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Market Research Report

UAE ICT Industry Outlook 2019-2035 : Growth Opportunities | COVID-19 Impact Analysis

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UAE ICT Industry Overview

UAE spending on information and communications technology (ICT) is expected to reach $16.7 billion this year, a year-on-year increase of about 2.5% compared to $16.3 billion a year ago. While IT spending in the UAE in 2018 was rising by 4.8 per cent to US$7.7 billion, Dubai-based ICT companies are also well positioned to capitalize on a larger scale by the higher growth potential of a wider Middle East and North Africa market where ICT spending is expected to reach US$235 billion, a year-on-year increase of 2.7 per cent. And with Dubai’s proximity to Sub Saharan Africa, ICT players are operating out of the emirate have easy access into a growing market that generates a further US$32 billion in ICT spending annually. Looking eastwards to India, Dubai-headquartered ICT companies are ideally positioned to also tap into a sector which is expected to reach an approximate value of about US$225 billion by the end of 2020 from the current level of US$ 164.3 billion growing at CAGR of about 11.1%.

The rollout of 5G mobile internet networks set to begin in 2019 will further facilitate the proliferation of smart services, machine-to-machine communication, and connected transport. This growing demand also presents substantial opportunities for the development of the local IT industry. Significant investment is also expected in IT infrastructure build-out initiatives, as well as in efficiency-enabling technologies such as cloud, Big Data analytics, social media, and, mobility.

The UAE continues to move forward with its localization strategies including offset and onset in the country value requirements for the US companies to bid on government’s tenders in the energy and defense sector. The experience of the US industry largely depending upon the local domestic companies which remain to be an important factor for all the companies to understand the priority of market entry. There have been announcements from Abu Dhabi government officials country requirement could soon expand to other sectors also. The UAE government has invested huge sums of money in the development of the ICT infrastructure with the ongoing installation of fiber optic networks. The government has liberalized policies to attract Multinationals with the scope of investments opportunities in fixed lines, mobile phones, hardware, software and IT Services sector. The UAE‘s IT service market showed a double digit growth figure in 2014 and a similar performance is seen in the next five years. The report also shows that there are greater engagements in 2019 with the IT sector from government, healthcare, retail, transport and finance. Track record shows that there are greater investments in data centers, enterprise applications and data recovery centers. Research shows that there is megaprojects around smart cities , national infrastructure and utilities are expected to boost the long term momentum of the UAE IT services market.

It has been observed that there are skill shortages and drive to create capacity for IT Innovation have caused the adoption of outsourcing services which will gain momentum in the coming years. The impact of falling oil prices, the possibility of budget cuts cannot be ignored. In this case the outsourcing activity will increase and the installation business may take a hit. "The UAE information technology sector has experienced strong growth in the yester years although IT spending declined in 2009 and there was moderate growth in 2010 due to global economic slowdown. The outlook remains positive and there are plans to achieve the economic vision 2021. The Middle Eastern governments, including those of UAE and Bahrain have begun with the implementation of digitalization initiatives. The UAE government leads the Middle East in the digital adoption and matches on several matrixes. Research shows that other countries have also begun the big ambitions of digitalization and considerable progress has been made in those regions. Efforts are being made to promote innovation to push public sector adoption to digitalization to the next level despite the fact they are facing challenges to achieve the desired change. The future is promising. Consumer enthusiasm for digital suggests strong growth potential in the near future, as consumers are clearly primed and ready to embrace new digital offerings. It will be critical for the region to increase ICT patent applications and enhance infrastructure to improve its ICT supply and innovation performance.

