in the 2014 survey and some questions included in the 2013 and 2015 surveys; longitudinal comparisons are provided when applicable. The 2016 and prior iterations of the survey are available at www.mideastmedia.org.

Data in all countries were collected via face-to-face interviews, except in Qatar, where telephone interviews were employed via random-digit dialing. Multistage random probability sampling was used in all countries. The six countries were chosen to represent a broad spectrum of populations across the Arab region, including those in the Arab Gulf, North Africa, and the Levant.

Method

A total of 6,058 respondents participated in the survey, with approximately 1,000 respondents per country. Respondents could complete the survey in Arabic, English, or French, though languages offered varied by country:

  • Arabic and English: Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates
  • Arabic, English, and French: Tunisia and Lebanon

Below is a summary of completed interviews and response rates by country for both 2014 and 2016.

Country

Completed
interviews

Response

Rate %

Completed interviews

 by nationality

 

2014

2016

2014

2016

 

2014

2016

Egypt

1,002

1,000

48%

46%

Nationals

1,002

1,000

 

 

 

 

 

Non-nationals

-

-

Lebanon

1,000

1,008

50%

49%

Nationals

1,000

1,008

 

 

 

 

 

Non-nationals

-

-

Qatar

1,003

1,000

52%

44%

Nationals

407

504

 

 

 

 

 

Non-nationals

596

496

Saudi Arabia

1,009

1,017

78%

77%

Nationals

622

616

 

 

 

 

 

Non-nationals

387

401

Tunisia

1,016

1,016

86%

89%

Nationals

906

913

 

 

 

 

 

Non-nationals

110

103

United Arab Emirates

1,005

1,017

82%

70%

Nationals

234

488

 

 

 

 

 

Non-nationals

771

529

Total

6,035

6,058

 

 

 

 

 

Survey Design

The average interview length was 30 minutes. The total number of questions asked varied based on responses to previous questions. For example, some questions were asked only of internet users or those who use a particular type of media.

Egypt and Qatar differences: Approval of the survey and method were required by CAMPAS (Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics) in Egypt. The following questions were omitted from the survey instrument in Egypt at the request of CAPMAS:

  • Q22F.  Please tell me how much you agree or disagree with each of these statements…I am worried about governments checking what I do online, I am worried about companies checking what I do online
  • Q37.  Overall, do you think things in your country are generally headed in the right direction, or do you feel that things are off on the wrong track?
  • QD1.  Which of the following do you feel best describes you?...Citizen of your country, Member of your tribe/family, Arab, Member of your religious group (Also not asked in Qatar)
  • QD3. How often do you attend religious services? (Also not asked in Qatar)

Saudi Arabia differences: Questions referencing cinemas were not asked in Saudi Arabia due to the lack of cinemas in the country.

 Survey Procedures

The following sections describe the detailed survey method and sampling plan in each of the six countries. While survey administration and sampling procedures varied somewhat by country,the method was designed to ensure national representation of the adult population in each country. The samples in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the UAE include citizens and expatriates. The samples in Egypt and Lebanon included just citizens due to the small number of expatriates in these countries.

Groups that are not represented in the research: visitors with no residence permit, farmers, servants, the mentally disabled, and those in army barracks, hospitals, dormitories, prisons or labor camps. In Lebanon, residents in areas with heavy Hezbollah presence were also excluded.

Detailed Method: Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the UAE

Surveys in Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates were administered via face-to-face interviews, using multi-stage random probability sampling. This approach was designed to produce samples representative of the population of residents in legal households in the surveyed areas.

An overall master sample design was applied in these countries. Each country is comprised of governorates or provinces, which were divided into cities, towns and villages. These were further divided into administrative units or sectors, and then into clusters, each comprised of several blocks. A block was defined as the PSU (Primary Sampling Unit). In each block a starting point was randomly selected and interviewers followed a pre-defined random path though the block.

A constant fraction sampling procedure was implemented.  The constant fraction sampling procedure can be defined as “a constant small number of interviews per Primary Sampling Unit (consisting of the number of interviews per man-day from each block) which was assigned at the rate of eight (8) full interviews per day.”

The total number of Primary Sampling Units per country was 125 (Total Sample: 1,000 / 8 interviews per PSU).

