Mobile App Downloads in UAE Grew 15% in 2021: AppsFlyer Report


UAE companies spent $74 million on Android app marketing in 2021 as apps become pivotal to customer acquisition, retention and loyalty

With 84 per cent of UAE businesses reporting that mobile apps are now a ‘must’ to remain relevant to their customers, UAE marketers spent US$74 million in 2021 on Android app installs, representing an impressive 35 per cent year-on-year growth.

The latest research by AppsFlyer is based on the analysis of over 450 million installs of over 3,000 apps. The research also showed a 15 per cent growth in overall app installs on both iOS and Android devices through 2021, reflecting UAE consumers’ growing preference for engaging with brands via the convenience of their smart devices.

Finance apps are among the most popular with UAE consumers, with AppsFlyer reporting that finance app installs in the country rose by 55 per cent. Retail apps are another segment that are growing in popularity, especially around key shopping seasons in the country such as Ramadan and White Friday.

AppsFlyer’s mobile marketing analytics provides crucial insights for app marketers.

  • Over nine out of ten (91 per cent) of UAE organisations now offer their customers mobile apps, with the report highlighting that ‘Customer acquisition’ and ‘Customer retention and loyalty’ are the top two reasons behind this strong focus on mobile applications.
  • 40 per cent of UAE respondents believe there has been at least a 26 per cent increase in mobile-driven revenues for their organisation in the last 12 months, with just over one in six (17 per cent) reporting this figure to be more than 50 per cent
  • Over the course of Ramadan last year, there was a 10 per cent increase in overall installs for shopping apps and a whopping 71 per cent for finance apps, compared to the same period in 2020. In line with this, in-app spending by UAE consumers on both shopping and finance apps recorded triple digit growth through Ramadan.
  • Overall spending on shopping apps during White Friday 2021 increased by 43 per cent despite the number of installs dropping 41 per cent over the previous year. This suggests that the average spend per consumer is now higher than in the previous year.

Reflecting on the app trends for the year, Samer Saad, Regional Manager, Middle East, AppsFlyer, said: “Propelled by forward-thinking government initiatives and use of apps, the UAE’s mobile-first economy has been one of the key markets that has quickly shifted to digital in recent years. Many brands are now recognising that mobile needs to be at the forefront of their business activity.”

“Looking ahead to 2022, the signs look positive for businesses looking to acquire more customers through their mobile devices. However, as this space becomes more competitive, just providing an app will no longer be enough. Organisations that leverage the power of mobile marketing to offer personalised experiences to their customers will rapidly pull ahead of the pack,” he added.

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