UAE ICT Industry Dynamics

  • Strong economic growth across all industries, with an increased focus on IT solutions and higher oil revenues fuelling huge infrastructure investments.
  • Reinforced liberalization and competition favored by government reforms, increasing IT spending as industry players strive to modernize their IT equipment, improve their competitiveness and comply with new regulations (such as in the financial services sector).
  • Growing PC penetration off a small base (27 percent in the UAE, 20 percent in Saudi Arabia) and a relatively young population in the region, indicating significant opportunity for growth by accessing this untapped market.
  • The UAE: IT gateway to the Middle East market The UAE alone accounts for 31 percent of IT spending in the Middle East, slightly lower than Saudi Arabia’s but more than twice Egypt’s. This demonstrates both the early development of the IT industry in the UAE compared with the rest of the region, and the country’s high level of IT awareness. In addition, most global industry leaders (Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and others) are well established in the Middle East and have established regional headquarters in Dubai.
  • IT services: the fastest growing segment. The share of the hardware, software and IT services segments is expected to move toward stronger demand for IT services. Buyers will continue to invest in IT infrastructure (network systems and computer hardware) as well as packaged software and solutions, but are now looking to exploit their previous IT investments to their full potential. As a result, buyers are starting to move slowly from a primary focus on building IT infrastructure and systems to a higher proportion of investment in value-added services.
  • As part of UAE Vision 2021, the National Innovation Strategy identified digital technology as one of the top seven primary national sectors. The strategy focuses on the development of smart cities, software, and applications including advanced technology in areas of global interest such as artificial intelligence, semiconductors, nanotechnology, and 3D printing, as well as the quick adoption of technology across various industries.
  • The growth of digitalization in the ICT sector along with other sectors is the growing demand driver for the country as a whole.

Market Opportunities

  • Spending on cloud computing in the UAE increased from $51 million in 2011 to $381 million in 2016, marking a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49% over the period. Demand for cloud services has been particularly strong, and this trend is expected to continue in the future and create new opportunities in the market.
  • Other key segments where momentum is growing are network security and mobile computing. Network security in the UAE has the potential for future growth, especially in new niche categories such as mobile network security and secure cloud computing resources.
  • The mobile computing segment is also witnessing an uptick in activity with the number of mobile subscribers in the UAE increasing from about 11.6 million in 2011 to about 19 million in 2016, according to data from Business Monitor International.
  • Demand for ICT products and services has also grown across Asia and Africa providing UAE businesses with opportunities to sell ICT products to tourists and to export/re-export them for use in foreign countries. According to data from trademap.org, UAE exports of automatic data-processing machines and units were valued at around $1.17 billion in 2015, while imports were valued at around $2.49 billion.
  • Key trends impacting the UAE’s ICT sector include the use of technologies that enable devices to communicate with each other, known as the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is being used especially in the UAE’s logistics sector, and could see increased adoption in other sectors of the economy.
  • Another important trend is the growing demand for new technologies that can be used for Smart City solutions. According to recent estimates by CISCO, Dubai’s public and public sectors can potentially achieve value of around $4.8 billion by 2019 by implementing IoT in Smart City technologies.
  • Cloud Computing is one of the fields which has seen latest opportunity in the ICT market along with block chain.
  • A healthy opportunity in IT services : The health care sector has been an important area of focus for the Middle East government in the recent years. In UAE the healthcare sector is expected to grow by 14 percent over the next five years.About US$20 Million of this is allocated to IT Services. Two of the major IT opportunities in the health-care sector are in ERP implementation and systems-integration.

UAE ICT Industry Trends


However, the overall local market will be marked by small profit margins and increased competition. Electronics for end-consumers maintained consumption levels during 2017 and are expected to grow in 2018. The ICT Market shows a positive outlook for the period 2017-2030.Other ICT subsectors will maintain their dynamism across the different Emirates. Research in particular analysis that, Abu Dhabi has been recognized in 2018 as the "Middle East and Africa's most developed Smart City," in terms of technology base, high-speed communication networks, critical mass of smartphones, open data portals, as well as digital sensors.


The push from the UAE government toward digitalization has been a major driver for growth of the ICT sector in the country. And efforts are paying off and the country has been ranked sixth in the Online Services Index (OSI) and second in the Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII), according to the E-Government Development Index (EDGI) Survey 2018 issued by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). These global achievements make the UAE a reference country in the implementation of ICT in government services and set the country ahead of many advanced economies and first in the MENA region. Research shows that Abu Dhabi Municipality took actual interest in proof of concepts of blockchain to implement in different projects. In line with this, an MoU was signed between the Department of Economic Development-Abu Dhabi and Algorythma, a UAE-based technology service company, to push forward the digital transformation agenda. Under the agreement, the Centre at Krypto Labs, in Masdar City, is aimed at enabling best practices and bringing the latest technological developments to the Emirate as part of Abu Dhabi's strategy to support the ICT sector.


