UAE Social Media Stats – Things to learn from the year that went by

UAE Social Media Stats – Things to learn from the year that went by
In: Digital Marketing, Social Media

UAE Social Media Stats – Things to learn from the year that went by

There’s no denying it – social media is integral to everyday life today, and the UAE is no different. The digital landscape across the country has seen significant growth, and there’s no life without online channels such as Instagram, Meta and LinkedIn, to name a few. These are, of course, key to social and online success for modern companies. It’s all about legitimacy – the more contemporary and current your information, the more real you are – your target audience and potential customers depend on how much of you are seen online. This is very much akin to having a brick-and-mortar business, except it’s on the internet.

Social Media Marketing Trends 2023 

As 2024 still unfolds, the past year has spelt the importance of social media marketing more than ever. Brand awareness, personalisation, and connectivity across various platforms became pivotal to fortifying brand presence. Stories were shared and showcased, and audiences received real-time updates about products and services preferred by their target audience in various ways. On the whole, in January 2023, the UAE saw around 10.0 million users on social media. Social media use in most countries continues to increase without any drop – at the beginning of last year, social media users were around a whopping 105% of the total population! Furthermore, data extracted from ad planning tools showed that there were approximately 9.75 million adult users on social media in the UAE during the same period, which amounts to 125% of the entire population! With internet users constantly making their way up the charts, they amounted to 107% of the total population. The adjoining infographics show the digital presence in the UAE in 2023.


Considered one of the most popular platforms, Meta’s statistics for 2023 indicated that there were around 7.30 million users in the UAE in 2023. Its ad reach between 2022 and 2023 increased by 1.4% or 100 thousand. Advertising reach figures, different from active users, decreased by 750 thousand or 9.3% between October 2022 and January 2023. Users turn to Facebook to share moments and memories, especially with those outside their home country, to let them know they are safe. Besides, as a business hub, people in the UAE are receptive to ads, engagement and experience, all of which are pertinent to the process of knowing more about new products. At the beginning of 2023, Facebook ad usage was 77% of the entire population, and the reach was 77.8% of the local internet usage. 

Twitter (X)

Crowned ‘X’ by the new boss, Twitter became a platform for businesses to interact actively and hold virtual events, discussion sessions and other meets in the UAE. People connected with their most favoured brands and even government organisations with this lucrative tool. The space is still open for creative experiments, and we have enough reason to believe that the platform has not been used to its fullest since its new avatar. 2024 may see a new twist and rise in the usage of X. Early 2023 showed 3.05 million users on X (Twitter), and its ad reach was around 32.2% of the total. A point to be noted is that users were approximately 37.7% of the eligible audience (users should be above 13 years of age in the UAE to use the platform). Additionally, the platform analyses the gender of the users, as well, by their names entered on the profile and other activities on the platform. 


TikTok videos and Instagram reels are areas for quick information, most loved by a large number of people. The content becomes instantly viral on these platforms – and what more do brands need than memorable scrolls that will keep their business going and growing? The trend is definitely meant to stick around a little bit more; for social media agencies, this is the best way to provide value to users. 

At the beginning of 2023, the UAE had 4.95 million users active on Instagram, around 52.2% of the entire population. This means the eligible users above the age of 13 amounted to 60.3% in the UAE. Regardless of age, the ad reach was 52.7% of the internet user base. 

Simultaneously, in early 2023, TikTok users (above the age of 18 years) accounted for 8.23 million, with ads reaching 105% of all adults. 


Most users in the UAE conduct online research before they make any purchase decisions in any sector, including FMCG. In fact, retail-related videos are a rave as individuals rely on the channel to learn more about the product – be it unboxing or primary usage. Content on the platform is highly personalised and even contains high-quality entertainment videos. Local creators provide hyper-realistic, relatable videos otherwise unavailable on traditional media. 

An early 2023 survey of Google’s advertising found 8.99 million users on YouTube in the UAE, and the ad reach was about 94.8% of the total population, while the platform’s ads reach was 95.8% out of the entire internet user base. 

Facebook Messenger

The free-to-download Facebook Messenger allows users to instantly share photos, videos, audio and messages, individually and in group chats. With a single download on the mobile or desktop, people can set up accounts through their existing Facebook profile. All it has to do is sync with phone contacts and current friends list on the platform. With Facebook being an extremely popular platform in the UAE, it is natural that the general population uses the Messenger app to stay in touch with friends and family. 

Meta’s advertising reported that early 2023 saw ads reach about 5.05 million users in the UAE and highlighted ads reached 61.5% of the eligible audience in the country. Out of the total internet users, ad reach was 53.8%. The app’s ad reach had increased by 4.1% or 200 thousand between 2022 and 2023, as reported by Meta’s planning tool. 


LinkedIn remains among the most valuable platforms for people seeking jobs in the UAE. Besides showcasing skills, expertise, and qualifications, the channel also gives recruiters an opportunity to look closely at potential candidates and their work. For business owners, it is a leading networking site where they can connect with other companies, especially those with marketing objectives. Many entrepreneurs consider LinkedIn their marketing hub. 

In 2023, the platform reported having 6.60 million members in the UAE alone. Its advertising reach was 69.6% of the total population, and 84.3% of the eligible audience used the channel that year. The platform’s ad reach was 70.3% of the total internet users at the beginning of 2023. Published data indicated an increase of 15.8% or 900 thousand in LinkedIn ad reach between 2022 and 2023, and the size of the ad audience increased by 4.8% or 300 thousand during the same time. 


Snapchat, as we all know, comes with a unique feature. It comes with unique filters that can be superimposed with fish gapes, dog ears and more. The video and messaging app uploads at 9,000 snaps a second. The novelty was too much to ignore, and the UAE adopted this platform really fast – to capture and share videos and photos that will be retained only for 24 hours. It is appealing to most between the ages of 13 and 34 years. Undoubtedly, the platform is meant to bring friends and family closer together. 

In the UAE, Snapchat rose to 4.00 million users in early January 2023. The ad reach was estimated at 42.2% of the entire population, which is also 48.7% of the eligible audience and 42.6% of total internet users. It also indicated that potential ad reach increased by 23.1% or 750 thousand between 2022 and 2023. 

UAE Social Media Stats – Things to learn from the year that went by


Compared to the past pandemic years, user behaviours have evolved even as devices and access to content and services are changing. There has been a marked growth in digital advertising and a simultaneous change in online search demeanours. Of course, several predictions indicate that AI will influence search instead of the more common search engine. Influencers and micro-influencers will take centre-stage while consumers enjoy seamless shopping based on calculated decisions. Furthermore, chatbots are all set to play a significant role in customer service. A recent survey showed that consumers would rather interact with a bot for some basic questions to be answered rather than wait for an agent. 

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