Dubai: E-Commerce will be a megatrend for businesses in the UAE, and it is expected to be valued at $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) by 2018, according to Sarwant Singh, Senior partner and head of visionary innovation group at Frost& Sullivan.

“Although selling online in the UAE has the lowest percentage of online purchase world wide, e-Commerce will be growing as a main megatrend for businesses across the UAE,” he said in a special interview with Gulf News on the sideline of 5th GIL 2014: Middle East, The Global Community of Growth, Innovation, and Leadership, held by Frost & Sullivan in Dubai, which held by Frost & Sullivan in Dubai on Wednesday.

Currently the total value of e-commerce in the UAE is estimated at $2.5 billion (Dh9.2 billion), but this is expected to accelerate and create new businesses and job opportunities, Sarwant said.

“It is the fastest growing business in the UAE,” he said. A megatrend as a trend which is global and has transformative change not just to business but to culture and society as well, Sarwant added.

“This transformation will affect the market by creating new business models like break and click, click and collect, click and deliver, click and fit.”

“Al these are serious and profitable business models which can change the lives of people,” he said.


Sarwant said that there are number of reason behind the immaturity of e-Commerce business in the UAE.

“There are very big shopping malls in the UAE as well as connectivity just starting to happen. These two factors have slowed down the performance of this business,” he said.

“It is a matter of time ... and [the] initiative to transform Dubai into a smart government and smart city will definitely accelerate e-Commerce,” he said.

He also said that connectivity is another megatrend, which will be revealed across the emirates in the coming years driven by the rapid proliferation of connected devices and services. It will have a direct impact on health care, IT (information technology), logistics, media and entertainment as well as banking and financial services.

“Demand for health care in the UAE is expected to demonstrate drastic growth driven by a rapidly growing population, rising income levels, increased insurance penetration and an increased prevalence of lifestyle related diseases,” Sarwant said.


Aroop Zutshi, Global president and managing partner of Frost & Sullivan, said that innovation is an essential ingredient if future business is to thrive.

“The region is poised for social change, which combined with a need to grow globally, is increasing pressures on companies based in the Middle East to innovate in new exciting ways.”

He added that while the UAE is behind the curve on innovation, “Innovation is a critical to maintain the current success across the emirates and companies are at the precipice of change.”

A new trend of innovation will create widespread disruption, collapsing industries and transforming space to give context to the opportunities ahead for growth, Zutshi said.