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UAE to see over 12% rise in digital trade by 2028

The UAE achieved the third-highest level in terms of digital trade in the world by the end of 2022, research shows.

UAE to see over 12% rise in digital trade by 2028
[Source photo: Krishna Prasad/Fast Company Middle East]

Between 2023 and 2028, the UAE can expect to experience growth in digital trade activities at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.3%. 

The research, conducted by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy, showed that more than 40% of UAE consumers steered towards buy now, pay later (BNPL) options and fintech digital technology systems.

The paper notes that digital trade is gaining remarkable growth in Abu Dhabi. This aligns with the emirates’ goal to enhance the private sector’s contribution to the local economy through innovation and digitization and strengthen its position as a leading destination for business and talent in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by 2025.

Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi, CEO of ADCCI, said the new research paper aligns with the Chamber’s strategy for digital transformation, which aims to attract talent and expertise, explore technological solutions, and integrate advanced AI technologies and tools, such as Microsoft Copilot, into the current operational system at the Abu Dhabi Chamber. 

“This integration is intended to boost productivity, improve the completion of daily tasks, increase customer satisfaction, and support the efforts of local and global businessmen and entrepreneurs,” he added.

The paper also touches on new e-commerce practices shaping the current digital payments ecosystem, highlighting the increase in commercial companies engaging in cross-border exchange of goods, services, and data through modern technologies. Between 2022 and 2023, the number of registered e-commerce companies in Abu Dhabi increased by 12%.

Meanwhile, the total value of the digital trade market in the MENA region is projected to increase to about $57 billion by 2026, with total digital trade rising from 5.7% in 2022 to 8.3% in 2026.

In 2024, 20.1% of global retail purchases will be completed online, while digital retail activity is expected to make up nearly 25% of global sales by 2027.

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