The UAE market, which is largely dominated by luxury shopping centers at Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi, Ajman and other trading areas, is slowly trying to spread its tentacles into the world of internet. Off late, there has been a remarkable surge in the e-commerce industry across the Middle East generating large scale revenue. In fact, consumers are seen gradually shifting to the online shopping sites than visiting malls. Of course, who wouldn't prefer shopping from a wide collection of products at the comfort of home?
In terms of business, last year the online sales in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region had surpassed over $2 billion. UAE recorded the highest share in the total collection, proving to be one of the most flourishing e-commerce markets.
Trade analysts have cited that the online sales will receive a massive growth in the next couple of years with UAE being the largest e-commerce markets. The net value of UAE e-commerce was stalled at $2.5 billion in 2014. Currently, the revenue is positioned at over $3.5 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach up to $10 billion in 2018.
Some of the popular e-commerce websites, offering wide options from top brands, are Souq.com, Awok.com, Mumzworld.com, Letstango.com, Jadopado.com and many more. A new online retailer, Noon.com was launched in January 2017, which offers over 20 million products.
Based on a survey, Dubai bets the highest number of shoppers at 46% across the UAE. Of which, around 35% of the consumers opt for online purchases at least one to five times in a week. That explains the increasing demand of online stores across the region. Scrutinizing the market situation, many retailers have been venturing into online services for better sales. Top brands including Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Sephora Middle East and jewelry retailer Blue Nile recently launched their websites for easy online shopping access to the consumers in UAE. Many other luxurious brands have been investing in the online sector following the rising demands.
The e-commerce sector is not just confined to apparels and accessories but has expanded to food, transport service and other varieties, which have been adding up to the net revenue. Entrepreneurs have been making smart moves by creating attractive business models to draw the interest of the consumers and offer them a wide range of luxurious commodities. The market has undergone significant changes in 2017 and is likely to keep the revenue bar rising.
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