  • In each block, a starting point was randomly selected and a random path defined.
  • The interviews were conducted at regular intervals (of 4 dwellings) following the randomization as defined below:
    • The interviewer was directed to the starting point initially defined by the researcher.
    • The interviewer skipped a number of homes equal to the sample interval (4 houses) and conducted one interview in the next selected household.
    • The interviewer asked for a list of the household members who are 18 years and older, starting with the eldest to the youngest member, and used a random numbers table (or Kish grid) to select the prospective respondent for the interview.
    •  The counting of households was continuous, uninterrupted starting from the top floor, clockwise in descending order, from one building to the next following the random path indicated in advance and carefully documented his passage through the block in a detailed Fieldwork Register.

Detailed Method: Qatar

The telephone number database is comprised of mobile lines. The lists are sourced from the local official directories.

Prior to extracting a sample for the survey, the records will be reshuffled to keep all numbers in random sequence within each stratum, and a special extraction program is then used to select phone numbers at regular intervals within the structured list.

A multi-stage random probability selection of telephone numbers from the tele-database is thus performed that yields a representative sample for the interview:

  • If available and accessible immediately the interview will be conducted right away
  • If unavailable at the first call, five further attempts will be scheduled by the system to call again at different times when respondent is likely to be available. If this fails, the number will be skipped and another number will be selected at random from the tele-database.

Data Weighting

Weighting was applied – specifically, rim weighting – in all countries surveyed to bring the data in line with the population in each country. The weighting factors include gender and age by nationality and gender by nationality.

Rim weighting uses a mathematical algorithm to help provide an even distribution of results across the entire dataset while balancing certain characteristics to pre-determined totals. It weights the specified characteristics simultaneously and disturbs each variable as little as possible.  The weighting factors used in the countries included:

  • Egypt: Gender by age, geography
  • Lebanon: Age, geography
  • Qatar: Gender and age by nationality, geography
  • KSA: Gender and age by nationality, geography
  • Tunisia: Gender by nationality, age, geography
  • UAE: Gender by age and nationality, geography

The sampling plans in these countries, developed based on census data, were designed to be representative of these populations by controlling for age, gender and region/nationality.

While the data within the countries was weighted to be representative, the overall sample of 6,058 was not weighted across countries. The data file includes an unweighted “average” of all survey respondents. Weighting across countries was not applied due to the variable population sizes across the participating countries. 

Margin of Sampling Error

The descriptions below show the margin of sampling error based on all interviews conducted in that country, supporting a 95% confidence level. For results based on the full sample in a given country, one can say with 95% confidence that a particular finding falls within plus or minus the reported margin of error.

Total Sample

Sample size: 6,058

Gender split: 52% male, 48% female

Mean age: 36 years old

Country: EGYPT

Sample design: Multi-stage random probability sampling procedure

Mode: Face-to-face, adults 18 plus

Language of interview: 100% Arabic, <1% English

Fieldwork dates: December 28, 2015 – January 18, 2016

Sample size: 1,000

Gender split: 50% male, 50% female

Mean age: 37 years old

Margin of Sampling Error: +/- 3.2 percentage points

Representative: Adult populations, less visitors with no residence permit, farmers, servants, the mentally disabled, and those in labor camps

Country: LEBANON

Sample design: Multi-stage random probability sampling procedure 

Mode: Face-to-face, adults 18 plus

Language of interview: 100% Arabic

Fieldwork dates: December 30, 2015 – January 28, 2016

Sample size: 1,008

Gender split: 49% male, 51% female

Mean age: 37 years old

Margin of Sampling Error: +/- 3.1 percentage points

Representative: Adult populations, less visitors with no residence permit, farmers, servants, the mentally disabled, and those in labor camps, and potential respondents in areas with heavy Hezbollah presence

Country: QATAR

Sample design: Randomized sample within the household using a constant fraction sampling procedure

Mode: Phone, adults 18 plus

Language of interview: 70% Arabic, 30% English

Fieldwork dates: January 10 – February 10, 2016

Sample size: 1,000

Gender split: 56% male, 44% female

Mean age: 34 years old

Margin of Sampling Error:+/- 3.2 percentage points 

Representative: Adult population, less those in army barracks, hospitals, dormitories, and prisons

