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‘Dubai CommerCity’ showcases region-wide progress in e-commerce sector at Seamless 2020

Experts from Dubai CommerCity, DCC

Dubai–Experts from Dubai CommerCity, DCC, the first dedicated e-commerce free zone in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, MEASA, joined retailers, leaders, and industry specialists in the e-commerce industry at Seamless Middle East 2020.

They discussed market disruptors, top industry trends, and technologies on which the marketplace of the future will operate.

Built on 20 years of history, Seamless 2020 brought together the regional payments, banking, and fintech ecosystem to establish connections from all over the Middle East. The event also showcased a wide array of curated content from those innovating and disrupting the commerce industry.

Representatives from the DCC discussed how post-pandemic consumer behavior is redefining the retail landscape and the requirements for setting up and expanding e-commerce business in the Middle East. The spokespersons also showcased how countries in the region are understanding and applying the diverse range of technology platforms at their disposal, accommodating greater collaboration across geographies and developing e-commerce initiatives and infrastructure, all while operating with pre-emptive positioning in mind.

Amna Lootah, Board Member at the DCC said, “In recent years, we have witnessed e-commerce offer unprecedented opportunities to businesses across the region. Now more than ever, many companies require the process of initiating and doing trade to be a lot easier, faster, and more accessible. Since then, the role of e-commerce has expanded and offered several solutions as region-wide progress is being deployed to address the critical issues that have surfaced throughout the past few months.

“Dubai’s existing infrastructure has ensured the emirate’s readiness to cope with economic and societal implications of the pandemic. Dubai is also continually deploying initiatives to ensure foreign investments remains a top priority even after the pandemic subsides.”

During the event, deVere Forster, Chief Operating Officer at the DCC, gave a presentation on the evolution and future of e-commerce in the region. Forster highlighted that the region has witnessed exponential growth with the market size growing at the rate of 32 per cent in the GCC region over the past five years, according to Statista.

Forster highlighted that for a large section of the population, COVID-19 provided an ideal opportunity to re-evaluate their current lifestyle choices and make adjustments. As such, there has been an increased preference for online shopping and “buy online and pick up”, BOPIS, with total sales of e-grocery doubling in the UAE, according to McKinsey.

To meet the evolving customer demands, Seamless 2020 showcased several trends in the e-commerce sector including the region’s expertise in digital innovation from alternative payments and digital identity to e-logistics, cloud infrastructure and e-commerce platforms.

According to Forster, there have been local strides to look beyond borders with Dubai Customs launching its Cross Border e-Commerce platform to help the emirate become a global hub for e-commerce and encourage e-commerce companies to set up their businesses in Dubai. The initiative is expected to contribute AED12 billion to the emirate’s GDP by 2023.

The e-commerce market in the Gulf Cooperation Council and MEASA region inhibits exponential growth opportunities as the e-market in the Middle East and Africa is expected to grow by 20 per cent to reach US$26 billion in 2022, which outpaces the global growth of 13 per cent.

Dubai CommerCity is the first and only free zone dedicated to the growing e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa region. It is an investment of AE-WAM

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