Service provider Etisalat will be a key player in driving Abu Dhabi's transformation toward a smart city. The Abu Dhabi-based telecommunication company realizes that to fully exploit the potential of the IoT, it must at the same time develop new capacities and build partnerships across the whole value chain to eventually build an ecosystem where a wide range of applications will serve multiple industries. The sheer scale of IoT means that the ecosystem will be made up of many players focused on different levels of the value chain, some providing niche IoT products for specific verticals and others attempting to provide horizontal, cross-industry solutions.

As such, Etisalat's vision of the network architecture to support IoT takes into consideration the many uses IoT presents, with a recently published white paper focusing on three in particular. The first one concerns smart farms, which will be able to monitor and analyze the soil and environmental conditions as well as third-party data, such as weather information to enable automated decision-making around engaging certain farm systems such as irrigation system, crop treatment, or perhaps harvesting. The second one revolves around increased security and response to incidents on public transportation through automated analysis of CCTV footage. Edge (fog) computing can process CCTV footage from public transport close to the edge of the network to identify instances of disturbance, risk, crime, and more. The third example mentioned in its white paper is around data on field-force workers. This data, captured by augmented reality devices and data on the environment and equipment can be processed locally to ensure a rapid response if a dangerous situation is occurring, ensuring greater field-force worker safety.


Research shows that the UAE is the e-commerce market leader in the GCC, accounting for 50% of regional online sales and is expected to reach USD20 billion by 2020. On the demand side, the UAE's young population and high purchasing power will be the driver for online consumption. About 64% of the country's population is under 31, and the average online purchase in the country is above USD300.

Internet penetration and smartphone usage in the country has also been key to the success of e-commerce. According to 2017 data, 90% of the population in the UAE has access to the internet, while the percentage is only 60% in the case of the whole Middle East region. Additionally, 80% of the UAE populations are considered to be active smartphone users.
When buying online, Emiratis show more interest in international websites; online purchases mainly take place on websites from the US (30%), the UK (18%), and India (18%).

Block chain

2019 is also the year many enterprises will likely begin exploring blockchain technology, which provides an incorruptible and encrypted method of recordkeeping that is easily verifiable. As people and devices are increasingly connected, identity/privacy protection is a prime concern. Both blockchain and biometrics can help to secure and manage user identities, and technology companies may even combine them to make their offerings more secure.

Geographical Market (Dominate Market, Target Opportunities, etc)

Cumulative stations

Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Director General of the TRA, said: “The achievements of the UAE in the global indicators are cumulative milestones towards the goal that we all seek, which is to achieve the country's leadership in the global arena in all fields, especially the telecommunications and information sector, because of its exceptional importance as a pillar. To progress in all sectors. ”

He stressed that the UAE is keen to create and provide advanced infrastructure capable of achieving the highest centers in the indicators of the telecommunications and information sector, as it works to create the atmosphere to accommodate advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence technologies and the Internet of Things, in order to reach the principle of sustainability and increase the happiness of society.

Develop and update

“The TRA continues to work with operators to raise the country's ranking in global competitiveness indicators by developing and modernizing the telecommunications infrastructure to raise the sector's readiness to meet The rapidly evolving communications technology needs to ensure the ease and speed of entry of modern technology into the country, especially as we are on the threshold of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which requires a readiness to keep pace with future technology, such as autonomous vehicles, robots, Blockchain, 3D printing, etc.

Research after analysis shows that IT services (6%) and software development (4.8%) will be growing at a higher pace in the region, while the growth will be more moderate in the case of servers, storage, and networks (2.3%) and mobile devices (2.2%). IT peripherals and displays (-1.4%) and PC and tablets (-2.7%) will experience a decline.

