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Media (R)evolutions: Attitudes and Behaviors of MENA Internet Users

Roxanne Bauer's picture

New developments and curiosities from a changing global media landscape: People, Spaces, Deliberation brings trends and events to your attention that illustrate that tomorrow's media environment will look very different from today's, and will have little resemblance to yesterday's.

The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology of Qatar (ictQATAR) published a new report that covers the shifting attitudes of Internet users in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regarding cyber safety, online security, and data privacy, as well as their basic habits online.

Among the key findings, the report found that the majority of Internet users in MENA countries access the web from home and are much more likely to agree with the statement that “the Internet is making things better for people like me” compared to the world average.


The research consisted of an online survey of 2,793 Internet users in 14 MENA countries that was then compared to an existing data set produced by the World Economic Forum of 8,432 respondents from 44 other countries

Other findings of the include:

  • MENA Internet users are considerably less likely to make online purchases or do online banking compared to other regions.
  • Internet users in North Africa are much more inclined to believe that their personal data is safe online compared to other Internet users in both Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and other countries worldwide.
  • Amongst institutions with an online prescence; banks and financial institutions in the region enjoy the highest levels of trust, followed by health and medical service providers and Government authorities.
  • Almost 50% of MENA’s Internet users say they are “very careful” about what they say and do on the Internet.
  • Despite this, they are also more likely to open attachments, documents and emails from senders they do not know and are less likely to scan their computer or mobile device for viruses and spyware.
  • They are also more likely to meet people online that they have not met in person and to make “connections” online with people othey do not personally know than users in any other region.

Source: The attitudes of online users in the MENA region to Cybersafety, Security and Data Privacy by Rassed/Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR)


Submitted by Damian Radcliffe on

Many thanks for sharing this Roxanne. You may be interested to know that the full length version of this study (20,000 words, as opposed to the 5,000 word summary) has now been published:

I've also outlined some additional points from the study in this piece:

Happy Reading!

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