Internet explosion in Gulf: 10-fold increase since 1998

Sunday, February 16, 2003

ABU DHABI Internet use in the Persian Gulf region has risen sharply since 1998, a new study says.

The study conducted by a research group found that Internet users as well as demand for personal computers grew by ten-fold over the last four years. The study, reported in the Riyad-based Al Madinah daily on Feb. 13 cited 121 Internet users for every 100 computers in Gulf Arab states.

The study said Gulf Cooperation Council states comprise 40 percent of all Internet users in the Arab world, Middle East Newsline reported. But the six GCC states account for only 11 percent of the total population of the Arab world.

In 2002, the number of Internet users in the Gulf was three million, with 2.5 million computers connected to the Internet. In 1998, there were 330,000 Internet users and 1.2 million personal computers.

The study predicted increased use of the Internet in the Gulf as the business sector expands in the region.

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