I've been writing about technology for nearly 20 years, including editing industry magazines Connect and Communications International. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Anthony Plewes. My focus in Futurity Media is in emerging technologies, social media and future gazing. As a graduate of philosophy & science, I have studied futurology & foresight to the post-grad level.
The UAE has been revealed as the top country in the Middle East for using technology to create a better economic and social environment, according to a report by the World Economic Forum. That report, 'The Global Information Technology Report 2009-2010' ranks the Emirates as the 23rd in the world on how it uses IT to create a more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable world.
That attitude to technology use has been borne out by a mature approach among users in the Emirates to web content. According to a recent Nielsen survey, 88% of consumers want the web to remain free but many are willing to pay for content, provided that the quality is of a high standard.
"Compared to many of their peers around the world, UAE consumers are more willing to buy professionally produced online content," commented Sevil Ermin, managing director of Nielsen in the UAE. "But content that has been generated by fellow users, such as blogs and video has far less appeal."
That stress on value, is emphasised in the report's finding that 66% of respondents said the quality of information online needs to improve significantly before they would be prepared to pay for it.