The total size of the e-commerce market in the UAE reached AED 27.5 billion in 2023, with projections to exceed AED 48.8 billion by 2028, according to the fourth edition of the E-commerce in the Middle East and North Africa 2023 report by EZDubai, a dedicated e-commerce zone in Dubai South.

The report was prepared in partnership with Euromonitor International, a global provider of business intelligence, market research, and consumer insights.

According to the statement released today by EZDubai, the UAE is experiencing tremendous growth in e-commerce adoption, driven by a tech-savvy youth demographic, strong government support in terms of legislation and regulations, and substantial investments in digital infrastructure.

In 2023, the leading sectors by value were clothing and footwear, consumer electronics, and media products.

The report highlights that consumers in the UAE prefer mobile shopping, valuing convenience and cost savings. Credit and debit cards are the most common payment methods for online purchases, as cited by 93.2 percent of respondents in the 2023 Euromonitor International survey, indicating strong confidence in traditional banking services. Additionally, smartphones are highly popular as a means for online shopping.

The e-commerce sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region maintained its growth in 2023, achieving an annual growth rate of 11.8 percent to reach approximately AED106.5 billion. This growth follows a long period of increased internet usage.

The report projects that the e-commerce market in the MENA region will reach AED183.6 billion by 2028.

Mobile commerce in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia has seen a significant surge, with its value quadrupling from 2018 to 2023, reaching approximately AED14.3 billion and AED16.1 billion, respectively.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of Dubai South - Logistics District, attributed the growth of the e-commerce sector in the region to several factors, including the widespread availability of high-speed internet services and favourable policies that focus specifically on developing digital payment infrastructure and logistics services.