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The Arab World Online Consumer Market Case Study

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Updated: May 16th, 2020

Every business looks forward to making profitable sales. Such potential can only become a reality through communication. The contemporary society is becoming more and more a global village. What happens in one corner of the world becomes news in the other part of the world within a short time.

The Arab community holds its values in high esteem (Hickey 125). The community does not allow anything or anyone to interfere with the Arab language because it is part of the Arabic heritage (Urfahʹlī and Baʻlabakkī 275). It is one of the largest growing regions in the world. Many organizations view this as a huge growth potential. The 2010 report indicated that the Arab world had over sixty million internet users. It translated to 29% of the entire population. The figure far supersedes that of Africa by about 10%. The internet usage in the Arab world has been growing by over 1,800 percent (Thurlow and Mroczek 250).

The amount of Arabic content on the internet has also been growing since the introduction of the Arabic language online (Hickey 125). Some organizations cannot survive without the internet. Companies such as the Facebook, Google and Microsoft rely on people who log in to their websites to make money. It means that companies have to customize their products to suit the Arabic market.

There had been barriers that made it hard for many companies to reach the Arab community with their products (Thurlow and Mroczek 250). It resulted in many countries developing Arabic versions of their products for the target market (Edmundson 320). Communicating in the language that the consumers could understand was very important. It caused Microsoft to launch its Arabic support program in the 1990s.

Another challenge was that the keyboards did not have the Arabic support and the hence the letter layout made the users uncomfortable. The typing teachers were also not available to assist the users (Wahba, Taha and England 260). Microsoft had to ensure that they were available for that purpose. A virtual Keyboard in the Arabic alphabet was another option to solve the communication barrier. Due to the agitation and desire to communicate, the users ended up developing their own way of ensuring they sent messages that could be understood. They ended up developing Arabish style of communicating where they used the Roman characters to spell out Arabic words phonetically (Edmundson 320).

The Arab community did not take it lightly that their language was changing due to the mixture with words from other languages. There was a backlash. It made Microsoft to go back to the drawing board (Danet and Herring 350). It led to the birth of the product known as Microsoft Maren. It translated the Arabish into Arabic. It also allowed users to continue using their QWERTY keyboards. They also ensured that it integrated into windows without any problems (Urfahʹlī and Baʻlabakkī 275). The users did not have to copy paste or download anything because it was part of the system. It gave Microsoft a competitive edge over its competition.

Any company that seeks to tap into the Arab market must first understand its heritage. Language is a vital component. It affects the sales and marketing of any organization. There is great potential in the fast growing market in the Arab world. But it depends highly on the Arab language and its proper usage.

Works Cited

Danet, Brenda, and Susan C Herring. The Multilingual Internet, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print.

Edmundson, Andrea. Cases on Cultural Implications and Considerations in Online Learning, Hershey, Pa: IGI Global (701 E. Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 17033, USA), 2013. Print.

Hickey, Raymond. The Handbook of Language Contact. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Print.

Thurlow, Crispin, and Kristine R Mroczek. Digital Discourse, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

Urfahʹlī, Bilāl, and Ramzī Baʻlabakkī. In the Shadow of Arabic the Centrality of Language to Arabic Culture, Leiden: Brill, 2011. Print.

Wahba, Kassem M, Zeinab A Taha, and Liz England. Handbook for Arabic Language Teaching Professionals in the 21St Century, Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006. Print.

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