The UAE is the most advanced e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa, according to a joint study by Dubai Economy and digital payment solutions leader Visa.
It estimates e-commerce transactions in the country to hit $16 billion in 2019 and grow 23 percent on average annually between 2018 and 2022.
The report showed that while consumer preference for e-commerce channels in the UAE is nearly at par with mature benchmark markets, the country has a healthy lead in average transaction size compared to both emerging and mature markets.
The average size of e-commerce transactions in the UAE in 2018-2019 was $144 compared to $79 in mature markets and $26 in emerging markets.
Deeper internet penetration along with an advanced digital infrastructure and younger population eager to embrace technology-driven solutions available across smart phones and social media are at the core of the e-commerce growth in Dubai and the UAE, it said.
At 4.2 percent of total sales, e-commerce penetration in the UAE is not only higher than the MENA average of 1.9 percent and GCC average of 3 percent, but also highest in the region, it added.
The report also said that increasing consumer reliance on food delivery apps and ride-hailing apps helped both quick service restaurants and transport sector raise their e-commerce share from 1 percent to 2 percent during March 2018 and February 2019.
The study underlines initiatives, such as the Dubai Smart City, tech-eager consumers and a favourable ecosystem promoting startup growth as the chief factors that have positioned Dubai and the UAE in the forefront of the e-commerce growth in MENA.
By Sam Bridge arabianbusiness.com