E-commerce spend hits $1.15bn in UAE

Over a million consumers spend money buying products online in the past year, survey finds.

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By  Safura Rahimi Published  September 10, 2007

Internet users in the UAE have spent over $1.15 billion in e-commerce products and services over the past year, a new survey from the Arab Advisors Group revealed yesterday.

The new research estimates that the number of e-commerce consumers in the UAE's 'affluent and booming economy' - who are also spending substantially - has exceeded 1.16 million.

In the past 12 months, 51.2% of internet users in the Emirates have reported purchasing products and services online and through their mobile handsets.

"The booming economy of the UAE, its burgeoning population and wide adoption of internet, provide an ideal context for a thriving e-commerce scene. Our major survey of internet users in the UAE revealed a massive size for B2C [business-to-consumer] e-commerce in the country," said Jawad Abbassi, founder and general manager of Arab Advisors Group.

"This presents opportunities for global and regional e-commerce players to tap into this growing market."

The online survey - conducted on the general internet population, including both genders and all age groups across the UAE - received replies from over 1,100 respondents.

It covered internet usage, e-commerce and cellular usage, and habits of the internet users in the UAE.

"The majority of UAE e-commerce users make their payments through credit cards - 83.8 per cent of e-commerce users reported using credit cards as their e-commerce method of payment," Hussam Barhoush, Arab Advisors research analyst wrote in the survey report.

"Following credit cards, 31.7 per cent of e-commerce users reported using bank account transfers for their payments," he added.

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