GCC is currently home to one of the fastest growing populations in the world.
- The population is forecast to grow at a rate of 2.1% in the next 5 years to reach about 42 million by 2014.
- Meanwhile, it is estimated that about 40% of the population in the GCC countries are expatriates. As a result, the population is predominately young, and are technology savvy.
Age distribution in the Middle East, especially in the GCC countries is more heavily skewed towards the youth segment. On an average 60% of the population in the GCC countries is below 35 years of age.
Telecommunication services are currently under heavy development in the Middle East, where:
- Broadband household penetration levels in the MENA region will increase from 18.5% in 2010 to 38.5% in 2014.
- Internet household penetration levels in the MENA region will increase from 39.7% in 2010 to 64.3% in 2014.
With a young population and an increase in broadband penetration in the MENA region, further development of the ICT industry, leveraging techno savvy young customer base and connected infrastructure migration will be in full force in the coming years.
Fastest Growing ICT Regions in the World
The broader Middle East is one of the fastest growing ICT regions in the world, with a total ICT spend predicted to reach US$ 81 billion by 2015.
- The telecoms market
is the greatest contributor to the ICT market with these revenues alone expected to reach almost US$50 billion by 2015.
- After KSA, UAE is the second biggest ICT spending nation expected to grow to US$16.5 billion by 2012. Drivers such as convergence, the emergence of cloud computing and a greater adoption of outsourced and managed services are expected to drive the market.
In particular, taking into account the UAE ICT Market, the main highlights are as follows:
- In the UAE, Government led initiatives are a key force driving IT expenditure. This is particularly true in the healthcare, education, transport and civil services sectors
- The SME market within the UAE is expected to account for 45% of ICT expenditure by 2015 Currently basic telecommunications and networking services account for the greatest portion of IT expenditure
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