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UAE shoppers digital spending ways were altered during the Covid phase and they have remained well in place ever since. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: A third of UAE consumers use a smartphone or tablet at least once in a week to shop for a product or service.

And that, according to a top official at Dubai Chambers, is ‘above the average globally of weekly online purchases’. “Mobile retail sales are expected to record a compound annual growth of 15.6 per cent between 2022-26 to reach $4.6 billion,” in the UAE, said Mohammed Ali Bin Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers.

The UAE’s e-commerce market is forecasted to hit $9.2 billion by 2026, while the category’s share of total retail sales is projected to reach 12.6 per cent the same year. Total e-commerce sales in the UAE recorded remarkable growth in 2021, to be $4.8 billion compared to $2.6 billion in 2019. The changes in consumer behavior during the peak-Covid phase had lots to do with the increased frequency and also a much wider base of online buyers than was the case before 2020. This was also the phase during which digital payment ways gained over cash.

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“As the world came out of the pandemic, UAE and Dubai found ourselves at the dawn of a new era in retail with a very sharp rise in consumer spending and behavior,” said Lootah, who was speaking at the opening of The Retail Summit.

“Driven by activity in several key sectors, including retail, Dubai’s economy rebounded in 2022. The economy expanded by 4.6 per cent in the first nine months of 2022, reaching Dh307 billion. At least 24.1 per cent of it was via sales and retail.”