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Communication gets more ‘instant’ in UAE

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Sunaina Rana / Emirates Business

Instant messaging apps have emerged as favourite tools of easy communication for business and private use in the Emirates, according to a recent survey by YouGov in association with Huawei. They help entrepreneurs to connect with their business partners, thereby enabling them to enhance operations.
Sandeep Saihgal, Middle East Vice President of Huawei Consumer Business Group commented on the survey results, “The rapid rise of Internet messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Skype, which offer dynamic yet convenient communication options, has placed greater importance on mobile devices for both business and private use. Mobile device importance is no longer segmented to specific age groups or lifestyles.”
The increasing rate UAE residents turning to instant messaging, in comparison to one-on-one communication, the study reveals the significance of mobile phones in the corporate world.
According to the study Emiratis were most likely to conduct their business in person, with 28 percent giving the nod to face-to-face meetings. In contrast, Asian respondents were just 15 percent likely to opt for that method, with a 28 percent majority choosing instant messaging.
As per the survey suggested that just 14 percent of all respondents stated that the telephone was the most effective method of business, whilst 20 percent suggesting it’s their most common business conductor. However, respondents over the age of 40 had the minimum inclination towards telephone to conduct business.
The study also reveals that the use of telephone on daily bases is also gender prone. As per the report men were more likely to pick up the handset and place a call on a daily basis than women, with 22 percent ticking the box, compared with 15 percent for the latter.
Mobile usage in general is on a rise, it has been witnessed that a majority of UAE inhabitants holding on to their devices for a minimum of 2 hours per day. Contrary to popular beliefs, all age groups use their mobile phones at roughly equal amounts of hours.
40 percent of respondents aged 30 to 40 used their mobile devices between 2 to 5 hours on a daily bases, while 37 percent respondents aged 18 to 29 had equal usage time habits. Even respondents aged 40 plus showed little difference in the amount of hours spend with their handheld devices, with 36 percent of them answering that they too use their mobile 2 to 5 hours on a daily bases.
“As we see increased mobile device usage across the board, we at Huawei deem it critical to offer customer service points for our products that are accessible by all,” said Saihgal.
According to the Global Media Insight, another rising star in the social media world is the mobile social messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Skype, and FB Messenger. The number of active messaging accounts has crossed 4.6 million, falling just short of hitting the 50 percent mark. The most popular among the mobile social messaging apps in the UAE is Skype with more than 4.8 million social users. WhatsApp is not far behind at 4.6 million. FB Messenger has not had the same success as Facebook, with only 4.11million users. Other social apps such as Viber and Instagram are used by less than 25 percent of the users.

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