Media companies are reporting a surge in the use of smartphones and tablet computers in the Middle East to read publications.
The Economist magazine reports a 20 per cent increase in its total subscriber base in the Middle East and Africa in the past 12 months, which it attributes to more readers paying to read online.
And the Dubai newspaper 7DAYS says that more than 25,000 people have downloaded its mobile and tablet applications so far this year.
David Taylor-Evans, the managing director for the Middle East and Africa at the Economist Group, said the proportion of digital subscribers to The Economist was higher in this region than any other.
The 20 per cent increase in subscriptions in the region was "entirely driven by the digital revolution", said Mr Taylor-Evans.
Print subscribers to The Economist automatically receive access to the website and the mobile apps.
But nearly 25 per cent of subscribers in the Middle East and Africa are paying for the digital-only publication.
Digital subscribers pay US$175 (Dh642) a year for access to all of The Economist's digital content, including its mobile and tablet apps.
"In percentage terms, it's streets ahead of Asia, Europe, the US and the UK," said Mr Taylor-Evans. "Elsewhere around the world, it's in the single digits,whereas here it's at 25 per cent and growing."
The Economist has a total circulation of about 30,000 in the Middle East and Africa, and claims a total worldwide circulation of just under 1.5 million.
Of the total circulation of 30,000 in the Middle East and Africa, one third are regular subscribers, with the rest newsstand sales.
"We've now got just over 10,000 subscribers for print and digital, of which 8,000 are print and 2,000 are digital, in the Middle East and Africa," said Mr Taylor-Evans. "We've seen a little bit of a drop in print subscribers."
The Economist mobile app is free to download, with a small sample of articles available to non-subscribers.
Mr Taylor-Evans said that more than 19,000 copies of the app were downloaded weekly in the Middle East and Africa last month. Globally, the publication claims 3 million downloads of the app - although only a small percentage of these yielded paying subscriptions.
Mr Taylor-Evans said the Middle East was "becoming quite a switched-on" region.
"There's expendable income here that is happily being used to buy these new tools and gadgets," he said.
The newspaper 7DAYS also reports growing downloads of its mobile and tablet apps.
Will Breitholtz, the digital manager at 7DAYS, said mobile apps were "doing very well".
He said 21,231 copies of the paper's smartphone app had been downloaded so far this year. These include software for Nokia, Windows, Apple and Samsung handsets, with BlackBerry accounting for "more than half".
There have been 4,300 downloads of the 7DAYS app for the iPad and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, Mr Breitholtz said.
"In terms of reach, we're definitely getting there," he said.
However, mobile advertising is not growing in line with the readership.
"I don't see the money in the marketplace," Mr Breitholtz said. "If you look at the market share of digital as a whole - against traditional advertising such as print, magazines, radio and newspaper - it's still very much lagging behind here compared to the more mature markets."
He expects advertising via mobile and tablet apps to pick up next year.
"Mobile is definitely what people are looking at in terms of future trends," he said.