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© Provided by Khaleej Times UAE, Saudi Arabia to boost Mena digital economy to $100b by 2023

The size of the consumer digital economy in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) Mena region is estimated to more than double from around $40-45 billion (Dh147-165 billion) in 2020 to $100 billion (Dh367 billion) by 2023, according to a new report released by consulting firm RedSeer.

The study found that the UAE and Saudi Arabia will continue to be the pillar of the digital economy in Mena, contributing around 70 per cent of the total digital economy. Today, over 90 per cent of customers in UAE and Saudi Arabia say they bought a retail product online, higher than even some of the more developed markets where digital adoption is around 70 per cent.

The market will see growth both through consumer adoption and a higher frequency of purchases.

“Over the last decade, we have seen significant adoption of online services amongst Mena consumers. More than 60 per cent of consumers are now choosing experiential factors such as service quality, delivery speed and product description in their decision-making. As the digital economy is becoming mainstream, players will have to provide a better experience in addition to discounts to win in the digital economy race,” said Sandeep Ganediwalla, managing partner at RedSeer Consulting.

The study found that the Mena region is seeing one of the most equitable growth in the world. “A strong online omnichannel player ecosystem has successfully gained consumer trust. On the other hand, supportive policies in UAE enable the ecosystem to attract the right talent and retain it,” said the report.