As more and more startups are being launched in the UAE, one area that has certainly grown over the past couple of years is e-commerce. The UAE is famous for its gigantic malls and festivals, however, people are starting to ride the wave of online shopping. With many retailers opening online only stores, the trend of e-commerce has hit UAE. Studies done by GulfBusiness have shown that ecommerce in the Middle East is expecting to hit $15 billion in 2015, a record high for the region, and that number will only grow over the upcoming years. The UAE is leading the way, as it is the largest ecommerce market in the Middle East. What does this mean? People are starting to accept the convenience of online shopping, and retailers are understanding that online stores are more feasible, efficient and effective.
Another trend that has been growing over the year is the increasing dependency on local online businesses. While in the past, people would turn to the likes of Amazon, Ebay and more recently Uber for services, people in the UAE have started trusting and using the local versions of those websites, and that is only motivating entrepreneurs to start launching more and more businesses locally. If we are to see a growth for startups in the Middle East, supporting our local startups is definitely the way to move.
With the UAE facilitating the opening of new stores, 2015 witnessed a massive growth in its online sites. To end the year, we will cover some of these sites:
Washmen – an online laundry app in Dubai that simplifies the process of ordering laundry collection, payment, and delivery. The app has recently been launched in Dubai, and has been expanding through different areas quiet quickly over the past couple of months.
Helpling – an online house helping service, that allows customers to schedule slots and pay online for house keeping. Booking and paying for house keeping has never been so easy, and it’s definitely one of the apps to look out for in the upcoming year.
Kembas – an online premium accessories store that has introduced unique products to the UAE market. They have introduced accessories such as fedoras and wooden bowties to the market, and are growing their variety on a weekly basis.
Moxilicious – an online store that sells 100% genuine leather moccasins and kid’s accessories manufactured here in Dubai. Started by two mothers living in the UAE, Moxilicious is another example of how online businesses open up opportunities for hard working mothers in the UAE.
We’ll be following up with these online businesses next year, but till then, we would like to wish them and other UAE startups the best of luck in the upcoming year!