The US digital media company Yahoo is digging deeper into the region with a new mobile site set to launch next Tuesday, as well as a special iPad app pegged to Ramadan.
"This is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, and Arabic is the fastest-growing language on the Internet," said Carol Bartz, global chief executive of Yahoo, at a press conference in Dubai earlier today.
The new site for mobile phones will be similar to Yahoo! Maktoob, which launched in November and is designed to aggregate news, entertainment and sports information in both English and Arabic, but with a regional focus. It also features a video-on-demand service that pools content from major Arabic satellite channels, which company executives said will be growing and is another big focus going forward.
Already, Yahoo! Maktoob has grown to become the third most visited Yahoo homepage in the world, following the versions from the US and Taiwan. Two months ago, Yahoo! Maktoob was only the fifth-largest home page for the digital media company. "That's how fast it's come on," said Ms Bartz, who noted the site now boasts some 50 million visitors, up 60 per cent in just 18 months.