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2014-10-15 10:38

Interest in Islam doubled

During the pilgrimage to Mecca internet users from the Middle East and North Africa visit a website devoted to Islam twice as often. This is also when the number of persons who use the internet drops. Moreover, one week before the hajj starts, the most popular type of content is news.

This year’s annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca, called the hajj, began on 2 October. It took five days and gathered about two million followers of Mahomet. For them, they were the days of tranquillity, prayer and enrichment of faith. Participation in such important religious rituals requires concentration, which in turn means diversion from the daily life.

Khutabaa.com is concerned with a variety of matters connected with the life of a devout Muslim. In the week when the pilgrimage to Mecca began (29 September–5 October), the number of page views on this website increased by half compared to the week before (22–28 September), and was more than double the value recorded a fortnight before the hajj (15–21 September).

Gemius analysts have observed that during the Mecca pilgrimage, less people go online in the Middle East and North Africa. This is also the time when a website dealing with religious subjects, khutabaa.com, enjoys increased popularity. Gemius decided to take a closer look at the data concerning this phenomenon.

Interest in Islam growing during the hajj

Khutabaa.com is concerned with a variety of matters connected with the life of a devout Muslim. In the week when the pilgrimage to Mecca began (29 September–5 October), the number of page views on this website increased by half compared to the week before (22–28 September), and was more than double the value recorded a fortnight before the hajj (15–21 September).

Even three times fewer internet users

In contrast, an analysis of the 10 most often visited websites in the Middle East and North Africa shows a completely reverse trend. In the week when the pilgrimage to Mecca started (29 September–5 October), the number of page views diminished compared to the week before (22–28 September). For instance, internet users generated over one-third less page views on the TV station website Mbc.net and about one-fifth fewer views on another television owned website, i.e. Shahid.net, and Hawaaworld.com – dedicated to women.

News popular before the hajj

The analyses also showed that in the week of the hajj and in the period preceding it, the manner in which the Middle East and North Africa’s most popular news websites are user changes. In the week when the pilgrimage starts (29 September–5 October), internet users performed about one-fifth fewer page views on Alarablya.net and Alwakeelnews.com than the week before (22–28 September), when the websites enjoyed a growth in interest reaching 10 and 20 per cent, respectively, as compared with the period between 15–21 September.

The data quoted originates from Gemius internet sites traffic measurement (gemiusTraffic) conducted by Gemius in more than 20 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA region).

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Type of Content

analysis

Industry

Media

Country

MENA

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