E-Commerce Statistic in UAE


Sayed Imran Qamar

Currently, the UAE is considered the most advanced eCommerce market in MENA, with a penetration rate of 4.2%; the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) follows at 3.8%1 . eCommerce sales in the UAE are estimated to grow by an average of 23% annually between 2018 and 2022.

The UAE retail industry – classified into store and non-store sales, which include eCommerce – is estimated at $55 billion in 2018 and is forecast to rise to $63.8 billion by 2023. The eCommerce segment is classified under non-store retailing, which encompasses online shopping, direct selling, mobile internet, social media and home shopping. The non-store category is forecast to grow by 78% from 2018 to 2023

Almost 63% of internet users in the UAE shop online. Their online shopping journeys use search engines, with interest peaking during seasonal shopping events such as Ramadan or White Friday sales2 . Driven by convenience and value, online spending – including domestic and cross-border eCommerce – is on a growth trajectory, from an estimated $12.3 billion at the end of 2018

The UAE represents the biggest annual spend per online shopper at $1,648, with growth projected through 2020 at 29.6%.

A consumer survey revealed that 81% of adults in UAE shopped online in 2017, up from 68% in 2016. According to the report, the increase in online spending is also forecast to continue, with almost half of online adults surveyed (49%) stating they will increase their online spending in the next 12 months, citing convenience of shopping online (selected by 65% of those who predict an increase in their online spend), and the rise in available platforms to shop from (40%) as the key reasons for the expected increase

Category-wise penetration of eCommerce

Business Models

1. Become The Middleman

2. Become A Marketplace

3. The Subscription Model

4. Customized Everything

5. On-Demand Model

6. The Modernized Direct Sales Model

7. Freemium Model

8. Reverse Auction

9. Virtual Good Model