Posted by GMI Blogger Posted in infographics

Oct 10 2023 at 1:42am

According to the latest Digital Quality of Life Index’s report, the UAE has the third best internet quality globally. In terms of digital well-being, which takes into account things like the quality and cost of the internet, e-government, security, and infrastructure, the country ranks 44th. Having stated that, let’s look at the UAE’s internet statistics in 2023.

UAE Internet Statistics 2023 – Key Points

  • 10.07 million million people in the UAE are internet users in 2023, which represents 99.00% of the total population.

  • With 99% internet penetration, almost everyone in the UAE uses the internet as of 2023.

  • 9.69 million people in the UAE use smartphones.

  • There are 9.20 million mobile internet users who spend 4 hours 18 minutes on the internet daily.

  • UAE’s average broadband internet speed in 2023 is 189.07 Mbps.

  • Mobile phones account for 63.65% of web traffic.

  • 65.11% of people prefer using mobile internet.

  • Google Chrome is the most used browser, accounting for 68.72% of the web traffic.

  • On average, people in the UAE spend 7 hours and 29 minutes on the internet daily.

UAE Internet Statistics 2023 (Infographics)

UAE Internet Usage Statistics 2023

Did you know that in the UAE, government services like visa applications and company formations are now available online? This demonstrates how widely used and embraced the internet is in the country. In 2023 UAE, 10.07 million people have internet connectivity, out of a total UAE population of 10.17 million. 9.69 million people have smartphones, and the number of mobile internet users has climbed to 9.20 million. Overall, people in the UAE spend an average of 7 hours and 29 minutes on the internet daily. Meaning people are increasingly relying on the internet for their daily needs these days.

Average Internet Connection Speed in the UAE

Do you remember the sound of dial-up internet? With broadband and 4G/5G data packs, the UAE for sure has left it all behind, the internet connection speeds are faster than ever before now. The average broadband internet speed is 189.07 Mbps while the average mobile internet speed is 238.06 Mbps. A lot of things like uploads, downloads, video streaming, online gaming, shopping etc. are done with ease in the UAE today.

Web Traffic Across Devices in the UAE 2023

Accessing the internet in 2023 is as easy as pie, with laptops, mobile phones, and tablets, all allowing us to connect to the web from virtually anywhere. That means web traffic is spread out among different devices today. 

  • Mobile devices account for the largest share of web traffic with 63.65%. 
  • Laptops and desktops together account for 34.58% which is 5% lower than in 2022. 
  • Tablets account for a very tiny percentage of web traffic i.e. 1.75%. This can possibly be due to its high cost, limited usage for work-related tasks and less portability (heavier compared to mobiles). Smartphones, on the other hand, are more convenient.

Devices Preferred by UAE Internet Users in 2023

According to the latest reports, more than two-thirds of the global population owns a mobile, and as of January 2023, there were 5.44 million “unique” mobile users. The case is no different in the UAE. 

  • 65.11% of UAE citizens prefer using mobiles phones for internet browsing.
  • Desktop usage is seeing a steady decline. Only 33.20% of UAE citizens use desktops.
  • Tablets have the lowest percentage of users (i.e. 1.69%).

Internet Users Over Time (2012 – 2023)

There has been a steady increase in internet usage in the UAE over the last decade. This has been possible due to the support of the UAE government in developing digital infrastructure, including high-speed internet. Additionally, as internet access has become more affordable, it has become an essential part of the daily lives of UAE citizens. When considering the number of internet users in the UAE between 2012 and 2023, the following trends can be observed:

202310.07 Million
20229.98 Million
20219.89 Million
20209.73 Million
20199.55 Million
20189.06 Million
20178.54 Million
20168.43 Million
20158.35 Million
20148.10 Million
20137.79 Million
20127.05 Million
  • The number of internet users in the UAE increased from 7.05 million in January 2012 to 10.07 million in January 2023.
  • Between 2012 and 2018, the number of internet users increased from 7.05 million to 9.06 million showing a rather consistent rise.
  • There was greater growth in users between 2018 and 2023, with an additional 1.01 million users.

Share of Web Traffic by Browser

Let us take a look at the share of web traffic by different browsers in 2023 UAE.

  • Google Chrome has the highest share with 68.72%. This can be attributed to ease of use, fast performance and access to other Google services.
  • Safari holds the second position with 19.16% web traffic. Usually, Apple users rely on this browser.
  • UC Browser (3%), Microsoft Edge (2.34%), Samsung Internet (1.53%), etc. hold a comparatively smaller percentage of the market share.

Top Websites in the UAE

Let us look at the top three contenders in the following categories in 2023.

1. Top 3 Search Engines

The three most used search engines are Google, Bing and Yahoo. This could be due to their ease of use and accuracy in search results.

2. Top 3 Social Media Platforms

The top 3 social media websites used by UAE people are Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram. This could be because they help people in connecting with their friends, share their thoughts and feelings with others and stay current with the latest happenings. 