New Region Opened for Middle East and Africa business and sect oral distribution
Across the Middle East we see evidence that the region is gearing up for events business. Saudi Arabia is experiencing sweeping change across all aspects of life from entertainment to the economy and a major part of the country’s strategy is to become a powerhouse in meetings and events. The country is investing in road, rail and air infrastructure and will open over 50 new four and five-star hotels in the next four years, creating 11,000 bedrooms. State-of-the-art event facilities are also on the way.

Saudi is not alone : Growth in business tourism in Morocco has been supported by the development of several economic clusters, including Casa Nearshore for ICT, Midpark for aeronautics and Casablanca Finance City for capital markets. These developments have helped maintain a healthy demand for increases in hotel capacity. Additionally, in light of Casablanca’s shortage of large-scale event facilities, the city has been making substantial investments to grow its attractiveness as a MICE destination in recent years. A new 3,500-seat congress centre has been built on the city’s marina and an 1,800-seat event room forms part of Casablanca’s first opera house – the newly opened Cas Arts Theatre Complex.

In Dubai, the 20,000 capacity Dubai Arena will open in 2019 and will be the largest of its kind in the region. A multi-purpose arena spanning half a million square feet, this new space will greatly enhance Dubai’s leisure and entertainment offering. The state-of-the-art venue will make the most of the latest advancements in venue design and will feature automated malleable seats, allowing it to transform depending on the size of event.

Dubai: A Strategic Location The UAE and the Emirate of Dubai benefit from their unique geographic positions as natural crossroads between Asia, Africa and Europe—a true gateway to the Middle East. Dubai has become the region’s air-transportation hub, offering flights to world business centres in Europe (six hours flying time), North Africa (four hours), South Asia (three hours) and Central Asia (three hours) (see figure 2.) Located at the entrance to the Arabian Gulf, Dubai is the economic heart of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional organization comprising the Arab states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The GCC common market, launched in January 2008, grants national treatment to all GCC firms and citizens of other member countries. This multilateral arrangement further reduces barriers to cross-country investment and services trade.

IT services: the fastest growing segment The share of the hardware, software and IT services segments is expected to move toward stronger demand for IT services. Buyers will continue to invest in IT infrastructure (network systems and computer hardware) as well as packaged software and solutions, but are now looking to exploit their previous IT investments to their full potential. As a result, buyers are starting to move slowly from a primary focus on building IT infrastructure and systems to a higher proportion of investment in value-added services.

Dubai, the World Centre of Islamic Finance: With a high level of government support and access to experts in Sharia law, Dubai has become the recognized capital of Islamic finance. According to Forbes, Dubai has an estimated US$16 billion in listed Sukuk (Islamic bonds), more than anywhere else in the world. This level of focus on Islamic banking is creating significant demand for specialized IT solutions and services, including custom applications that specialize in the administration, control and management of Islamic products and assets. For companies with expertise in this area, this market can provide a springboard to accessing the wider Islamic banking market, with Islamic finance spreading beyond what could be considered the “traditional” Islamic markets of the Middle East, Indonesia and Malaysia and into other markets, such as the United Kingdom and Singapore.

Opportunity in Muslim Consumer Products: With a current population of about 1.61 billion, the Muslim world represents nearly 20 percent of the global population. The Middle East therefore plays a major global role as a source of Muslim consumer products and services. Indeed, the economic rise of many of the Muslim nations means the Muslim consumer has now become the target of many product manufacturers and services providers— so much so that the size of the Muslim products and-services market is currently estimated at US$2 trillion. The Islamic finance-products market alone is estimated to be worth US$400 billion. IT applications for Islamic banking now include custom applications that specialize in the administration, control and management of Islamic products assets. With these market dynamics, the Middle East has the potential to be a catalyst for learning and the creation of new technologies that eventually can be exported to other parts of the world. This represents a significant opportunity for IT providers to be part of the world’s new hub of Muslim consumer products and services.

We conducted interviews with the Consumers (B2C Vs B2B), ICT Brands, End User Industry Verticals, Contractual Suppliers, Product Managers, Consultants, Decision Makers, VPs, Executives, Sales Managers, Regional Sales Head, C-level Executives, etc.

