The UAE is the most advanced e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa, MENA, region, according to a joint study by Dubai Economy and digital payment solutions leader, Visa, titled the "UAE eCommerce Landscape".
The study also estimates that e-commerce transactions in the country will hit US$16 billion (AED59 billion) in 2019 and grow 23 percent on an average annually between 2018 and 2022.
The study underlines innovative initiatives, such as the Dubai Smart City, tech-eager consumers and a favourable ecosystem promoting start-up growth as the chief factors that have positioned Dubai and the UAE at the forefront of the e-commerce growth in the MENA region.
The report compares the UAE to emerging and mature benchmark markets based on the latest transaction data from Visa to identify pointers that will help guide the wider e-commerce ecosystem comprising the government, investors, entrepreneurs, retailers and other stakeholders towards a multi-faceted action plan.
Sami Al Qamzi, Director-General of Dubai Economy, said, "Public-private partnerships to drive awareness and trust on the value, convenience and security of online shopping and to expand the digital payment option are critical to sustaining the e-commerce momentum that Dubai and the UAE have gained by promoting cashless payments and providing secure payment platforms for businesses and the public. We are delighted to continue our partnership with Visa, as their global payment solutions will enable reliable market research and provide accurate data and insights on e-commerce trends and consumer behaviour critical to Dubai’s evolution as a Smart City."
Global eCommerce leaders, such as Amazon, expanding to Dubai is a strong testament to the emirate’s competitiveness as a digital innovation hub, Al Qamzi added.
Marcello Baricordi, Visa’s General Manager for the MENA region, said, "The ‘UAE eCommerce Landscape’ report is the latest in our efforts to share knowledge with our partner, motivated by our commitment to help accelerate the adoption of digital payments across all areas, reduce the dependency on cash and open up new avenues for the further development of the e-commerce sector."
The outstanding e-commerce growth in the UAE largely owes to the retail sector and the thriving mall culture.
The report also emphasises that the government promoting a cashless economy and greater transparency has boosted e-commerce in the UAE. The Dubai Internet City has established a favourable environment for entrepreneurs and start-ups to nurture the next big wave of ICT innovation. The emPay digital wallet, launched by Dubai Economy and the Dubai Commerce initiative have also been highlighted as outstanding initiatives towards promoting e-commerce and offering easier access to digital transaction platforms.