UAE remains the fastest-growing e-commerce market in MENA, with e-commerce transactions to reach total $16bn by the end of 2019

Dubai Economy and Visa have conducted a joint study and revealed that e-commerce transactions in the UAE are expected to reach a total of $16 billion (Dh59bn) by the end of 2019 and are predicted to grow 23 percent annually between 2018 and 2022.

According to the report, the UAE has the fastest growing e-commerce market in the MENA region. The study also covered countries outside the region such as Canada, US, UK, Sweden, Singapore and Australia, along with emerging markets like South Africa, Malaysia and Brazil.

"By growing the e-commerce sector in the UAE, there is a tremendous opportunity to drive economic growth and extend the benefits of digital payments to residents and businesses in the country," said Marcello Baricordi, Visa's general manager for the Mena region.

Another earlier study conducted by Visa stated that the online retail market of the UAE has developed, with nearly two-thirds of small retailers in the Emirates reporting higher revenues after accepting digital payments. Indeed, global giants like Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Apple Pay have played a vital role in increasing the use of mobile wallets in the UAE, along with local organizations like Etisalat Wallet, Beam Wallet and local banks.

According to a report from TechSci Research in the US, the UAE’s mobile wallet market will grow at a compound growth rate of 24 percent and will reach $2.3 billion by 2022. Cashless payments and digital commerce are among the top priorities of the Vision 2021 and the Smart Government initiative aims to turn the country into a cashless society by 2020.

The latest Visa study has also shown that e-commerce penetration in the UAE overcame MENA and GCC averages, with 4.2 percent of total sales. On the other hand, MENA and GCC averages were 1.9 and 3 percent accordingly.

According to The National, the higher growth numbers were fueled by higher internet penetration, a younger population eager to embrace tech-driven solutions, and an advanced digital infrastructure.

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