Jeeran (Arabic for ‘neighbours’) is a mobile application designed to connect residents in urban Arab cities (Cairo, Amman, Riyadh, etc.) with the closest services to them according to their geo-location. The app helps users find and rate everything from restaurants to ATMs to doctors. It also provides information for said services, including phone numbers and working hours.
According to Huffington Post Arabic, Jeeran has taken their contribution to Arab cities one step further – conducting and publishing research on the in-app behaviours of Egyptians, Saudi Arabians, and Jordanians over the duration of the summer. They have also provided user-friendly infographics comparing the three nations.
The research conducted between June 1, 2015 and August 31, 2015 included information on spending habits, searching habits, how the information was accessed (phone or computer), and what time of day the countries ate – as well as other information. Jeeran’s information was enlightening, revealing much about the socio-economic status of the three countries.
Egyptians trumped their Arab counterparts in their searches for – and spending on – cafes (no surprise, we love cafes!), education, health care services, and sports & fitness centres. Egyptians trailed behind in ‘city satisfaction’ statistics, exhibiting the lowest satisfaction rates with Cairo and its amenities – 17% satisfaction compared to Saudi Arabia’s 48% and Jordan’s 37%.
With regards to spending and searching habits, it comes as no surprise that the wealthy Saudi Arabia was well ahead of Jordan and Egypt in industries like food, shopping, entertainment, and fashion. The Kingdom has the highest GDP per capita ($17,819) out of the three states and, as such, have the highest disposable incomes and the ability to spend more on non-essential items. Additionally, according to the FDA, 68.3% of Saudi Arabians suffer from obesity (BMI>25).
Jordanians led the pack in searches for government services, cosmetics & beauty, as well as banks and other monetary institutions. These results can be attributed to Palestinian nationals obtaining Jordanian citizenships, and to the fact that Jordan’s recent economic growth has been unmatched by any other Arab country. Amman is also the base city for the Arab Bank, considered one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East – which is also traded on Amman’s stock exchange.
Smartphones vs. Computers?
How users accessed this information is also important. Consistently, in the three countries, information was accessed more through smartphones than computers. An overwhelming majority of Saudi Arabians were on phones (86%) followed by Jordanians (76%) and finally, Egyptians with only 57% smartphone use.
When do they eat?
Another telling result is the time of day when each country eats. Egyptians, a majority of whom work in the very relaxed public sector, have their lunch break at 1pm, which may explain why Egypt’s main meal is at 1pm. Saudi Arabians seem to neglect lunch and dinner and have their main meal at 9pm. Jordanians, mostly employed in financial institutions and private sector industries, tend to eat at 5pm. Regimented private sector working hours force Jordanians to eat after work.
As interesting as this information is, it has to be noted that it may not be representative of the countries as a whole. Jeeran gathered this information from approximately 3.4 million people in the three countries – out of a possible 130 million.
Cover photo credits: Time Magazine