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E-Commerce Sales In Dubai To Rise To AED100 Billion By 2022 The projection comes off the back of the accelerated COVID-induced shift in shopping behavior.

By Megha Merani

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E-commerce sales in Dubai are expected to rise 23 percent to US$27 billion (AED100 billion) in 2022, Dubai Customs has said.

The projection comes off the back of the accelerated COVID-induced shift in shopping behavior as more people experienced the convenience of buying online during lockdown or to limit physical trips to physical outlets in the interest of health and safety as the outbreak continues.

"We expect e-commerce sales to rise 23 percent to US$27 billion (AED100 billion) in 2022, especially since there is a noticeable shift in the consumers' trends and behaviour after the pandemic," Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director-General of Dubai Customs, said in a statement to national news agency WAM.

Musabih was speaking on the sidelines of GITEX Technology Week 2020 where Dubai Customs showcased its Cross Border e-Commerce platform, a collaborative blockchain-based e-commerce platform that caters to the needs of all stakeholders in the e-commerce supply chain.

He added that Dubai now has an opportunity to turn into a central e-commerce hub for African, Gulf, Middle Eastern and South American markets.

A joint study published by Dubai Economy and Visa, the world's leader in digital payments, in November, said the UAE e-commerce sector is expected to see continued growth as more consumers demand online payment options and merchants increasingly recognize the need for an online presence amid the ongoing pandemic.

Another Visa study in partnership with Dubai Economy and Dubai Police, in June, found that 49% of UAE consumers surveyed have been shopping online more because of the pandemic, with three out of five (61%) now using cards or digital wallets more to make payments online instead of opting for cash on delivery.

The shift to paying online also indicates that e-commerce will account for a bigger share of total UAE card payment transaction values in 2020, compared to pre-pandemic predictions; up from 19.7% to 21.9%, the study said.

Based on the latest transaction data from Visa, the study also compared the UAE to mature and emerging benchmark markets including the US, UK, Australia and Singapore, as well as Brazil, South Africa and Malaysia.

According to the report, in the wider Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA) region, the UAE represents the biggest annual spend per online shopper at $1,648.

Additionally, the UAE continues to maintain a healthy lead in average transaction size compared to both mature and emerging e-commerce markets.

The average transaction value in the UAE was $122 in 2019-20, compared to $76 in mature markets, and $22 in emerging markets, the report said.

This article was originally published on Dubai Startup Hub and has been reposted on Entrepreneur Middle East based on a mutual agreement between the websites.

Related: Dubai Startup Hub Launches Eight Sector Guides To Support Entrepreneurs

Megha Merani

Independent Journalist

Megha Merani is an independent journalist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Her stories have made headlines across a number of publications including Reuters, Associated Press, Entrepreneur Middle EastBloomberg Middle East, Arabian Gulf Business Insight, Arabian Business, and former local daily 7DAYS.

Megha also produces editorial for government platforms including the World Government Summit and World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils. She has been a grant winner of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and The Global Initiative Against Organized Crime funded by the government of Norway to report on the online trade in illegal wildlife.

Megha is also an Associate Fellow (AFHEA) at Murdoch University in Dubai and leads its Digital Newsroom course unit. In addition, Megha serves as a United Nations Women mentor to support equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs, and supports various other programs including TIE Women, 60 Day Startups, and the Watt Inc. Business Incubator.

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