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Sat 17 Dec 2016 01:00 AM

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UAE online spending forecast to hit $8.98bn by 2018

Research says 48% of UAE online shoppers plan to spend more online in the next 12 months

UAE online spending forecast to hit $8.98bn by 2018

Overall online spending continues to grow in the UAE and is forecast to reach AED33 billion ($8.98 billion) by 2018, according to new research by PayPal and Ipsos.

The research revealed that 68 percent of online adults in UAE shopped online in the past 12 months, up from 63 percent in 2015.

The increase in online spending is also forecast to continue, with almost half of online adults surveyed (48 percent) saying they will increase their online spending in the next 12 months, citing convenience of shopping online.

The report, which investigated the online domestic and cross-border shopping habits of more than 28,000 consumers in 32 countries, named the Middle East as one of the regions with the highest incidence of cross-border online shoppers, with 46 percent of UAE consumers saying they have purchased goods from overseas companies.  

The research showed that travel and transportation was the most common cross-border purchase category in the UAE in the past 12 months, while a third of cross-border shoppers purchased event tickets. 

The US was the most popular cross-border online shopping destination for UAE shoppers who spent an estimated AED 2.4 billion on purchases from US websites in the past 12 months, followed by India and China.

The main drivers for UAE online shoppers to buy cross-border online are having a secure way to pay, free shipping and proof of product authenticity, the research said.

It added that with high rates of mobile penetration in the UAE, online shoppers are increasingly opting to make purchases on their mobile devices – resulting in an estimated 29 percent growth in mobile spend between 2015 and 2016 to reach close to AED10 billion. 

“The UAE’s commerce revolution is well underway, and backed by the country’s diverse and truly global population and high mobile penetration rates, consumers are looking internationally to source their favorite products and services – ranking themselves in the top three countries making cross-border purchases from a mobile device,” said Kivanç Onan, senior regional director, PayPal Middle-East and North Africa.

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