For better or worse, Google is at the heart of the modern internet. Services like Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Drive are used by billions of people around the world, helping them find useful information, establish an online presence, and accomplish their goals, among many other things.
Interested to see how much value it contributes to the Middle East economy, the tech giant commissioned independent consultancy Public First to explore how Google’s products helped people, businesses, and workers, and the findings are astonishing: Google contributed over $3 billion to the economy in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia in 2021 alone.
In both countries, e-commerce played a vital role in Google’s contributions. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the Middle East were fairly reluctant to shop online. Since the first wave of pandemic lockdowns restricted access to physical stores, e-commerce penetration more than doubled both in Saudi Arabia (from 5% to 10%) and the UAE (from 5.6% to 12.1%).
Other drivers of Google’s contributions include the company’s huge developer ecosystem or the various content creators it helped propel to stardom, such as the Iraqi creator known as Chef Shaheen, whose YouTube channel has around 2.4 million subscribers.
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“We see from the numbers that the content creator economy is growing massively…same thing for developers,” says Anthony Nakache, Google’s Managing Director in the Middle East and North Africa. “All signs are showing that there is a growth in the [digital] economy — all components are actually growing.”
On the flip side, any economy that becomes largely dependent on a single company can find itself in an unpleasant situation if the company stops being able to deliver its services, just like when the massive Facebook outage shook the internet in 2021.
Are You Ready For This Year’s GITEX Shopper Event?
We’re excited to be media partners of this year’s GITEX Shopper event, an extravaganza bringing together all the big names and retailers in electronics.
GITEX Shopper, the giant 5-day electronics extravaganza, is getting ready to open its doors to the public between December 14 and 18 at the Dubai World Trade Center.
The expo brings together all of the top electronic brands and retailers and features huge discounts on all the best tech, plus prize draws, new product launches, interactive displays and much more.
Visitors to GITEX Shopper will be able to grab all of the latest products at the best prices, from gaming consoles and speakers to drones, TV sets, and even e-scooters. This 5-day shopping extravaganza offers exclusive discounts on selected items that can’t be found elsewhere, and there are plenty of shows and demonstrations at the expo to keep the whole family entertained.
To join over 100,000 people at this year’s GITEX Shopper and grab some of 2022’s biggest bargains, head over to the official website to register your interest.