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LinkedIn Launches In Arabic, Hopes to Increase MENA Presence

LinkedIn Launches In Arabic, Hopes to Increase MENA Presence

The professional networking site has over 14 million users in the MENA region at present.

Online professional networking site LinkedIn has launched an Arabic version of its site, in order to cater to the rising young population in the Arab region, it announced on Wednesday.

While new users can register on the site, existing users can switch the language option to Arabic on their profiles, and can maintain the same account in both English and Arabic, Kevin Scott, head of Sales Solutions EMEA at LinkedIn, confirmed.

The move is expected to help several professionals in the MENA region, especially those in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Oman, to improve their job opportunities.

Currently, the company has two million users in the UAE, one million in Saudi Arabia and over one million in Egypt.

Overall, the MENA region is one of the fast growing areas for LinkedIn, with member numbers growing from five million in October 2012 when the company opened their local office in Dubai, to more than 14 million at present.

The size of the company’s local office has grown from four employees in October 2012 to 63 at present.

The launch of Arabic brings the total number of languages available on the site to 24.

“We have seen that in some of the places where we introduced local language- versions, there was accelerated growth, and we expect the same to happen in this region,” said Jake Thomas, head of LinkedIn marketing solutions MENA.

The move is anticipated to help businesses and professionals in the region to communicate more easily. And with more than 60 per cent of the population in the Arab region under 30, it will also aid job seekers to find employment, Thomas added.

The move is also significant considering the high internet and social media penetration rates in the region.

Speaking at the launch, Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi (twofour54), said: “Arabic is spoken by over 300 million of the global population, more than French and Portuguese, yet it is underrepresented on the internet.

“It is our duty to be proactive, collaborate and strengthen the content available online in our language, and to initiate new sites and platforms, such as LinkedIn Arabic, that will cater for Arab youth and the generations to come.”

Adel Fakeih, minister of Labor, Saudi Arabia, added: “LinkedIn has been working with us to match talent in the Kingdom with the right opportunity, and with Arabic, this benefit can be rolled-out to a much wider member base.

“LinkedIn will continue to be a useful tool for us as we use technology to communicate the need for nationals to up-skill themselves and take advantage of the strong economic climate and significant job-creation in the Kingdom. Being a part of a global network also helps youth identify the key demand areas, and build their qualifications accordingly.”

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