ICT & Communication

Abu Dhabi is in a unique position to leverage ICT for accelerating economic growth with social impact. The number of active mobile subscriptions in the UAE has continued to grow, reaching about 18 million by the end of 2015 with a penetration rate of 209.8%, one of the highest rates in the world. 

Abu Dhabi's main telecommunications provider, Etisalat, continues to dominate the local sector with popular internet and mobile services. As the IT and telecoms sector expand horizontally, space technology and media companies are developing local initiatives that appeal to the country's youth and pave the way for the future of the industry. Etisalat is driving the early adoption of 5G networks in the emirate and currently testing the technology and the first commercial deployment of 5G which is expected in 2019. 

While mobile operators and media companies increasingly compete developing technologic and innovative solutions, the amount of data stored digitally is rising dramatically. Big Data specialists and digital security companies have the opportunity to carve out a highly specialized niche in Abu Dhabi to support firms across many sectors as they seek to protect their company data and customers' privacy. 

Abu Dhabi e-government initiative is leading the digital transformation of the emirate

Abu Dhabi continues to position itself as one of the leaders in digital transformation in the era of smart government development. The announcement in 2016 by the Abu Dhabi E-Government Supervisory Committee and the Digital Transformation Leadership Team demonstrates this intention of the Government of Abu Dhabi to increase momentum on its quest to improve government performance, optimize service delivery and transform the Emirate into a truly Smart City in line with the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision of forming a sustainable knowledge-based economy –  Formed in 2016, the committee, which includes 14 governmental department members is responsible for driving the creation of Abu Dhabi's e-government strategy to deliver a sustainable base for services growth

ICT companies are choosing Abu Dhabi as a starting point have access to the UAE and to an even broader GCC market

Key Statistics of the ICT sector (2010-2017*)

GDP at constant price - AED billion 2010 2015 2017* % CAGR - 2010-2017
Total 587.1 770.0 785.6 100% 4.25%
Information and Communication 19.2 20.6 23.0 2.93% 2.64%

Information and communication sector real GDP (2010-2017* - AED billion)

Source: Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi - * Preliminary estimates

Key Players

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