A Study on Social Network Analysis: case study of UAE expats relationship to their home country through social media interactions

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This paper is studying the influence of social media and displaying the significant role social media data is currently playing for benefit of both research & business context. Additionally, this paper will discuss social network analysis, challenges and benefits to manifest the emerging role of this new field of study. As UAE community consists of 88% of immigrants and is ranked as one of the top countries in mobile social media penetration in the gulf region, it is interesting to analyze how much the expats are showing their connection to their home country by interacting with news accounts on social media platforms. To achieve this13 countries were selected to reflect the diversity of UAE’s demographics, the study used Facebook data and collected 155,694 posts from 65 news accounts, the analyzed data extended to use 8,848,404 comments and 4,666,774 identified users. Results showed that social network analysis can reveal interesting relationships between the countries that reflect current political situations. Additionally, Pakistan was found to be the top nationality among UAE’s expats who have the highest social interactions with their home countries through social media. Finally we discussed challenges in this approach and suggested future work to be conducted.
social network analysis, social media interactions, social media data, United Arab Emirates (UAE), social media platforms