Arab world must boost e-commerce, digitisation, says Emaar's Alabbar

Emaar chairman says region must become producers not consumers of digital content
Arab world must boost e-commerce, digitisation, says Emaar's Alabbar
By Sarah Townsend
Tue 28 Jun 2016 01:59 PM

The Arab world must do more to capitalise on the digital revolution, Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar has warned.

In a lecture on digitisation hosted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Alabbar urged Arab nations to become producers, not just consumers, of digital content.

He said the UAE was “way ahead” of other Arab countries because it had embedded digitisation into education, legislation and infrastructure, according to state news agency WAM.

“The UAE has made huge progress in this field and is way ahead of other Arab countries, thanks to the wise policy pursued by the wise leaders,” Alabbar said.

He noted that an e-commerce, banking and logistics corporation will be launched in the UAE by the end of this year, but said more needed to be done to boost e-commerce trade.

“The overall commercial value of trade in the country was AED600 billion and only a small portion of this is traded online,” The National quoted Alabbar as saying.

“Those numbers are really low and we need to get into the opportunities that the digital revolution is providing.”

He added: “Huge global companies collect and aggregate data about our purchase patterns, eating habits, beliefs, friends and financials. Over time they do a significantly better job than us at targeting our own consumers.”

Alabbar’s lecture, ‘Digitisation: Where Do We Stand?’ is the sixth in a series of lectures hosted by the majlis of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed during Ramadan.

For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.