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Netflix in a Muslim country, the UAE: Is it worth it?


Netflix UAE

In 2016, Netflix UAE, the Middle East version, was introduced in the UAE. They added Arabic to the language as a result of consumer demand. As a trial, they offered a subscription business model with a one-month trial period. In the United Arab Emirates, it has over 400,000 members.

SWOT analysis of Netflix UAE



  • It is now a household name and one of the top 10 online entertainment streaming providers in the UAE.
  • It offers three easy plans for its customers: basic, simple, and premium, with monthly prices ranging from AED 29 to AED 56. With a premium subscription, viewers can view on four screens at once.
  • It adapts to different types of technology by offering offline streaming on all internet-connected devices, including personal computers, iPads, mobile phones, and televisions.
  • Netflix UAE creates original materials using cutting-edge technology. They filmed the first Arabic-language original series, ‘Jinn.'


  • The fact that Netflix does not own the majority of its content that has a negative impact on the corporation. The rights to content obtained from other studios expire after a few years, and the materials begin to emerge on other sites.
  • Customers' connectivity speed is determined by internet service providers (ISPs). In the pandemic, the increased number of users and hacked accounts resulted in longer account-taking times.
  • The cost of licensing new content and the investment in original materials the content library to diminish.
  • Many content providers are becoming competitors.
  • The Muslim community has a limited amount of content. There are only a handful of Muslim-friendly shows available to watch online. Netflix should offer Ramadan packages to Muslims and make an effort to create stories that reflect Islamic beliefs and customs.


  • By adapting an ad-based business model, it can increase revenue. Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other service providers earn billions from advertisements.
  • It can form alliances with a variety of local telecommunications carriers and offer bundled packages that include several provincial languages.
  • It can also create regionally specialized materials in their native languages. Netflix UAE has roughly 500 movies and less than 200 shows.
  • Users who subscribe on a monthly basis can cancel their 30-day free trial memberships at any time after browsing all of the content. By introducing annual subscriptions with discounts and reducing the number of free trial days, monthly users will be encouraged to upgrade to a yearly plan.


  • UAE cyber regulations make it more difficult for Netflix viewers to view some of American Netflix's top shows. Only 28% of the shows are suitable for the UAE audience.
  • It isn't the only internet streaming entertainment channel. Popular online streaming entertainment channels include Apple TV+, Starzplay Arabia, OSN, SHAHID, and Eros.
  • People have become fascinated with technology; the average UAE user spends 37 days and 53,357 minutes watching shows and films.
  • There are a variety of illegal ways to get videos, including by using a VPN to evade Netflix's geolocation.

PEST analysis of Netflix UAE


Political Factor

  • When travelling, you will be unable to watch shows that you are familiar with watching in your own country due to their unavailability in countries such as China, Syria, and North Korea.
  • Enforcement of Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on Combating Cybercrime, Federal Decree Law No. 2 of 2015 on Combating Discrimination and Hatred Censorship, and Copyright rules and regulations.
  • Netflix is subject to the UAE government's rigorous censorship laws. They are required to censor materials in accordance with UAE's National Media Council. The following items must not be included in the content:

Invasion of Privacy
Offences against the UAE and public order
Discrimination, racism and contempt of religion
Promotion of or trading in prohibited commodities and services
Pornography and nudity

  • As a Muslim country, Netflix UAE must comply with Islamic rules and regulations, which prevent the majority of content from being streamed online. The content must not be offensive to God or Islam.


Economical Factor

  • Financial strain and drains have had an impact on Netflix production houses worldwide. Netflix upped its fees in the UAE after spending $15 billion on improving the quality and uniqueness of its programming.
  • A corporation situated in the United States deals with a variety of currencies. As a result of the hike in dollar prices, Netflix expects to make less money this year than expected. This will have an impact on Netflix consumers' overall membership fees.
  • It has turned into a blessing as Netflix attracts a large captive audience. During the epidemic, the number of UAE subscribers increased by 26 percent.
  • The viewer's preference for original content from other countries dubbed in their native tongues has increased their subscriber base. However, the quality of shows and films suffers as a result of this diversity.
  • There are a variety of torrent web platforms that sell pirated content for free. Piracy sucks Netflix millions of dollars each month.

Social Factor

  • It incorporates a culture of freedom and responsibility by allowing employees to choose when they want to work and when they want to take time off for authentic reasons.
  • It helps talented kids from lower-middle-class families further their education. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings spent Dh440 million to help 200 students to enroll in four-year degree programs at historically black universities in the United States.
  • To assist Netflix production crews who are out of work around the world. Netflix has donated £1.75 million to the COVID relief fund.

Technological Factor

  • For PCs and smart TVs, the content is available in 4K resolution. The improved compression methodology provides four data use options, including a low one that utilizes 0.3 GB of data per hour.
  • The "Hermes" program allows for automatic translation of information into several languages.
  • A high-tech video converter that compresses videos without sacrificing quality for mobile viewers.
  • Instead of stars, users can vote and rate their platform using thumbs up and thumbs down.


All of the aforementioned analyses show that, despite being the most popular paid internet streaming service, Netflix still confronts censorship, restrictions, and limited access concerns. The company's profitability is suffering as a result of these challenges. Netflix UAE, on the other hand, will come out on top if the following strategies are followed:

  • Providing a more user-friendly interface for the app and website,
  • Partnering with film and media production businesses and their local cable providers to stream thelocal content.
  • Work on content limitations so that all countries have access to the same films and TV shows.
  • To prevent digital piracy, offer extensive subscription packages.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 aima

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