The Emergence of internet-cafés in Dubai
A number of new Internet cafés are establishing themselves within the United Arab Emirates. Currently, there are 160,000 Internet cafe users within the country. An article in the Al-Ittihad newspaper suggests that the number of people visiting these cafés will escalate by almost 50% to 300,000 by the end of the current year. The government of the United Arab Emirates has satisfied this demand by raising the number of permits it is willing to issue for such cafés. To illustrate, in Dubai alone, the authorities have given permission to 51 outlets to be able to trade as Internet cafés. These cafés can be found in the most prosperous streets of Al-Reqqah, Al-Dheyafa and on Al-Marabat. There are some nevertheless in other shopping areas.
Al-Ittihad reports that the number of internet café users rises during the summer. A recent survey has shown that in this season there can be up to 1,000 customers a day. The study indicates that approximately 80% of the users are locals, while the remaining 20% are tourists. Additionally, 30%-40% of the people using internet cafés are females. The fee for surfing the Web ranges from $4 - $6 per hour. In order for the cafés to be able to compete with each other, they are providing other services to gain consumer loyalty and a larger local market share. For example, in Dubai, a variety of food and drinks are being offered. In addition, internet courses are being made available.