Overseas Business Setup

UAE Sees 21% Jump in Online Shops

The UAE’s digital economy prior to Covid-19 contributed 4.3 per cent to the country’s GDP.

The UAE recorded an increase in online consumer spending primarily driven by a 21 percent jump in the number of online shops as the world witnessed an exponential boom in retail eCommerce with an additional $900 billion being spent in 2020.

The UAE, one of the leading online retail markets in the region, also witnessed a 44 percent year-on-year jump in the number of high-volume eCommerce trading partners from 2019 to 2020, according to Mastercard’s latest Recovery Insights report.

“As Covid-19 kept consumers around the world at home, nearly everything from groceries to gardening supplies was purchased online. Put another way: in 2020, e-commerce made up roughly $1 out of every $5 spent on retail, up from about $1 out of every $7 spent in 2019,” the report said.

According to the Dubai Future Foundation, the UAE’s digital economy before Covid-19 contributed 4.3 percent to the country’s GDP. Given the current trend, the country’s e-commerce industry is set to reach $62.8 billion by 2023.

The e-commerce market in the region was worth $22 billion by the end of 2020, boosted by online shoppers from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE.

The three countries form 80 per cent of the region’s overall e-commerce market, according to the study. In Saudi Arabia, the market volume is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2024.

Reflecting expanded consumer choice, Mastercard’s analysis shows that consumers worldwide are making purchases at a greater number of websites and online marketplaces than before. Residents in countries like Italy and Saudi Arabia are buying from 33 percent more online stores, on average, followed closely by Russia (29 percent), the UK (22 percent), and the UAE (21 percent).

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