Google brings 3 billion dollars to the Saudi economy
Google brings 3 billion dollars to the Saudi economy

Google and its platforms have helped advance the digital economy in the Middle East, and over the past 24 years, the company has become the backbone of the modern internet.

Many people and companies in the Middle East rely on tools like Search, Maps, Google Ads, Google Play Store and YouTube to make money.

For example, an Iraqi creator named Chef Shaheen has amassed nearly 3 million subscribers on YouTube in the past five years.

The Emirati chef has racked up more than 251 million views on his channel for short and whimsical videos reworking his favorite recipes.

In the last month, Shaheen managed to boost her online presence. And start a real business. The young chef posted a video on his social media on April 16 announcing the opening of his first restaurant, Yaba, in Dubai.

While young entrepreneurs like Chef Shaheen are benefiting from Google's wealth of profitable apps, Google's contribution to the economy can be seen across the Middle East.

Google contributes to the three largest economies in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Bringing $3 billion into the Saudi economy

It has its largest impact in Saudi Arabia, where the company will generate approximately 12.2 billion Saudi riyals (or 3.25 billion US dollars) in economic activity in Saudi Arabia in 2021, and the Android developer ecosystem every year supports at least 29,000 jobs in the country.

15 percent increase in the total number of developers earning 37,500 SAR ($10,000) or more per month through the Android App Store.

Google said the overall growth in e-commerce among residents of Saudi Arabia has boosted the country's digital economy and marked a turning point in a country that has traditionally been reluctant to shop online.

29% of Saudi companies started advertising online for the first time since the outbreak began (8 SAR in revenue per Google ad spend, $2.13 on average).

72% of people in the UK use a Google search to find the latest public health information about the coronavirus. 64% of parents (with children under 12) turn to YouTube Kids to support their children's learning.

In the past year 75% also used Google Search to learn a new skill. And 61% of people in Saudi Arabia use Google search to find new jobs.

On average, 5 million women use Google search every month to find new jobs. And 66% use Google Maps to find local businesses.

52% of companies have reported an increase in the number of customers searching or advertising online in the past two years. 67% of online businesses say Google Workspace is required to enable remote work.

Google's economy is growing in the Middle East

Google's economy in the UAE is the second largest in the region. That year, it added about 11.3 billion dirhams (or $3.08 billion) to the country's overall economy.

While e-commerce plays a role in Google's contribution, content creators and programmers are also involved.

The company said its Android developer ecosystem supports 50,000 jobs in the UAE. YouTube creators have also become a growing force in the UAE's digital economy.

In the UAE, the number of YouTube channels of six or more numbers increased by 40% year-over-year.

The technology giant also contributed about 11.2 billion Egyptian pounds ($609 million) to economic activity in Egypt.

Nearly 4.5 million users accessed the internet in Egypt between January 2020 and 2021. This puts the e-commerce penetration rate in the country at 3.6% in 2021.

85,000 programmers also rely on Google's Android developer ecosystem, more than the UAE.

In October 2020, the search giant announced a $13 million fund. The fund aims to help one million people and companies in the MENA region learn advanced digital skills and grow their businesses by the end of 2021.

The program also aims to accelerate economic recovery in the Middle East and North Africa region through digital transformation. This is done by providing digital tools, training, and financial grants to support local businesses and job seekers.

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