An Overview of E-Commerce Trends in the United Arab Emirates

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Basic elements to consider for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) doing business in the United Arab Emirates via e-commerce channels

The Middle East remains a dynamic region, with strong Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, increasing consumer confidence, and some big upcoming events that will benefit food and foodservice sectors.

Note: All dollars are in US funds.

Quick facts (2015)

  • Population 9.6 million
    • GDP/capita $36,061
  • One of the Middle East's most connected countries - 8.8 million Internet users
    • 92% of households have access to the Internet.
  • All online purchases $427.9 million
    • With a forecasted growth rate of 4.7% by 2020.
  • Consumer spending
    • Total grocery spending: $27.6 billion
    • Edible grocery spending per capita: $2,591
    • Online spending on food and drinks per capita: $44.50
  • Demographics of online consumers
    • Male 68%
    • Female 32%
    • 26-35 year olds make up over 42% of online consumers

Top methods of accessing the internet for shopping

  • 8 million laptop users
  • 7.6 million mobile phone users
  • 4.5 million personal computer users
  • 4.2 million tablet users

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Understanding United Arab Emirates (UAE) online marketplace

  • 75% of food products available at the retail outlets in UAE are imported via wholesalers and increasingly by retailers.
  • According to Planet Retail, in 2015 UAE's consumer E-commerce spending reached $427.9 million and is forecasted to double to reach $841.2 million by 2020.

Most popular groceries app

  • InstaShop - Groceries made easy

A sample of local online grocers

  • Choithrams – full of goodness
  • GroceryOnline.ae
  • SuperMart – it`s all inside
  • Trolley.ae
  • early bird
  • Souq Planet
  • Géant online

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An Overview of E-Commerce Trends in the United Arab Emirates (PDF Version, 280KB)

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