Country: SAUDI ARABIA

Sample design: Multi-stage random probability sampling procedure 

Mode: Face-to-face, adults 18 plus

Language of interview: 79% Arabic, 21% English

Fieldwork dates: December 20, 2015 – February 27, 2016

Sample size: 1,017

Gender split: 53% male, 47% female

Mean age: 33 years old

Margin of Sampling Error: +/- 3.1 percentage points

Representative: Adult populations, less visitors with no residence permit, farmers, servants, the mentally disabled, and those in labor camps

Country: TUNISIA

Sample design: Multi-stage random probability sampling procedure 

Mode: Face-to-face, adults 18 plus

Language of interview: 96% Arabic, 4% French

Fieldwork dates: January 2 – February 1, 2016

Sample size: 1,016

Gender split: 51% male, 49% female

Mean age: 37 years old

Margin of Sampling Error: +/- 3.1 percentage points

Representative: Adult populations, less visitors with no residence permit, farmers, servants, the mentally disabled, and those in labor camps

Country: UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Sample design: Multi-stage random probability sampling procedure 

Mode: Face-to-face, adults 18 plus

Language of interview: 66% Arabic, 34% English

Fieldwork dates: January 1 – January 31, 2016

Sample size: 1,017

Gender split: 53% male, 47% female

Mean age: 34 years old

Margin of Sampling Error: +/- 3.1 percentage points

Representative: Adult populations, less visitors with no residence permit, farmers, servants, the mentally disabled, and those in labor camps

Margin of sampling error = 1.96* sqrt ((50%*(1-50%)/n)).  Reported margins of error take into account data weighting.

Detailed Country Sampling Plans

The sample distribution for each country is noted below.
 

Egypt Sampling Plan

A representative sample was followed based on the sampling frame source which “Egypt Census 2006” is done by Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics CAPMAS.

GOVERNORATE

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Cairo

23.5%

257

Giza

9.3%

101

Qalyoubia

3.9%

42

Alexandria

12.5%

162

Dakahlya

15.3%

112

Monofia

9.2%

68

Kafrel Shiekh

9.2%

68

Menia

5.8%

64

Fayoum

3.3%

36

Suhag

8%

90

TOTAL

100%

1,000

 

AGE

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

18-24

23.6%

247

25-34

26.6%

245

35-44

22.3%

208

45 and above

27.5%

300

 TOTAL

100%

1,000

 

GENDER

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Male

49.9%

497

Female

50.1%

503

TOTAL

100%

1,000

Lebanon Sampling Plan

A representative sample was followed based on the sampling frame source which “Living Condition Survey 2007” is done by Central Agency of Statistics (CAS).

GOVERNORATE

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Beirut

14%

142

Mount Lebanon

35.6%

355

North

20.2%

205

Bekaa

13%

131

South

10.2%

105

Nabatieh

6.9%

70

TOTAL

100%

1,008

 

AGE

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

18-24

25%

250

25-34

24%

241

35-44

22%

222

45 and above

29%

295

TOTAL

100%

1,008

 

GENDER

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Male

49.3%

497

Female

50.7%

511

 TOTAL

100%

1,008

Note: Sample exclusions included areas with heavy Hezbollah presence (Bent Jbeil, located in Nabatieh, and Baalbek, located in Beqaa).

Qatar Sampling Plan

A representative sample was followed based on the last census 2010. “Qatar Statistics Authority.”

CITY

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Doha

52%

417

Rayyan

27%

328

Al Wakra

12%

159

Umm Slal

3.6%

32

Al Khor

2.6%

30

Al Shamal

1.8%

24

Al Daayen

1%

10

TOTAL

100%

1,000

Region information collected during telephone interview. Response rates by region not available.

AGE

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

18-24

18%

256

25-34

38.1%

327

35-44

26.3%

215

45 and above

12.3%

130

Don’t know/Refused

5.3%

72

TOTAL

100%

1,000

 

GENDER

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Male

56.1%

607

Female

43.9%

393

TOTAL

100%

1,000

 

NATIONALITY

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Qatari

24.3%

504

Arab Expatriates

35.4%

199

Asian Expatriates

27.9%

195

European/American Expatriates

12.4%

102

TOTAL

100%

1,000

Saudi Arabia Sampling Plan

A representative sample was followed based on the statistical book 2007. “Central Department of Statistic & Information.”