3. Top 3 News Websites

Khaleej Times, Gulf News and Yahoo are the most popular news portals in the UAE. This may be because these sources offer comprehensive coverage of both local and international news, providing real-time updates. They are considered trustworthy by the UAE people.

10 Main Reasons for Using the Internet

Based on a survey conducted on people between the ages of 16-64 years in UAE, the following are the top reasons for using the internet:

Staying in touch with friends & family58.80%4.97 Million
Finding Information54.10%4.57 Million
Finding new ideas or inspiration49.20%4.16 Million
Watching videos, movies and TV shows49.10%4.15 Million
Researching how to do things45.50%3.84 Million
Researching products & brands45.10%3.81 Million
Keeping up-to-date with News & Events44.60%3.77 Million
Education and study-related purposes41.20%3.48 Million
Researching health issues & healthcare products35.40%2.99 Million
Accessing and listening to music35.20%2.97 Million
* Primary reason why internet users aged 16 to 64 use the internet
  • 4.97 million people chose ‘staying in touch with friends and family’ as their first reason for using the internet.
  • 4.57 million people use the internet for ‘finding information’ while 4.16 million people use the internet for ‘finding new ideas’. 
  • 4.15 million people use the internet for ‘watching movies, T.V. shows and videos’.
  • Some of the other reasons, people say, for using the internet include ‘researching how to do things’, ‘researching products and brands’, ‘keeping up to date with products and events’, etc.

It looks like achieving complete internet penetration is not the only end goal for the UAE, the nation is gearing up for more. To this end, a Digital Transformation Summit will be held on the 14th and 15th of June 2023 to discuss topics like web 3.0 and the future of the internet. The coming years will surely bring many new updates to the digital landscape of the nation. Let us look forward to it.

(Read on to know about the internet statistics of the UAE in 2022.)

UAE Internet Statistics

UAE Internet Usage Statistics 2022

Almost all of us use the internet in some way, especially now that 4G and 5G are available and most utility services, like shopping and cab service, have gone online.  In 2022, more than 99 percent of the people in UAE have access to the internet. For better understanding, let’s give some context.

  • There are 9.80 million smartphone users and 9.31 million mobile internet users in the UAE today.
  • An average user spends 8 hours and 36 minutes on the internet per day: mobile users (4 hrs. 35 minutes) and desktop users (4 hrs. and 01 minute).

Average Internet Connection Speed in the UAE

Internet usage is highly dependent on network speed; if your network is slow, you won’t use it much. Speed determines the number and type of activities you perform on the internet and the number of gadgets you connect simultaneously. According to the latest reports:

  • Average Broadband Internet Speed in the UAE is 198 Mbps
  • Average Speed of Mobile Internet Connection is 267 Mbps

This reveals that in one year the network speed for broadband and mobile data increased by 67.06% and 207.71% respectively. This could be the result of the developmental works undertaken across the nation on account of Expo 2020 Dubai that took place in October 2021. 

Web Traffic Across Devices in the UAE 2022

People nowadays use many devices to browse the web, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Here we are going to look at the share of web traffic on each device in 2022 UAE. 

  • As has been the case for several years, mobile phones account for more than 50% of the UAE’s total web traffic. 58.51% of the UAE’s web traffic comes from mobile devices in 2022.
  • Together, laptops and desktops make up 39.51% of the total web traffic.
  • Tablets produce 1.95 percent of website traffic.
  • This time, there is a 2% drop in mobile-generated web traffic compared to 2021. However, web traffic from laptops and desktops has increased by 2% in 2022 compared to the previous year.

Devices Preferred by UAE Internet Users in 2022

Due to the convenience they offer, mobile devices come as the first choice for browsing the internet across the world. The trend remains the same in the UAE as well.

  • In 2022 UAE, 63.55% of internet users prefer mobile phones to access the internet. 
  • Desktop internet users are declining year after year, with only 34.73% of users using it in 2022.
  • Only 1.72% users like to browse the web on tablets. 
  • Mobile internet usage has increased by 7.25% between 2021 and 2022.
  • Desktop and tablet internet usages have decreased by 6.76% and 0.50% respectively in 2022 compared to 2021.

Internet Users Over Time (2012 – 2022)


Users (in Million)























As a tech-savvy country with easy access to the internet, UAE has seen a tremendous increase in the number of internet users over the past decade. In 2012, the number of UAE internet users stood at mere 7.05 million, which then rose to 8.54 million in 2017 and reached 9.89 million in 2021.

  • Today, in 2022, approximately 99.01% of the UAE’s population uses the internet, which amounts to 9.98 million people.

Share of Web Traffic by Browser

Popularity of browsers keeps changing. If it was Internet Explorer that was widely used to access the internet back in the 2000s, today it is Google Chrome. Even browser preferences vary with desktops and mobile phones. Here let’s look at the 2022 rankings of different browsers in the UAE (All devices combined).

