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E-Commerce business in the Middle East has accelerated tremendously over the past decade, increasing by 1500%. With one of the highest per-capita internet infiltration levels in the world and with a dynamic and internet-active young population, online spending in the region is fast becoming one of the highest in the world.

It is widely known that the adaptation and penetration of the Internet in the Middle East is very high, significantly higher than the global average and not far behind US and European regions. The ever accelerating growth of the Internet on a global basis and its enabling of a new high-speed, low-energy, almost free infrastructure of borderless, global, instant, online everything, is seeing impacts on society and economies globally.

Although in the US and other developed countries, online shopping as an industry has been established since late 1990’s, UAE has seen some steady strides over the past 5 years with a lot of options for online shopping in UAE. Going by the current trends, online shopping in Dubai and other parts of UAE will be preferred mode of shopping for most of the products and services.

The e-commerce market in the UAE is currently valued at $2.5 billion, which is expected to touch $10 billion by 2018. “E-commerce will be the UAE’s fastest growing business. It is expected to accelerate and create new businesses and job opportunities,” says Sarwant Singh, the head of Frost & Sullivan’s visionary innovation group.

According to Singh, the reason for such increase in e-commerce is due to increased connectivity, rapid proliferation of connected devices and services and the government’s initiatives encouraging a digital lifestyle.

One of the major reason for the emergence of the e-commerce industry is the government and private entrepreneurial support that UAE has received recently. An important factor in building trust in online commerce over the last few years has come from eGovernment initiatives. Integration of offline services as Visa services, Traffic services, Utilities services and many more onto online platforms integrated with online payments making it easier and more convenient for UAE residents.

With this evolution, businesses should not forget mobile. Mobile commerce has even more potential in the Middle East due to the high smartphone and tablet penetration, with mobile often the most common mode of connection to the internet. People enjoy having everything at their fingertips. Lots of retailers and businesses [are] coming up with their personalized mobile apps and/or enhancing their mobile sites to provide optimum user experience.


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