According to a new report by EZDubai and Euromonitor International, e-commerce in the UAE reached just over $5 billion in 2021 and is expected to exceed $8 billion by 2025. As of 2021, the total market size of e-commerce in MENA was estimated at $31.7 billion. Over the course of 2021-2025, e-commerce is projected to grow more than $18bn in the MENA region, reaching over $49bn by 2025.
UAE shoppers are considered one of the top spenders in the region. A report from Sitecore indicated that 89 percent of customers in the Middle East and North Africa became digital converts and choose to buy goods online since the pandemic started. Retailers have quickly implemented strategies to cope with the drastic change in the market to cater to the needs of customers. Consumers are taking into account several factors when shopping online and have increased trust in online purchases.
The UAE is the leader in e-commerce among GCC states. Consumer electronics and appliances, media products, computers, fashion accessories, women’s apparel, cosmetics, and perfumes are the most popular online products in the region. Industry forecasts indicate that the fastest-growing sectors from 2021-2025 will be homewares and furnishings, food and beverages, and media products.
The UAE’s booming e-commerce market is thriving because of its innovative government policies, ease of doing business, and the country’s strategic location all of which result in a market with enhanced consumer confidence and a thriving e-commerce sector. Banks and payment service providers also launched new e-commerce solutions for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) ensuring to provide safe and secured payment transactions. The UAE is continuously improving e-commerce logistics to support growth and sales among retailers, with the help of implementing advanced technology such as GPS-driven solutions, and RFID tracking. Free zones like EZDubai and Dubai Commercity are designed to host local and international e-commerce companies providing them with a wide range of office spaces, warehouses, and logistics support.
Strohal Legal Group had an opportunity to assist with various e-commerce incorporations as well as M&A acquisitions of e-commerce businesses during 2021. The unique business environment in the Emirates opens up tremendous business and development opportunities for e-commerce startups. In addition, new players such as Opontia (www.opontia.com), which aims to “become the next generation e-commerce group in Eastern Europe, Middle East, & Africa” by acquiring, operating, and scaling e-commerce brands, also provide successful e-commerce brands with swift exit opportunities with upside participation.
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