  • Google’s Chrome has the lion’s share of web traffic with 66.04% in 2022, which makes it the most popular browser in the UAE. This has been consistently the same for several years.
  • With 18.52% market share, Safari comes in second followed by UC Browser (5.56%) and Microsoft Edge (3.12%). Microsoft Edge is the new avatar of erstwhile Internet Explorer. 
  • It is interesting to note that Microsoft Edge has gained 0.42% more web traffic in 2022 than in 2021, pushing Samsung Internet to fourth place.

Top Websites in the UAE

Now, let’s take a look at the most popular websites in the UAE in 2022. We’ve picked the top three websites from each of the three main categories: search engines, social media platforms, and news portals. (The websites are listed in the descending order of their popularity.)

10 Main Reasons for Using the Internet

This is a survey conducted among the UAE’s internet users aged 16-64 to find out their reasons for using the internet. They were given 10 reasons, which they have prioritized based on their usage.

  • ‘Looking up information’ and ‘connecting with friends and relatives’ each has 65.30% votes.
  • 55.20% say they get online for entertainment reasons: to watch videos, etc.
  • Another 55% say they use the internet to follow news and current affairs.
  • Other reasons include (in the order of priority) researching DIYs, finding new ideas, researching brands, learning and education, researching places for travel, and filling up free time.

(You can read about the UAE internet statistics for 2021 below.)

Internet Users in the United Arab Emirates

  • Internet penetration in the UAE is 99%
  • 9.26 million people use mobile devices to access the internet, which is around 93% of the population.
  • On average, people in the UAE between the age group of 16 to 64 spend 7.5 hours every day using the internet.
  • Daily time daily internet users in the age of 16 to 64 spend about 3 hours on social media sites.
  • There are 9.89 million active social media users in the UAE.

Devices Preferred By Emiratis to Access the Internet

Online marketing has great scope in the UAE due to the high number of mobile internet users. So, any new and innovative apps looking to enter this market will have a large user base. As a result, the last few years witnessed an increased focus on the digital service sector.

  • A whopping 9.26 million UAE citizens are active mobile internet users.
  • Both hardware and software sectors are ripe with opportunities.
  • The increased innovation in the hardware field led to the rise of super-fast internet connections, which boosted social media usage.
  • People prefer to access social media on their phones, reflecting on the trend of increased smartphone usage.
  • The massive increase in mobile internet usage can be attributed to the availability of 4G at lower price plans.
  • 56% of users connect to the internet using smartphones, 41.48% use computers and 2.22% use tablets.

Average Internet Connection Speed in the UAE

The most preferred mode of connecting to the internet in UAE is smartphones, with more than 56% users.

A reason for this could be the high-speed mobile internet connections.  The avg. mobile internet speeds come close to 90 Mbps, which competes with avg. broadband speed of 100 Mbps.

Frequency of Internet Usage

  • 93% of Emiratis access the internet at least once a day.
  • 6% use the internet once a week.
  • 1% of people use it only once a month.

Top Websites in the United Arab Emirates

Top 3 Search Engines

Google is the most used search engine in the UAE and is used by 95% of people. The search engine giant is followed by Bing and Yahoo with very low market shares.

Top 3 Social Media Platforms

While almost 99% of the population of the UAE are active social media users, Facebook is the most popular platform, closely followed by Instagram and Twitter in the second and third places respectively.

Top 3 Shopping Portals

Covid-19 has given a major boost to online shopping in the UAE. While the global giant Amazon tops the list of the top three shopping portals in the country, Noon ranks second and Carefree holds the third spot.

Top 3 Video Platforms

UAE has a rapidly growing list of online video platforms. Among them, YouTube is used by most people, while Netflix and Dailymotion secures second and third spots.

Top 3 News Websites

There is stiff competition in the UAE’s media industry. At the same time, Khaleejtimes holds the top spot as an undisputed leader. Gulfnews and Yahoo News occupy the remaining two spots.

Share of Web Traffic by Browser







Samsung Internet


Microsoft Edge






Internet Explorer




  • Google Chrome has the most traffic – a whopping 64%.
  • Safari browser, which comes second only has 19.40% traffic.
  • Samsung Internet comes third with a mere 3.60% traffic.
  • Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Firefox have almost 2% traffic each.
  • Internet Explorer has less than one percent traffic.

Top 5 Monthly Online Content Activities of UAE Users (16 – 64 yrs)

  • 95.60% of Emiratis in the age group of 16 to 64  watch videos online.
  • 65.10% users in the group stream music online.
  • 54.70% people in this age group watch vlogs.
  • 47.40% listen to online radio stations.
  • 40.10% of the group listen to or watch podcasts.


The UAE is one of the countries that has the highest internet penetration rate. We saw that the country has high internet speeds, and most of its citizens are active users. When the pandemic forced everything to go online, the UAE was fast to adapt to changing trends. While more than 99% of the Emiratis are internet users in 2021, let’s look forward to how the internet will be an influence in the coming years.

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