Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fujairah and UAE Awakening to the Potential of Social Media

Getting Serious

Fujairah Businessman, Patrick Antaki, was reported (2 May 2011) at the Arabian Travel Market in connection with this statement:

Monitoring and being active on social media sites such as TripAdvisor has become so important that Patrick Antaki, complex general manager of Le Méridien Al Aqah in Fujairah and Al Maha in Dubai said today that he is recruiting a dedicated social media manager.”

The statistics are compelling throughout our shrinking and increasingly connected world:

Globally Social Media Abuzz

  • Facebook is now home to more than 600 million users
  • More than half a million people join the site each day.
  • A recent survey by the Pew Research stated that 61% of Americans get their news online.
  • About 75% of them hear about the news through updates from social media sites or email newsletters.

Social Media growth has received a strong boost this year from unexpected sources:

Social Media in the Arab World

As Middle Eastern business people have seen the mobilizing power of Facebook and Twitter in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt they are awakening to the potential of social media to inform people and promote their own businesses.

The figures are remarkable in the UAE as this country is taking a leading role in the region:

Social Media in the UAE

  • 2,054,520 Facebook Users in the UAE (latest figures from Grafdom)
  • 36,841 Twitter users in the UAE (latest figures from Grafdom)

Growth of Social Media among Global Businesses

Some conference organizers are portraying the different ways in which successful companies are getting serious about social media management:

  • 65% of the largest international companies now have active accounts on Twitter
  • 50% of the largest international companies have a YouTube channel
  • 54% of the largest international companies have a Facebook Fan Page
  • 33% of the largest international companies have corporate blogs
  • At the same time more and more FTSE 100 companies are interested in incorporating social media within their enterprise.
  • Forward thinking companies are employing social media thinking in their recruitment, customer service, research and development and sustainability communications

Social Media and Marketing in the UAE

Social Media is no longer seen as a time-wasting fad in the UAE but a potentially powerful marketing tool.

Ponder these figures provided by Grafdom:

  • 999,905 Total number of followers of Top 11 UAE Social Media Brands
  • $1,048 Average online spending by UAE consumers annually
  • AED 50,000 Average Social Media spending by UAE firms annually

Matter of Survival

Tony Zingale, the Chief Executive at Jive has issued this wake up call to businesses and organizations:

“If you don’t have a social strategy, inside and outside, you better get one; it’s a matter of survival as your workforce and your customers get more social.”


Grafdom Releases UAE’s First Social Media Report of Top 100 Brands, Grafdom, 5 May 2011.

Arabian Travel Market Live: Day 3 Updates, Hotelier Middle East. Com., 2 May 2011.

Where Do You Find the Latest News? Newsglobe, 3 May 2011.

A Quarter of UAE Population is on Facebook, Emirates 24/7, 18 October 2010.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted in the Fujairah in Focus—Facebook Page.

Image: The growing range of social media marketing tools.

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