Key Benefits: UAE ICT Industry Outlook, 2019-2035 (Edition 2021)

•    The report includes UAE ICT Industry Manufacturers, Contract Manufacturers & Brands Outlook (Market Competition & Global Presence), Business Strategy & Financial Analysis of Major Players. Further, the study also covers Industry Insights (Future Trends & Forecast Data), Trade Data (Exports and Imports), By UAE ICT Industry Type (Manufacturing & End User Industry Outlook), End User Industry Analysis (B2B Vs B2C), Competitive Intelligence, Opportunity Analysis
•    Market Data : Market Size (USD Billion), Market Share (%), CAGR (%), Y-O-Y Growth Rate (%) of UAE ICT Industry Industry and further it bifurcated into Countries, 2019-2035
•    Sales Data of UAE ICT Industry : By Each Packaging Type, By End Users, By Manufacturers Type, By Application, By Countries, (By Volume & Value), 2019-2035
•    Manufacturing Outlook of UAE ICT Industry : Manufacturers Outlook, Revenue & Market Share of Manufacturers, Manufacturing Capacity, Operational Margins, Contract Manufacturers & OBMs Outlook, etc., 2019-2035
•    Brands Outlook : Revenue Share (%) of Manufacturers By Packaging Type, Market Positioning, Ranking Analysis, Product Portfolio, Competitiveness, Regional Presence, No. of Products, Investments, Partnerships & Collaborations, Mergers & Acquisitions, etc., 2019-2035
•    UAE ICT Industry End User Outlook : End User Preferences of Packaging & Brands, End User Spending, Average Spending Power, Adoption Rate (%), Penetration Rate (%), Green Initiatives, Govt. Regulations, etc., 2019-2035
•    Market Dynamics : Growth Drivers, Challenges, Opportunities, Trends, SWOT Analysis, Porter's Five Force Model, PESTLE Analysis, etc., 2019-2035
•    Trade Data of UAE ICT Industry (Export & Import) : By Each Segment, By Major Destination Countries (By Value & Volume), 2019-2035
•    Supply & Demand Analysis : By UAE ICT Industry Type, End Use Verticals, By Countries, 2019-2035
•    Target & Potential Markets : By Major Countries & Industries
•    Detailed Outlook : UAE ICT Industry Industry Analysis : (Manufacturers, Raw Material Outlook, New Products, Ongoing Researches, End User Analysis, Manufacturing Models, Demand Analysis for Each End User Industry, Govt. Norms, Market Dynamics etc.)

COVID-19 impact on "UAE ICT Industry"

The report analyses and includes complete detailed chapter of 50-70 pages about the short term & long terms impact of COVID-19 outbreak on each segment of "UAE ICT Industry" along with government measures to support the sector. It also showcases the current market landscape during COVID, impact of the virus on leading companies, expected demand schedule and supply chain in the industry and other various major factors. This will help you identify those companies that may benefit from this pandemic as well as those that will lose out.

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Key questions answered in this research report

  • What is the total market size by 2035 and what would be the expected growth rate of sales?
  • What are the total sales in 2018-19 and what would be the expected demand over the forecast period?
  • What are the recent developments and business strategy of companies?
  • What are the market opportunities for the existing and entry level players?
  • What are the key market trends?
  • What are the factors which are driving this market?
  • What are the major barriers to market growth?
  • Who are the key vendors in this market space?

Reasons to buy this market study

  • UAE ICT Industry Facilitate decision-making based on strong historic and forecast data for
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  • Position yourself to gain the maximum advantage of the Reasons to buy this market study
  • UAE ICT Industry Facilitate decision-making based on strong historic and forecast data for
  • Develop strategies based on the latest regulatory framework
  • Position yourself to gain the maximum advantage of the UAE ICT Industry’s growth potential
  • Identify key partners and business development avenues across the globe
  • Respond to your competitor’s business structure, strategy and prospects’s growth potential

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UAE ICT Industry Outlook 2019-2035 : Growth Opportunities | COVID-19 Impact Analysis

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