The Impact of Internet Connectedness on Voluntary Social Activity in UAE

The Impact of Internet Connectedness on Voluntary Social Activity in UAE

Azza Abdel-Azim Mohamed Ahmed (Cairo University, Egypt)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/jep.2011100104
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Abstract

The Internet plays a great role in various fields in Arab societies, including social voluntary work, which represents a symbol of solidarity and cooperation among individuals in a community. In this paper, the author examines the role the Internet might play in promoting social voluntary work. It examines Internet connectedness among a sample of United Arab Emirates’ Arab residents, and how it might influence their social voluntary work. The results reveal that interpersonal utility and entertainment, news-seeking, and paying are factors that determine Internet usage goals among UAE residents. No significant difference between high- and low-level Internet connectors in terms of social civil involvement was found. Although, there was evidence found that the Emiratis are more socially involved in volunteer work than other Arab nationalities in the UAE. Education, age, income, and occupation were predictor variables of ICI and Civic Social work.
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Internet In The United Arab Emirates

The Internet has captured the attention of various segments in the Arab societies over the last few years. The adoption of personal computers has led to a dramatic increase in online activities.

People in the Emirates live in a very robust communication environment where adaptation of high-tech communication devices is very rapid and available to most of the people. Furthermore, UAE has witnessed the integration of the Internet into the daily lives of the general public.

According to the Internet World State 2009, United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the Arab countries that rapidly adopted new computer-based technologies used in everyday life. The use of the Internet is widespread in all the institutions in UAE; so, it can be claimed that most of UAE residents are connected with the Internet. Emirates is allocated the fifth rank among the Middle East countries in Internet users (2.9%) after Syria (3.6%), Israel (5.3%), Saudi Arabia (7.7%), and Iran (32.2%). It is also the third ranked among Arab countries after Syria and Saudi Arabia for user growth from 2000–2010 at 414.0%1. Figure 1 explains distribution of the Middle East countries in terms of Internet users in September 2009.

Figure 1.

Middle East internet users (adapted from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats5.htm#top)

On the other hand, there are 3,777,900 Internet users as of September of 2010 in UAE, which is estimated as 75.9% of the population as shown in Table 1.

Table 1.
Internet growth and population statistics in UAE (Adapted from Internet World State: Usage and Population Statistics, http://www.internetworldstats.com/me/ae.htm)
YearInternet Users% Pop.
2000735,00019.6%
20031,110,20029.6%
20051,300,00034.7%
20093,558,00074.1%
20103,777,90075.9%

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