If you've visited (virtually or realistically) different countries in the Arab world, then you've probably noticed that the nations sit a world apart - though not literally - from each other. We're not just talking about cultural and traditional patterns. We're talking economy, cost of living, and personal income — all of which widen the gap between the rich and the poor. 

Even when it comes to the internet, something that should be a basic human right, the speed at which the network operates differs from one place to another. The cost, which has nothing to do with speed, also differs from one nation to another as different factors such as infrastructure and wealth play a role. In the region, you have one of the poorest countries (Yemen) and one of the richest countries (UAE) listed as the top five most expensive mobile data plans in the Arab world. 

Cable, a UK-based service that analyzes broadband, telecom, and TV, released an interactive map in 2019 detailing the cost of 1GB of mobile data in respective countries. 

"Many of the cheapest countries in which to buy mobile data fall roughly into one of two categories," the report points out, saying excellent infrastructure is one of the reasons cheap mobile data may exist. Another reason has more to do with the economy and the role of supply-demand in dictating low prices. 

Source: Cable.co.uk

Globally, these are the countries with the cheapest mobile data plans:

  • India ($0.26 per 1GB)
  • Kyrgyzstan ($0.27)
  • Kazakhstan ($0.49) 
  • Ukraine ($0.51)

These are the countries with the most expensive data plans:

  • Zimbabwe ($75.20 per 1GB)
  • Equatorial Guinea ($65.83)
  • Saint Helena ($55.47)
  • Falkland Islands ($47.39)

The global average price for 1GB of mobile data is $8.53. 

A look at Arab countries (from most expensive to least):

1. Djibouti: $37.92 per 1GB

2. Yemen: $15.73 per 1GB

Source: UNOPS

3. Comoros: $12.57 per 1GB

4. Oman: $11.28 per 1GB

5. United Arab Emirates: $10.23 per 1GB

6. Lebanon: $9.21 per 1GB

Source: Asia Tatler

7. Iraq: $8 per 1GB

8. Somalia: $6.19 per 1GB

9. Saudi Arabia: $5.62 per 1GB

Source: Gulf News

10. Algeria: $5.15 per 1GB

Source: Mondoweiss

11. Libya: $4.87 per 1GB

12. Qatar: $4.62 per 1GB

Source: Skyticket

13. Syria: $4.14 per 1GB

Source: state.gov

14. Mauritania: $3.12 per 1GB

Source: Truthout.org

15. Tunisia: $2.87 per 1GB

Source: Thoughtco

16. Bahrain: $2.83 per 1GB

17. Palestine: $2.06 per 1GB

Source: nst

18. Kuwait: $2.01 per 1GB

Source: Kuwait Times

19. Jordan: $1.79 per 1 GB

20. Morocco: $1.66 per 1GB

21. Egypt: $1.49 per 1GB

22. Sudan: $0.68 per 1GB

Source: Lawfare Blog