UAE made $18.50bn worth digital payment transactions in 2020: Report

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The value of digital payment transactions in the UAE during 2020 touched $18.50 billion and the average time an individual spends on the internet in the country is 7 hours and 24 minutes a day, as per the World Digital Report 2021.

The World Digital Report 2021, published in partnership between “We Are Social” and “Hoot suite” sheds light on the digital lifestyle in the UAE, based on group data that monitored individuals and companies’ behavior during the year 2020.

The report showed that an individual spends 40 hours per week browsing the Internet via a smartphone, while 86 percent of the population plays electronic games through the internet using available devices.

The report has also revealed that last year, UAE residents spent 320 million hours on smartphone applications and the number of smart homes in the country has reached 190,000.

“The emergency faced by the world last year has made 2020, a digital year of excellence, as websites, social media pages, portals and smart sites thrived. They were the only means for the world’s population to pursue their lives, work and education,” said Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director-General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority, Head of the Digital Government of the UAE government.

The communications and information technology sector’s overall infrastructure has been a crucial factor in enabling several industries of society to maintain the continuity of various aspects of everyday life like work, education, and shopping. Further, the crisis period has proved that digital transformation is a technical necessity and not a luxury.

Digital penetration

As per the report, 99 percent of the Emirati population are active on social media and 97.6 percent own smartphones. While 9.3 percent of the population owned smart devices in their homes, 5.2 percent use augmented virtual reality technologies.

The high-speed internet in the country made great contributions in enhancing the digital presence of the various members of society. The average internet speed on smartphones reached 177.52 megabytes per second, an increase of 104.6 percent from the year 2019, while the fixed internet speed reached 131 megabytes per second, a rise of 44.6 percent from 2019.

The report also mentioned that Google topped the list of search engines in terms of the number of visitors with a total of 244 million visits, while YouTube became the most widely used social media platform.

Also Read: Abu Dhabi’s ADGM enacts electronic transactions framework