LinkedIn goes Orientalist with new Middle East infographic

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LinkedIn's new infographic doesn't tell you much you won't know already, if you've read their recent data on the Middle East, but it does breathe life into a few stereotypes about the region.

Here's a look at the facts about the social network's audience in the Arab world plus Turkey and Iran: its over 9 million members are mostly between the ages of 25 and 44 (64%), hold a college degree (73%), wield a smartphone (81%), pursue an international perspective (75%), and wear designer clothes (45%).

Its regional users often hold manager positions (40%) and travel frequently for business, with over 20% making eight international business trips in the past 12 months, and over 25% spending over 15 nights in a hotel for business purposes, statistics that speak to the opportunity in the travel and hospitality sectors. Over a third travel first class. 

The most popular employers on the social network are still telecoms, airlines, or petroleum and manufacturing companies; nothing new there (None from Turkey or Iran made the list? Turkey is one of LinkedIn's fastest growing markets, which hit 1 million users in March 2012, before Saudi did this September).

What's most interesting is that 36% of LinkedIn users in the Middle East access the site over mobile, which is a bit higher than LinkedIn's global average of 33%.

While it's confirming stereotypes of elite users in the region for better or worse (does LinkedIn query all populations about their sartorial choices?), the infographic also involves a genie lamp, a cascading skyline filled with domed mosques and minarets, and Ramadan decorations to illustrate its points about job search.

Many stereotypes about the Arab world are alive and well across the globe in 2013, but: a genie lamp? Shame on you, LinkedIn.

Click here or on the infographic for a bigger image.

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