Online retail: A.T. Kearney raises estimates for value of the GCC's e-commerce market

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Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS
The e-commerce market in the Gulf Cooperation Council will grow to $24 billion by the end of the decade, revised figures from management consultancy A.T. Kearney have shown.

The consultancy firm had previously estimated the size of the online retail market in the six Gulf Arab countries, which include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, to grow to $20 billion by 2020, but a senior official in the firm told Zawya it has increased its estimate following a number of positive developments in the region this year. (Read the full report here).

“There was a lot of action this year,” A.T. Kearney’s senior principal Adel Belcaid told Zawya in a phone interview on Monday. “A lot of initiatives around e-commerce, Noon, Amazon… all of this is looking good for e-commerce and we decided to push our forecasts higher for a number of other positive indicators,” he added.

A.T. Kearney’s updated figures for the market value of the e-commerce sector in the six GCC countries, provided to Zawya by email, showed that the company had originally predicted 30 percent growth in the sector between 2015 and 2020. It is now forecasting growth of 35 percent for the same period. Saudi Arabia is expected to be the biggest e-commerce market in the region by 2020, overtaking the UAE.



This year saw the launch of e-commerce platform Noon.com, which is backed by Dubai billionaire Mohamed Alabbar and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund. Noon went live in the UAE in September and last week in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier in the year, global e-commerce giant Amazon bought Dubai-based internet retailer Souq.com, in a landmark deal that gave a huge boost to the e-commerce sector in the region.

Further reading:

(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Michael Fahy and Shane McGinley)
(yasmine.saleh@thomsonreuters.com)



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