Unlocking the Potential of MENA’s Digital Future

July 22, 2023

Embracing Mobile Revolution: Unlocking the Potential of MENA’s Digital Future

The Middle East and North Africa ( MENA’s Digital Future) region has seen significant growth in mobile usage in recent years
and this trend is expecte d to continue into 2022 and beyond.

With advancements in technology and the increasing availability of affordable smartphones, more and more people in the region are relying on their mobile devices for communication, entertainment, and commerce.

Mobile usage in MENA

Mobile subscribers in the MENA region are expecte d to reach 425 million in 2025, up from 391 million in 2020,
according to GSMA Intelligence..
The penetration rate now stands at 65%, up from 59% in 2020. By 2025, there are estimated to be 1.1 billion SIM connections in the region, up from 990 million in 2020

Mobile commerce in MENA

Mobile commerce is spreading in the MENA region, as well as consumers who use their mobile devices to purchase online.
Visa reported that the value of online transactions in the region increased from $49 billion in 2018 to $69 billion in 2022.
Every day mobile commerce gets more and more popular as 48% of consumers use their mobiles to make online payments.
Retailers and financial institutions aim to invest more and more in mobile payment solutions so this trend is going to continue.

Mobile apps in MENA

What plays an extensive role in the lives of people in MENA future is mobile apps. App Annie reported that the average person in the region spends more than three hours daily on mobile apps and especially social media apps.
The report also includes an increase in mobile gaming apps popularity as the average person spends longer than 20 minutes per day playing.

Localized content for the region is being created by game developers so this trend is expected to continue.

Live streaming

In 2021, time spent in the top 25 live streaming apps in MENA outpacedthe
social market overall year over year by a factor of 12.5.
TikTok was a standout winner in per user engagement among the top 5 social apps
especially in Saudi Arabia as it saw a 7x increase in time spent per user compared to 2018.

Food and drink apps

Since the pandemic started, food and drink apps noticed a lot of traffic across the world as people had a lot of spare time and they were working from home. Sessions in food & drink apps reached 6 billion in MENA in Q4 2021, up 85% year-over-year.


To summarize the above points, people in the MENA region depend highly on their mobile phones for communication, entertainment, and commerce. As long as smartphones evolve and become more and more affordable, we expect this trend of relying on mobile phones to continue in the upcoming years.

Ready to unlock the full potential of MENA’s mobile revolution?