With nearly half the world’s population expected to become web users by 2016 the internet economy is set to provide companies with an important source of growth.
UAE has made major efforts to establish itself as an e-commerce hub, and according to a study carried out by UAE Media City-based Madar Research Group in late 2002 was at that time on a par with top European Union states in basic online services.
This trend is being further fuelled by the rise of the emerging markets, and the growth of social media. SMEs are also increasingly championing the Internet, using it for marketing, sales and interactions with customers and suppliers.
In the Middle East, the web effect is no less dramatic. For example, 42 per cent of UAE shoppers accessed the internet for online shopping in 2012, up from 33 per cent in 2010 according to a survey by MasterCard
The e-commerce trends here are no different. New players are setting ablaze the trail for e-tailing.
PayPal is coming on big in the GCC . In fact, according to Arab Advisors Group, the value of e-commerce related transactions is about $11 billion a year in the Middle East. With the growth of broadband in the region and improvements in logistics, security of transactions, payment execution and technology speed, we expect the online space to continue to flourish.