Middle East’s digital ecosystem

Set for growth
whitepaper

The total number of mobile subscriptions in the Middle East increased by 8m in 2018 to reach 304.5m. And in this time, the total number of internet users in the region increased by 18m to 182m. The e-commerce sector, in particular, is on track to register particularly strong growth. Cumulatively, the MENA region accounts for four million unique online shoppers – travel is the most popular e-commerce category followed by electronics and fashion. In only three years, a tenfold growth is expected in this segment – from US$20bn in 2017 to US$200bn in 2020.

The total number of mobile subscriptions in the Middle East increased by 8m in 2018 to reach 304.5m. And in this time, the total number of internet users in the region increased by 18m to 182m. The e-commerce sector, in particular, is on track to register particularly strong growth. Cumulatively, the MENA region accounts for four million unique online shoppers – travel is the most popular e-commerce category followed by electronics and fashion. In only three years, a tenfold growth is expected in this segment – from US$20bn in 2017 to US$200bn in 2020.

Google Pay was launched in the UAE in November 2018, providing a fillip to contactless payments among Android phone users. The region is also seeing its share of innovative partnerships emanating from macro trends from outside of the region.

if the Middle East can establish a unified digital market by 2025 – potentially of 160m digital users – it could contribute 3.8% annually to the region’s GDP.