Understanding Digital Qatar By the Numbers


Apparently we reached a pretty big tipping point recently when it was estimated that half of the world now has access to the Internet. 3.9 billion people to be exact.

Millions vs Billions

Many people have heard the old adage about how long it would take to count to one million if every second was equal to one number (Hint: it would take 11 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes, and 40 seconds).

What about one billion? The answer might surprise some people.  Measured in seconds it would take 31 and 3/4 years! The difference is incredible 11 ½ days vs. 31 ¾ years

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Let’s think about it another way – if a champagne bottle were to represent one million, then a bottle representing one billion would be the size of the Eiffel tower! Think about that for a minute.

Where do they go online? Well in the early days of the interent most of the users were located in the United States. These days the U.S. is in a very distant 3rd place of total Internet users. The vast majority of users are in China, followed by India, the United States, Indonesia and Brazil.

The most popular websites continue to be American tech companies but some Chinese sites are inching their way up the lists. The most visited websites according to SimilarWeb as of April 2020 are:

1. Google
2. YouTube
3. Facebook
4. Twitter
5. Baidu

Back to Qatar

The overall internet penetration rate in Qatar is 99% based on a population of approximately 2.8 million people. That puts Qatar at the top of the world charts. The technology demographics of the entire population as a whole is what we will evaluate.

The average internet connection speed in 2020 is over 70 Mbps which represents a 33% increase over the previous year. That means you can instantly stream multiple movies at the same time.

Internet Browsers

How do you surf the web? Which browser(s) do you use? We dug into the numbers around the world and found that Google’s Chrome has taken the top spot as the most popular website browser. The second most popular browser is Safari followed by Firefox.

Here in Qatar, the data is interesting. The top browser people in Qatar are using to access the web is also Chrome. But the second most popular is UC Browser followed by Apple’s Safari.

So, what is UC Browser and why is it in second place? It is a Chinese-made web browser that is most popular in India and neighboring countries. Qatar’s expat population helps to explain this popularity.

Have you used UC Browser? What do you like about it? Let us know…

Ad Spend

Advertising spend on digital advertising has increased in Qatar over the past few years as people spend less time reading newspapers and more time online. This has led to advertising and marketing managers shifting their ad budgets away from traditional print publications and more to online. This growth has been very dramatic in the US and UK with some companies spending up to 50% of their entire advertising budget on digital. Globally the trend towards digital advertising continues unabated.

Social Media in Qatar

We are going to look at the Top 3 Social Media channels in Qatar according to volumes in 2020. Overall, we can see the total number of users on each platform with Facebook clearly out in front. Twitter slightly edged out Instagram this year in terms of overall popularity in Qatar as a whole.


Twitter claims to have approximately 974,000 users in Qatar with the split between women and men at 33% – 67%. Here are the Top 5 accounts globally and in Qatar.

Current Twitter Activity

Keep in mind that tweets are fully public and also contain location data within them. That makes it easy for researchers to find trends or see what a particular place or region is tweeting about. Here is a snapshot of tweets from Qatar in June 2020.


The number of people in Qatar on Instagram is 960,000 with 1 out of 3 being women. Worldwide there are more women then men on Instgram. Here are the Top 5 Instagram accounts globally and in Qatar.

An interesting site to try let’s you search through various influencers anywhere in the world. You can segment based on number of followers, categories, other platforms and much more.


Finally, we have Facebook which is the biggest social media platform not just in Qatar but worldwide with over 2 billion users. The number of people using Facebook in Qatar is 2.4 million. That is larger than Instagram and Twitter combined. 24% of the users in Qatar are women and 76% are men. Worldwide the number of women on Facebook outnumber the number of men by a slight margin.

Back in 2012 when we first looked at the number of Facebook users in the region, we found Qatar had 695,000 users. Even though Qatar’s population grew by 700,000 over the last eight years, Facebook users in Qatar grew by 1.7 million! That’s an astonishing 245% increase. Here are the Top 5 accounts on Facebook globally and in Qatar.

What trends have you noticed? Have you tried advertising on local websites? Let us know in the comments below…


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