2022 Social Media Usage Statistics in the UAE


Of all the nations in the world, the UAE has surpassed others by having the highest social media utilization rate relative to its population. According to a new study reported by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority, the UAE has a usage rate of 106% — the only place on the globe to surpass 100%. 

On average, UAE residents spend a much longer time on social media daily, estimated at 147 minutes. Apart from that, people here are online at least 8.3 hours a day, which ranks at 10th most active globally as the worldwide average is just under 6.6 hours.

These are just some of the insights we’ve gained from a few social media statistics in the UAE. Here are other important trends and figures, what they mean, and their implications. 

The Importance of Social Media in the UAE

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In just less than a generation, social media has evolved from a tool used for direct electronic information exchange to a virtual gathering place, a retail platform, and a vital 21st -century marketing tool. It has, quite literally, taken over the world as seen by our daily dependence on it. 

From the global landscape, a similar picture is seen in the UAE. These days, people in the UAE can communicate across continents in an instant. It is especially important to stay connected here, where the social media climate is thriving. Not only do ordinary people talk to one another through these platforms, but businesses are thriving on social media platforms. Government agencies can also be reached here if you’re in the UAE. 

Like anywhere else in the world, social media use in the UAE has become an essential part of today’s most innovative marketing campaigns. Not only that, but it has provided businesses access to virtually anybody else within and outside the UAE. Social media has also made it possible for businesses to directly engage with their customers through comments and posts. 

On any given day, thousands of Emiratis will be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and other social networks. Social media is here to stay and grow in the UAE, and its importance will only expand later on. 

Social media isn’t just important for businesses — it is an essential tool for everyday life. It helps people connect with family and friends through platforms that allow them to share their lives with each other. It’s a source of entertainment for many, and it has become something that is very much relied on. The integration of social media in daily life is a testament to how important it is, especially to the residents of the UAE. 

Popular Platforms in the UAE

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are used by people all over the UAE to do their business or simply stay in touch with friends and family. The most used social media platforms in the UAE for August of 2022 are as follows:

  • Facebook (79.5%)
  • Twitter (9.0%)
  • Instagram (4.3%)
  • YouTube (3.7%)
  • Pinterest (2.5%)
  • Reddit (0.5%)

More people spend their time accessing these social media platforms on their mobile devices than on desktop or laptop computers. So far, nearly 70% of total internet users use more than one social network. At least 80% of people active on these social networks are on Facebook at least once a day.

Messaging Apps Gaining Popularity

There has also been a steady increase in people using messaging platforms such as Viber, Messenger, and WhatsApp as they offer private communication options. For instance, WhatsApp has the most number of users in the UAE with over 80.20% of netizens using the app. 

Messenger apps are, of course, popular for communicating with friends and family, but businesses have also begun using these channels for marketing efforts. It has never been easier to directly reach out to a business to ask about their hours, products, and services. And businesses have never been more pressured to respond to inquiries, comments, and other forms of feedback accurately and quickly. 

Here are some quick statistics on how many people are using messaging apps: 

  • WhatsApp (80.20%)
  • Facebook Messenger (64.40%)
  • Skype (33.60%)
  • WeChat (24.50%)
  • Viber (20.70%

Social Media Advertising in the UAE

Social media advertising is huge in the UAE, just like in other countries. It is interesting to look at the social media advertising audience profiles this year as it gives us an idea of how profitable it is to advertise on three of the most dominant social platforms: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. Those doing business in the UAE can use this data to strategize advertising budgets for the year and beyond.

On the other hand, the gender ratio gives a good indication of how men and women use social media in the UAE. About 68.1% of the social media audience is male while only 31.9% of the same audience is female. 

Most of these users are in the 25 to 34 age group, with 30% accounting for men and 13.8% for women. The second group falls between the ages of 35 and 44, where men account for 16.7% of the population and women for 8%. People in the 18 to 24 age group are made up of 12.4% men and 5.7% women.

Across all age groups, more users are male with fewer being female. This can influence how targeted advertising is being done to gain more customers. 

Reasons for Using Social Media

In the past, social media was used simply to communicate in a myriad of ways. There were also extra features, such as simple games on Facebook, but that was just about all it was good for. Fast forward to today, and social media allows us to access thousands of opportunities and tons of entertaining content that is specifically curated to our liking. 

It was revealed that UAE internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 logged onto various social media platforms for different reasons, including keeping in touch with friends and family, using it to fill their spare time, and reading the latest articles and news stories. 

UAE Social Media Trends for 2022

A big influencing factor for the statistics mentioned above are the trends in social media. Trends are simple enough to understand, but there’s more to them than meets the eye. It can be defined as something representing what is popular at a certain point in time. But more importantly, a trend captures the ever-evolving behavior of people in certain situations; they show when something is changing or developing towards a certain direction.

Social media trends are so pervasive that they can drive the direction of people’s preferences from one direction to another overnight. A seemingly simple video can become viral overnight, and there continue to be internet sensations on platforms like TikTok — just at a more rapid pace. 

This content-sharing and interactive behavior between users is extremely valuable information to businesses, especially in competitive marketing strategies and other methods to meet business goals.

Social media platforms are no longer just communities of people with shared interests. They have become solid fan bases for celebrities and brands. There are various social media trends that have risen to prominence in 2022. Here are a few of them: 

  1. TikTok

2022 seems to be the year of TikTok, and it’s no surprise as to why. It has surpassed all expectations in terms of reach and popularity in such a short amount of time. TikTok videos feature trendy dance moves, make-up techniques, and even relationship advice from all sorts of users. And now, there’s even an e-commerce feature that allows users to shop directly on the platform. 

  1. Short Videos

Gone are the days where long YouTube videos were popular. They still have a place in social media, but these days, it’s all about short videos. This is thanks to TikTok videos and the similarly formatted Instagram reels. Since more people are using social media to consume these types of content formatted in this way, businesses would do well to follow suit. 

  1. Organic Engagement

Today, brands are struggling to maintain a loyal customer base. This is why continuous engagement matters on social media platforms. For instance, knowing that Facebook and WhatsApp are the two most frequented social media platforms, businesses can cater their strategy to engaging audiences through these channels. Delivering high-quality content is likely to lead to better engagement, a stronger bond, and increased loyalty. 

  1. Virtual and Augmented Reality

Depending on where you are and your immediate social media community, some virtual and augmented reality trends may be more apparent. Take filters for example. Various options are more popular depending on the trend. Different variations of beauty filters are often used, and many people also quite like the vintage look. 


Social media can tell us a lot just from the statistics that we have. It informs us about which platforms are most popular and what demographic is spending the most time on which social media channel. These are valuable pieces of information that businesses have used to build impressive marketing strategies and brand images for the customers and audiences.

Perhaps your marketing approach could benefit from localized statistics – a look at what’s happening on social media in your corner of the world. Reach out to our experts from Igloo to find out how your brand can make its presence known on social media and attract the right customers and partners from all over the UAE.


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