Dubai has largely been known for its malls and the brick and mortar business, but in recent years it is moving at a fast pace to become an e-commerce destination.
As per a recent study, UAE has a higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than Switzerland and 36% of these are 20 – 34 years old having a high disposable income. Consumers here have always enjoyed high end shopping destination like the glitzy malls. These are also tech savvy, and these are the customers many ecommerce businesses are targeting. UAE also has another advantage of being well a connected country in terms of net connectivity and smart phone users.
Many success stores have emerged from the e-commerce business here, the most famous being Souq, a Dubai based startup company who were recently acquired by Amazon. UAE’s largest property developer Emaar with projects like Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall have thrown their hat into this market with the launch of their own online shopping portal.
Aside from these big players, there have been many small startups who are setting up their own online businesses in Dubai. Most of these are based of the free zone and using methods like drop shipping to keep the operating cost low.
In order to setup such a business you can go for either an e-commerce license or a regular trading company. E-commerce license does not relegate to just doing trading and any kind of online trading or services can be conducted under this license.
You would need a corporate account, merchant account and payment gateway to handle these online transactions. The payment gateway provider will be able to integrate your website with the merchant account and your bank account.
UAE has regulated how these goods must be advertised and one must adhere to this when conducting online business. This of course addresses businesses based out of UAE only.
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