MENA’s Telecom Market Has Seen Increased Taxation Over the Past Decade

06 Feb 2024

Arab Advisors Group released a new report entitled: An Overview of Telecom Taxation in the Arab World: 10 Years Later. The report presents the current taxes imposed by 19 Arab countries on their telecommunications operators, across three service lines: cellular voice, fixed voice, and fixed Internet. Furthermore, Arab Advisors Group benchmarked these findings against a previous study conducted on taxation in the telecommunications sector in 2013.

In an increasingly digitized world, having a cellular or fixed service for voice and Internet needs has become a necessity to organizations and individuals alike. However, high rates of taxation can impede the growth of networks penetration. Taxation on telecommunication services is of critical importance due to its direct impact on the price consumers have to pay in exchange for telecommunication services and, by extension, their likelihood to purchase such services.

In this report, Arab Advisors Group analyzed taxes imposed on 19 Arab countries. The report, “An Overview of Telecom Taxation in the Arab World: 10 Years Later”, which was released in January 2024, answers the below questions:

• What are the rates of taxation on the various telecommunications services in MENA?

• How do taxes across different telecommunication services vary in the MENA region?

• What are the key developments in telecommunications taxation in the MENA region over the past decade?

Fayez Abu Awad, Chief Advisor of Arab Advisors Group commented on the report saying: "In a digital economy, the mobile device is more than a communication tool; it plays multiple roles prime among which are an identity authentication device and a payment device. While no one has thought of taxing an identification card, per-line taxes are effectively partly that. In the same vein, no one has thought of a monthly tax just for having a credit card. Thinking ahead of smart cities and an IoT-abundant world will, for the foreseeable future, depend on a connection to the grid where identity authentication and payment will be at the heart of participation in a digital economy. The tax burden of telecommunication services has managed to hide itself and grow well with the mentality of the early days of voice. It is time this ecosystem is relieved from old taxation systems that have become subsidies for the inefficient financial management of the same governments that boast claims of working towards a true digital economy."

Please contact Arab Advisors Group for more details or to get a copy of the report’s Table of Contents.

The report was released to Arab Advisors Group’s subscribers and can be purchased for a fee of US$ 4,000.

Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region produced over 5,800 reports on the Arab World’s communications, media and financial markets. The reports can be purchased individually or received through an annual subscription to Arab Advisors Group’s ( Strategic Research Services (Media and Telecom).

To date, Arab Advisors Group serves over 965 global and regional companies by providing reliable research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients. Some of our clients can be viewed on