Abu Dhabi ICT

High mobile uptake, leading smartphone penetration, and rapid expansion of wireless broadband and fibre-optic infrastructure have driven the UAE to the forefront of regional telecoms development. Although mobile tariffs are comparatively high and international volatility has affected operator profits, a recent series of consumer-friendly reforms should help control consumer charges while supporting growth. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has rolled out several consumer-friendly changes aimed at boosting competition, with a long-awaited infrastructure-sharing deal between the two mobile operators making significant progress in 2016. Meanwhile, the emirate’s IT sector has shown promising growth over the previous decade, bolstered by rising levels of mobile broadband service offerings, smartphone penetration and internet usage. ICT development is a critical priority for the emirate and the UAE, as reflected in both national and emirate-level, long-term economic development strategies, which have significantly expanded e-government offerings and cybersecurity initiatives in recent years.