Dubai, the UAE: – The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is experiencing a surge in restaurant delivery, driven by a growing consumer appetite for convenience. New data from Syrve MENA, a dynamic Middle Eastern restaurant software provider, and Admitad, a leading partnership marketing platform, reveals a 10% year-over-year increase in delivery orders during the first quarter of 2024. This follows a strong 2023, where residents placed 6% more delivery orders and spent 5% more than the previous year.

Additionally, in the UAE, the online food delivery market is forecasted to reach a revenue of $67.12 million by 2024, with an anticipated CAGR  of 5.55%, leading to a projected market volume of $87.92 million by 2029. In contrast, in Saudi Arabia, the number of users in the meal delivery market is expected to reach 19.5 million users by 2029, with a projected user penetration rate of 42.9% in 2024.

This year UAE restaurants received thousands and millions of delivery orders with a medium number of 228 740 orders per year and 32 million AED sales amount in one restaurant according to Syrve MENA data. The number of delivery orders reached more than 600,000 orders per year with 126 million AED sales amount for fast-food chains specializing in delivery.

The study highlights the dominance of mobile convenience in the MENA food delivery landscape. Over 70% of all orders are placed through smartphones, reflecting the region's high mobile penetration rate. Interestingly, promotions are king when it comes to attracting customers. Over half of users leverage coupons and promo codes, while over a quarter benefit from cashback rewards, emphasising the effectiveness of loyalty programs.

“Content also plays a significant role, with blogs and thematic web pages influencing over 20% of delivery orders. Well-targeted contextual advertising adds another 18% to the mix,” said Anna Gidirim, CEO of Admitad.

Delivery habits also showcase intriguing seasonal trends. Orders typically peak during March and April, coinciding with Ramadan, with a secondary surge in September and October. January and February, on the other hand, are generally slower months.

The study also dives into cuisine-specific trends. Arabic cuisine has a surge in the mornings, with 71% of orders placed between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM, and kebabs taking the top spot for delivery. In contrast, dinner is the show's star for Indian (43% delivery orders) and Italian restaurants (85% delivery orders), experiencing peak hours between 8:00 PM and 11:00 PM. Roti, butter naan and dal makhani are popular choices for Indian delivery, while Italian restaurants see a strong demand for dinner classics such as pasta and risotto.

At the same time, international chains (64% delivery orders) also peak during dinner hours, with shawarma, kebabs and fries being popular choices. Interestingly, delivery makes up a smaller portion of the business for Italian and Asian chains (13% of delivery orders), but their peak hours still mirror those of others, from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

Fast food also reigns supreme in the delivery arena, with a staggering 89% of orders placed for delivery. Their peak hours align with others from 8:00 to 11:00 PM, and churrasco and rolls are a top delivery item.

“The MENA region's food delivery market is booming, driven by convenience-seeking consumers and a strong mobile culture,” said Alexander Ponomarev, CEO at Syrve. “We expect this trend to continue as restaurants leverage data and technology to deliver personalised experiences and cater to evolving customer preferences.”

The future looks prosperous for the MENA food delivery market, with factors like urbanisation, smartphone adoption, and convenience-driven dining experiences contributing to its rapid growth. Furthermore, the increasing popularity of mobile ordering, compelling promotions, and strategic marketing promises continued growth for both restaurants and delivery platforms.


About Syrve MENA

Syrve MENA is a leader in all-in-one POS and Restaurant Management Software solutions in the Middle East. With its headquarters in Dubai and a presence in 54 countries, Syrve has been revolutionizing the food service market for over four years. Serving over 1200 customers and 8000 live stores worldwide, including renowned restaurant chains and small businesses, Syrve is committed to automating bars, restaurants, and hospitality businesses.

About Admitad

Admitad, a part of Mitgo Group, is the leading partnership marketing platform in the MENA region that helps drive targeted traffic and boost sales. It is designed for businesses of any size to expand their reach and grow globally through partnerships. Admitad facilitates new customers and sales for over 3000 clients by partnering with more than 300,000 publishers worldwide.