Communication technology in Dubai is very similar to that of the United States. I’d say the biggest difference is the cell phone carriers. There are only two main carriers in the Emirates. Smart phones are just as popular in Dubai as they are in the states, and everyone in my office uses Mac computers. However, there are restrictions when it comes to using WiFi in Dubai.
There are many websites that are not accessible in Dubai, because the governments find them to be inappropriate. For example, Netflix is blocked in the Emirates, because the government finds the shows that are available to be inappropriate. With that being said, my coworkers told me that they all still watch the shows from Netflix off of other sites.
Social media in personal lives is much more prevalent than social media in the professional world. During my internship, I thought I would be monitoring client coverage on social media, but clients are not concerned with social media coverage yet, and PR practitioners are not encouraging their clients to use social media…yet. Newspapers are still the most prominent form of media coverage, with online coverage being a close second. There seems to be a shift occurring, as the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammad, is starting to encourage the use of social media in Dubai, but it’s definitely a slow process in the workplace.
Social media is definitely a viable resource for organizations to reach audiences in the United States, and other countries. Everyone uses it, and it’s used very similarly to the US. One of the first things I learned in Dubai was to ask for a Wifi password everywhere I go. Data plans are more expensive in Dubai; therefore most people just purchase minutes, and use Wifi where it is available. Coffee shops, the malls, and most stores will provide free Wifi. It was not difficult to adapt to the communication technology in Dubai at all.