Prior to the pandemic, the United Arab Emirates was characterised by a high level of the leapfrog effect, which is when an individual bypasses the use of an inferior technology and moves to a more advanced one. For many people in the country, mobile was their first foray into technology, leapfrogging computers.
Even before the pandemic, mobile e-commerce was well-developed in the United Arab Emirates, and demand for shopping apps was growing rapidly. According to Euromonitor International’s Lifestyles Survey, more than a third of consumers bought an item or service from their smartphone at least weekly, which was significantly above the global average.
Subscription services and loyalty have enabled premiumisation and personalisation. Consumers in the United Arab Emirates increased their participation in loyalty rewards programmes from e-commerce retailers in 2021, according to Euromonitor International’s Lifestyles Survey.
With its headquarters in Dubai, Noon is the region’s home-grown marketplace. The company has grown to be one of the leading marketplaces in the United Arab Emirates, following Amazon.
A major marketing campaign in the United Arab Emirates was discount codes on billboards along busy highways in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Shein (pronounced as “she-in”) grew rapidly in the United Arab Emirates with this strategy during 2020, and this continued in 2021, helping the brand enjoy fast growth for its low-priced fashion items.
The United Arab Emirates ranks fourth globally on Euromonitor International’s Digital Consumer Index, reflecting its strong global position in terms of digital connectivity and strong rank in a market environment which is set to strengthen the country’s e-commerce development over the forecast period. The establishment of e-commerce zones such as EZDubai and Dubai Commerce City, which aim to offer e-commerce retail logistics and other services in free trade environments to e-commerce players and establish Dubai as an e-commerce hub connecting with the wider MENA region, reflects strong ambitions.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Mobile E-Commerce (Goods) industry in United Arab Emirates with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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Mobile Internet Retailing includes sales through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Please note that these sales are also included in the Internet Retailing Channel. Mobile Internet Retailing is also known as m-commerce.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Mobile E-Commerce (Goods) research and analysis database.
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