The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is home to the highest number of female Internet users in the Gulf region, making the Arab state a potentially lucrative market for online companies, a study suggests.
Conducted by online research firm Effective Measure, the study revealed that over 40 percent of the UAE's online community are women, above the region's average of 28 percent, according to a report Saturday in UAE-based newspaper The National.
The UAE also has the second highest female Internet user population in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, second only to Morocco's 46.6 percent.
This offers good tidings for online companies, particularly those offering consumer goods, looking to target female users in the region.
Brendon Ogilvy, MENA regional director for Effective Measure, said in The National report that women are "a highly sought-after community online because there are fewer of them, and sites that attract more of them have more value".
The study, which polled over 68,000 Internet users across the region, found that female Internet users mostly surfed online from their homes, with 67.3 percent accessing the Internet via home broadband connections.
Meanwhile, a separate report noted that while the UAE has one of the highest Internet penetrations in the Gulf region, it trails other Arab nations with regard to the quality of broadband services.
A study conducted by Oxford University revealed the UAE is in the bottom 25 percent of 42 Arab states with regard to the delivery of broadband services, behind Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, among others.
The study defined broadband quality of service as the "speed and responsiveness of connections" and whether connection lines were congested or unreliable. "The UAE reportedly scored poorly based on these parameters," the study stated.
Joel D. Pinaroc is a Filipino freelance IT writer currently based in Saudi Arabia.