As-Salamu Alaykum - Fortumo Connects Egypt, Morocco, United Arab Emirates and Qatar

Today, we are almost doubling our reach in the Middle East and African region by switching on Egypt, Morocco, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. 125 million additional customers now have the option to pay for apps and games online using their mobile phone. There is great potential for mobile payments in the Middle East & Africa region - read our explanation here. If you want to get a better understanding of the games industry in the region, you should also check out articles on gaming in the UAE and Egypt.

Here are a few more interesting facts about each country which we’d like to point out. Users in Egypt are already used to making purchases on their phones with 41% of smartphone owners having done so. Egypt is also one of the “youngest” countries in the world with a median age of 24 - this means there are more people likely to play games in the population than in most other countries (we could not find any data for Egypt, but in the US 64 percent of gamers are below 35). Smartphones are taking off nicely in the country with Android being dominant. In the upcoming years, usage of mobile internet should increase heavily as all operators (Vodafone, Mobinil, Etisalat) are making investments into LTE networks.

The United Arab Emirates have one of the highest GDP-s per capita in the world, so it is also no surprise that the ARPU for mobile operators is the highest in the region (37 USD in 2011). Furthermore, the UAE has a very high smartphone penetration (more than three times the global average) and mobile internet usage is the biggest in the Middle-Eastern region. The digital gaming market in the country is estimated to be at 81.4 million USD in 2013 - bigger than for example Austria, Greece or Portugal.

While Morocco has strong overall mobile phone penetration, only 16% of the population has smartphones. However, if you are running a web-based service, it’s still possible to collect payments with Fortumo even on feature phones. Morocco is also notable for having a local Android phone in production which will hopefully increase the usage of smartphones. If you want to find out more about the local gaming industry and speak French, check out the Moroccan Game Developers association’s homepage.

Although the smallest market out of these four, Qatar has the biggest smartphone penetration and is the only country in the MENA region to be featured in the top countries for global internet usage.

Are you ready to collect payments from users in four new Middle Eastern & African markets? Simply enable the countries from your Fortumo Dashboard. Those without a Fortumo account can create one for completely free here.