Historically, the MENA region has been one of the least likely to adopt e-commerce. The continued strength of traditional bricks and mortar retail, coupled with preferences for cash on delivery and in-person relationships with sellers, has meant that online shopping has not been as popular as in many other regions around the world.
However, that picture had already begun to alter before the pandemic, with the coronavirus crisis acting as a further catalyst for change. As a result, last year the consultancy firm Kearney revised its predictions for the e-commerce market in the Gulf region (GCC) from $21bn in 2020 to $24 billion. By 2025, they estimate the market in this part of the Middle East will have doubled to $50 billion per year.