UAE and Saudi Arabia Lead in GCC-wide Digital Transformation Online Searches

by September 17, 2019

According to the latest report from SEMrush, an all-in-one digital marketing suite, UAE and Saudi Arabia have been named as leaders in GCC-wide online searches in digital security and transformation over the last 12 months. SEMrush’s back-data study covered four key strategic digital terms – Digital Transformation, Digital Marketing, Cybersecurity, and Computer Security.

The significant increases in searches highlight how the two Gulf states are setting the regional data protection agenda and leading demand. However, the UAE’s most searched term was ‘digital marketing’, closely followed by ‘cybersecurity’, in terms of online search volume trends from August 2018 to August 2019.

As for year-on-year growth, ‘digital marketing’ is the fastest-growing search terms in the UAE at 28 percent, followed by ‘cybersecurity’ at 25 percent, ‘digital transformation’ at 24 percent and ‘computer security’ at 23 percent.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia witnessed the largest single market jump in related search volumes during the same period. The Kingdom’s fastest-growing related term was ‘digital transformation’ that saw 123 percent growth, followed by ‘digital marketing’ and ‘computer security’ at 84 percent and 30 percent growth, respectively.

According to Corporate Communications Manager at SEMrush for MENA region Adam Zeidan, these insights provide marketers working within this sector greater clarity into the interests of residents and companies across both the UAE and Saudi Arabia. By harnessing this data, they will be able to support their own marketing campaigns and outreach to acquire new business leads as interest and investment grow. According to Internal Data Corp, the UAE and Saudi Arabia will dedicate US$8 billion and US$11 billion, respectively, to IT and digital transformation in the next year, something marketers need to be monitoring, he said.


Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Overview 

Established in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on May 1981, GCC is a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. The purpose behind the GCC is to accomplish unity among its members based on their common objectives and their similar political and cultural identities that are rooted in Arab and Islamic cultures.

Recently, the GCC has witnessed major digital initiatives by the public sector that have expedited interest on the significance of moving forward issues such as digital transformation, digital marketing, and cybersecurity. Besides regional digital infrastructure and technology investment, the SEMrush search data reveals that these digital trends lead opportunities in the Gulf regions that could be improved further to boost public awareness.