Dubai Chamber Partners With eBay To Help UAE Businesses Increase Online Sales Globally

With the eBay for Business – UAE Program, UAE companies will receive practical training and tailor-made support to start a new store and scale their businesses on eBay.com, including customized support from eBay's team.

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Following a memorandum of understanding, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and eBay have partnered up to launch a program to help Chamber members and UAE businesses expand globally and boost online sales worldwide by utilizing eBay.com.

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With the eBay for Business – UAE Program, UAE companies will receive practical training and tailor-made support to start a new store and scale their businesses on eBay.com, including customized support from eBay’s team.

Open to all businesses in the UAE selling products that are approved for sale on eBay, participants can access tools and solutions to support its expansion to global markets, tapping into the 185 million active users on eBay worldwide and eBay’s 190 market worldwide, including USA, Europe, Asia and more.

Other perks include personal training program by eBay’s team, free listings, support with setting up on eBay and more. Dubai Chamber’s Trusted e-Network members, a community of trusted trading partners and service provides, will also be entitled to exclusive benefits. With the partnership, the two entities will collaborate on joint events and workshops to educate companies on the advantages of selling on eBay and the process of setting up on the platform.

Source: Dubai Chamber/eBay

In an interview with Entrepreneur Middle East, Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations, Dubai Chamber, noted that eBay is an ideal partner for the initiative, considering its position as a market leader and the value-added benefits that the online marketplace can offer the UAE business community.

“Dubai Chamber is always looking to partner with leading organizations that can help companies boost their online reach and expand their business beyond borders," Al Hashemi says. "This strategic partnership complements Dubai Chamber’s ongoing efforts to support the growth of Dubai’s digital economy and provide our members, and SMEs in particular, with access to knowledge and tools to help them thrive and grow.”.

For entrepreneurs keen to leverage the program, Al Hashemi advises them to do the necessary market research and validation to ensure a real demand among buyers for their respective products. “During the COVID-19 crisis, eBay experienced an extensive growth of 28% in new UAE sellers joining eBay, with an UAE seller selling an item every 90 seconds on the platform," he points out. "This demonstrates strong interest among eBay buyers for products sold by UAE retailers. There are around 5,000 UAE-based companies that currently sell on eBay. Over 300,000 items were exported by the UAE based sellers during 2020.”

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Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations, Dubai Chamber

With those statistics in mind, Al Hashemi also reminds entrepreneurs to keep in mind that e-commerce markets are evolving as consumers increasingly turn to digital platforms to access products and services. “The UAE retail e-commerce market reached a record US$3.9 billion in 2020, a 53% year-over-year increase driven by the COVID-19-led digital shift, while e-commerce accounted for 8% share of the retail market during the same year, according to recent analysis from Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” he explains. “So, there are plenty of growth opportunities in the market that companies capitalize on, however, it is crucial that they select the right platforms that can connect them to consumers who are actively searching for their products.”

Echoing this sentiment is Ilya Kretov, General Manager - Global Emerging Markets, eBay, who noted the various ways in which small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can make use of this program. “We believe in the UAE market potential and in the ability of local sellers to grow cross border sales,” he says. “SMBs will receive training on how to quickly set up their business activity on eBay with no entry barriers, how to use eBay’s marketing tools to boost their exposure and sell worldwide. It’s important now more than ever, with many businesses moving online to create new revenue streams in these uncertain times.”  

Ilya Kretov, GM Global Emerging Markets at eBay

Of course, it needs to be said that there are already plenty of success stories of sellers utilizing eBay in the UAE. Muhamad Azfal, web admin and owner at Modelautomative, a Sharjah-based company specializing in luxury and premium brands of vehicles parts, started selling his company's products online on eBay in 2018. Though it's not the company’s main source of income, Azfal notes, “When it comes to selling online and abroad, eBay is by far our leading source of income. From zero sales outside the UAE, we were able the reach impressive numbers in just a few years with a few dozen reservations on daily basis.” Today, the company exports its products to USA, UK, Australia, Germany and China, among others.

Muhamad Ifran, owner of BS Broadcast, a Sharjah-based supplier of refurbished broadcasting equipment from the Middle East, started selling on eBay on 2019 to expand cross-border sales. Besides being a platform that helped the company gain trust among potential buyers, Ifran remarks it helped boost sales, especially during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were lucky to make more sales during COVID-19 since we had stocks. The shipping company which we partner with, continued to operate, and did not shut down like some others did. Though the shipping time was longer due to the pandemic, we were still able to provide our clients with their products.”

Currently, there are around 5,000 UAE-based companies currently selling on eBay and over 300,00 items exported by UAE sellers during 2020 alone. Product categories with the highest demand includes electronic, automotive parts, fashion, collectibles, and home and garden and other branded products. Top buying countries from the UAE consists of the US, Germany, UK, France and Australia.

When asked to share his advice for UAE entrepreneurs to make the most of this new program from eBay and Dubai Chamber, Kretov noted that they need to realize that they will only get out as much as they put in. “Selling on eBay opens the door to hundreds of millions of potential clients worldwide, but at the same time, it means you will have competition from sellers located in other markets," he says. "To excel in their field, businesses need to realize that they will need to invest time to master the benefits of the platform, better understand the competition, and find the leverage of their business over the competitors, while providing top notch customer service to keep high ratings and strong recommendations. We at eBay provide our sellers with many tools to help them succeed on the platform such as Terapeak that uses 25 years of eBay data to help sellers make informed business decisions, promoted listings which increase on average sales of sellers using them in double digits, and eBaymag, which allows easy posting, synchronous management, and effective sales on all eBay sites. Understanding your market niche, providing quality customer service, and using maximum of our platform tools will be the best advice I can give to entrepreneurs who want to fully leverage the benefits of our program.”

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