UAE’s e-commerce industry set to soar

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New survey forecasts the country’s online trading potential will reach US$10bn (AED36.7bn) by 2018

Currently valued at US$2.5bn (AED9.2bn), the UAE’s e-commerce industry is set to reach US$10bn by the year 2018, according to a recent survey by MasterCard.

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According to the survey, the UAE is home to a growing population of online shoppers with over 50% of respondents saying they use the internet to shop for goods and services. With the majority of sites limited to offering traditional buy and sell transactions, few as yet appear to have embraced the social selling bandwagon – a trend that has been seen growing in popularity in many other countries around the world., the UAE’s first social market place, offers customers the chance to engage with one another on its website to make use of the site’s interactive social media tools.

Unlike the UAE’s existing online platforms, which are limited to simply buying and selling, provides businesses and individuals with a highly sociable means of trading, building trust between individuals and allowing them to meet reliable vendors.

“With the value of the e-commerce industry set to increase three-fold, online platforms need to evolve and develop their interfaces and usability,” says Adham Saleh, Managing Director of

“Users are looking for easy, convenient websites from which to buy and sell, and when we compare local and global e-commerce sites there is a real gap. Many sites here adhere to the same layouts and elements they’ve used from the start; it’s time the UAE caught up and integrated social selling as a major part of local e-commerce,” he adds.

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