Online sales will be the decisive winner during this end-of-year gifting and festive season in the UAE. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: UAE shoppers have already made up their mind - online sales will emerge a clear winner this holiday season, generating around $1.5 billion in sales. That’s against the $1 billion or so online shopping portals picked up in the last three months of 2019.

For the struggling brick-and-mortar retailers, still wobbly from getting hit with the COVID-19 fallout, this means more bad news coming their way. “The struggling offline retail market is not expected to fully recover by festive period and some of their share will go to online platforms,” says the report from RedSeer Consulting.

What’s leading the online charge? Grocery sales will have another bumper three months, contributing about 20 per cent of the $1.5 billion in online sales. (In comparison, grocery made up 9 per cent of fourth quarter sales in 2019.)

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Other categories will be hit

The latest iPhone are starting to hit local stores/portals shortly, but that in itself will not be enough to spur across-the-board demand for electronics/tech. The “category is likely to remain strong, but not as large as previous years as demand has been somewhat saturated with category-specific sales post-lockdown,” the RedSeer report notes. “Electronics will be the slowest growing category for the first time albeit on a higher base, but accessories will dominate.”

In its forecasts, electronics will generate about 38 per cent of fourth quarter sales and a fairly sizeable drop from the 46- and 47 per cent from the comparable period in 2019 and 2018.


One in three of all retail orders in the last three months will be for grocery