Snapchat has opened its first Middle East office in Dubai in a bid to reach local markets and increase user numbers in the region.

According to the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, Snapchat users in the UAE stand at 27% (a low figure) - followed only by LinkedIn at 18%. 

Snap Inc is located in Dubai Internet City, Arabian Business reports. The Middle East office is headed by Hussein Freijeh, who was previously employed by Yahoo-Maktoob -- a Mail and Messenger service.  

This isn't the first time a social media service sets up shop in Dubai. Facebook's first office in the Middle East was also launched in the emirate in May of 2012. Twitter followed in 2015. 

Snapchat says it moved to the region primarily to work with advertisers and local partners in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, two of the largest markets. 

Dubai boasts several Snap personalities including Huda Kattan (HudaBeauty), Hayla Ghazal (HaylaTV), Haifa Beseisso (FlyWithHaifa) and Emirati royal Prince Hamdan (Faz3). 

In 2016, a British research company said that KSA Snapchat users are the highest in the Arab world, and second highest globally.