The UAE now has the highest penetration of fibre-to-the-home connectivity in the world, according to Etisalat.
This network supports access to high-speed internet for more than 93 per cent of homes, data from the FTTH Council Europe show.
This has come about through investment in infrastructure by Etisalat and du, supported by the regulator, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.
Etisalat plans to spend more than Dh3 billion this year to develop and expand mobile and fibre-optic networks across the UAE.
Investments in the past few years amount to more than Dh28bn. Du is also investing about Dh1.8bn in infrastructure every year.
According to the World Bank, broadband internet is today seen as critical to the transition to knowledge-intensive economies across the world.
Many countries in the Middle East and North Africa recognise that broadband is crucial to their efforts to reduce poverty and create job opportunities, especially for their young populations and for women.
For the UAE, developing the infrastructure for a knowledge economy is a critical plank of its Vision 2021 strategy to be among the best countries in the world as it continues towards diversification and to guarantee its future prosperity.