By Staff writer
First five months saw a 300% increase in consumer demand for e-commerce services in the UAE
A shift in consumer buying habits saw a double-digit growth in e-commerce businesses operating from Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza).
New stats released by Jafza revealed at 10.6% increase in the retail and e-commerce sector with a total trade value of AED37.6 billion.
"The e-commerce business sector was issued the highest number of licences in the UAE, during May 2020. The first five months saw a 300% increase in consumer demand for e-commerce services,” said Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and managing director, DP World, UAE Region and CEO of Jafza.
"The recent pandemic has caused a shift in consumer buying habits, a behaviour that impacted a positive outcome proving that the internet is the major catalyst in shaping human lives and digital profiles,” he added.
Muallem said DP World has introduced Manasah, an online platform targeting retail in the UAE and the Digital Freight Alliance with its global imprint, an internet marketplace for small- to medium-sized enterprises.
“We are working closely with these retailers to help transfer their stores into online platforms,” he said.
“Further studies need to be done to evaluate and plan a rebound of the economy keeping in mind that online shopping is a natural progression and is now a part of nearly every consumer’s life. We see greater importance on technology-enabled solutions as well to ensure safety across the supply chain."
Jafza said more than 1,000 companies in retail and general trading sector from 96 countries are based in the freezone, employing 10,000 personnel.
In a geographical breakdown, 39% are from the Middle East, 30% from Asia, 15% from Europe, nine percent from North America, seven percent from Africa and one percent from Oceania.
Jafza recently announced the ‘Jafza Customer Support Initiative’ with a 50 to 70% reduction in registration, licencing and related administration functions fees, which includes new investors.