Professional networking site LinkedIn announced on Tuesday that it has hit the 500 million members’ milestone across 200 countries and 22 million members in the Middle East and North Africa region.

LinkedIn’s UAE members rank as the most connected in the world. UAE users have a reported average of 211 connections per individual.

“It is great to see the UAE ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to recognising the value of a strong online professional network. A large majority of the UAE’s workforce has come from abroad — LinkedIn makes it easy for professionals seeking to connect with each other around the world, and to keep up to date with relevant companies and industry topics, wherever the market,” Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Emerging Markets, Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.

With over 3 million members in the UAE, he said that LinkedIn is growing rapidly. UAE users have a reported average of 211 connections per individual.

LinkedIn opened their first office in the MENA region in 2012 in Dubai which serves as a regional headquarters to members and customers.

“We are excited to have reached the 500 million milestone globally, and look forward to seeing how our breadth of talented members will help us to achieve our goal of creating an economic opportunity for every member in the workforce” Matar said.

Boasting some of the highest social media penetration rates in the world, he said that UAE residents are not only well connected, but also savvy to the potential of what a highly connected global community of professionals can do, and the value that is created for each member of the workforce.

“LinkedIn profiles are much more than just online resumes; they are a crucial online personal branding statement. When someone searches for an individual online, their LinkedIn profile is usually at the top of the search results and it is vital to make a powerful first impression,” he said.