GOVERNORATE

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Riyadh

27%

309

Mecca

9.8%

85

Al Madina

8%

73

Hail

3%

25

Jeddah

22.3%

207

Taif

4.9%

42

Dammam\Khobar

16%

192

Abha\Khamis\Masheet

9%

84

TOTAL

100%

1,017

 

AGE

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

19-18

6.3%

52

24-20

17.4%

149

29-25

18.6%

182

34-30

16.4%

153

39-35

13.6%

146

44-40

10%

113

49-45

6.5%

82

54-50

4.2%

54

55 and above

7%

86

TOTAL

100%

1,017

 

GENDER

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Male

53.2%

523

Female

46.8%

494

TOTAL

100%

1,017

 

NATIONALITY

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Saudi

68%

616

Arab Expatriates

14%

177

Asian Expatriates

12%

150

European/American Expatriates

6%

74

TOTAL

100%

1,017

Tunisia Sampling Plan

A representative sample was followed based on the sampling frame source which is “General Census of the Population and Housing” (April 28, 2004).

GOVERNORATE

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Tunis

22.8%

234

Ariana

9.3%

110

Ben Arous

10.5%

105

Manouba

8.2%

79

Bizerte

13.7%

133

Sfax

22.6%

223

Sousse

12.9%

132

TOTAL

100%

1,016

 

AGE

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

18-24

21%

210

25-34

26%

281

35-44

23%

223

45 and above

30%

302

Total

100%

1,016

 

GENDER

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Male

51%

523

Female

59%

493

TOTAL

100%

1,016

 

NATIONALITY

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Tunis

95%

913

Expatriates

5%

103

TOTAL

100%

1,016

 United Arab Emirates Sampling Plan

A representative Sample was followed based on the UAE 2005 Census.

GOVERNORATE

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Abu Dhabi/Al Ain

39.5%

445

Dubai

29.5%

294

Sharjah

17.3%

129

Ajman

4.9%

58

Ras Al Khaimah

5.2%

57

Umm Al Quwain

1.9%

15

Fujeirah

1.6%

19

TOTAL

100%

1,017

 

AGE

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

19-18

5.3%

58

24-20

12.5%

132

29-25

19.6%

179

34-30

16.6%

159

39-35

19.8%

189

44-40

12.4%

138

49-45

8.1%

90

54-50

3.3%

45

55 and above

2.5%

27

TOTAL

100%

1,017

 

GENDER

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Male

53.2%

483

Female

46.8%

534

TOTAL

100%

1,017

 

NATIONALITY

Weighted %

Unweighted Count

Emiratis

22%

488

Arab Expatriates

30%

176

Asian Expatriates

34%

252

European/American Expatriates

13%

94

Other Expatriates

1%

6

TOTAL

100%

1,017

Data Collection Vendors
Harris Poll (acquired by The Nielsen Company) partnered with the Pan Arab Research Center (PARC) to administer interviews.

Harris Poll

Over the last five decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’ motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant and consumer packaged goods.

Pan Arab Research Center

The Pan Arab Research Center (PARC) is a full service research agency founded in 1976 in Kuwait by Mr. Sami Raffoul. Headquartered in Dubai, PARC operates in 13 markets with 11 offices across the GCC and Levant Region – including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt – and employs over 450 full-time staff.

Key staffers from PARC are members of ESOMAR and adhere to the code of ICC/ESOMAR[1] in all methods and practices adopted in the research work. In 1996, PARC joined EuroPanel association of consumer panels research suppliers, as it offers Consumer Panels research in the Arab World.PARCis also a part of the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research (WIN). WIN includes some of the most prestigious independent firms of Market Research throughout the world (formerly identified as Gallup International).

PARC has been a part of Harris Poll’s group of preferred vendors for many years and has conducted data collection research on behalf of The Harris Polls’s offices in the US and European offices.


[1] International Chamber of Commerce/European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research