With Dubai’s growing popularity as an e-commerce hub in the region coupled with robust consumer spending across the Middle East, the emirate’s prompt response to these trends has led to the adoption of the Dubai E-commerce Strategy. In line with its efforts to support and further promote awareness about the strategy, the Dubai Free Zone Council (DFZC) announced that it be participating as Strategic Partner of Seamless Middle East 2020, the region’s multi-brand exhibition covering payments, fintech, e-commerce, retail, insurtech, and identity.
Seamless Middle East, now on its 20th year, is one of the largest and longest running global fintech and e-commerce industry events, expecting more than 12,000 participants from around the world. It is set to bring over 500 exhibitors and speakers to showcase and discuss the latest innovation in these industries and related fields. The event will take place at the Dubai Trade Centre, Dubai on March 25-26, 2020.
With Dubai emerging as a leading hub for many online and e-commerce startups which have successfully won the support of global investors, DFZC seeks to further strengthen the emirate’s position as a regional driver of sustainable economic growth, as well as a pioneer for forecasting the future in various fields through innovation and technology. It led the preparation of the Dubai E-commerce Strategy, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council in September 2019.
Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Secretary General of DFZC, said: “Dubai Free Zone Council has always placed its support to the growth of e-commerce from the policy level and in various initiatives that promote its growth. Seamless Middle East 2020 presents an essential platform for regional and global companies to know more about Dubai’s strategic advantages as a global logistics hub for e-commerce. The opportunities are huge as we have witnessed in the successes of homegrown e-commerce brands that have now global presence.”
Dr. Al Zarooni emphasized the importance of supporting the Dubai E-commerce Strategy, as it is part of its role to represent and promote the various offerings of free zone members, which are highly supportive of the ever-growing e-commerce sector. He noted that with Dubai’s excellent connectivity and world-class infrastructure, the emirate continues to play a leading role as hub and gateway for multinational companies, SMEs and startups, facilitating trade movements between the east and the west.
The Dubai E-commerce Strategy targets to make Dubai’s solid foundation as a global logistics hub work for e-commerce and provide the best opportunities for the sector to further flourish in the emirate and the region. E-commerce is projected to contribute AED 12 billion to the local GDP by 2023 and is poised to attract more foreign direct investments into the sector.
The strategy eyes to boost the market share of Dubai firms in terms of local and regional distribution up to AED 24 billion by 2022. This will be achieved through policies that cut the cost of engaging in e-commerce business by 20 per cent. Some of these costs include cost of storage, customs fees, VAT and transport, among others. In addition, it aims to reduce the processes required for customs clearance and reduces the fees imposed on goods passing through the free zone.
“Fintech and eCommerce are two of the hottest topics globally as they challenge and disrupt traditional ways of doing business. Driven by a new tech-savvy consumer and exciting business opportunity are being created daily and the Middle East and Africa are moving at an unprecedented pace. It was fantastic to hear the recent announcements of the Executive Council which is being driven by many government stakeholders including the Dubai Free Zone Council, and with the synergies that and vision that we both share made this partnership an obvious match. With hundreds of new exhibitors and over 400+ start-ups, many of whom it will be their first time in Dubai, we are committed to providing a platform to discover the latest services and innovations needed to stay ahead in the industry and to ultimately support the regional economy,” said Joseph Ridley, General Manager of Seamless Middle East at Terrapinn.
Since its inception in 2015, DFZC has been working towards establishing supportive regulations and ecosystems with local, regional and international bodies and regulators. It also enables council members to share leading best practices in free zone management to enhance their position as a leading global destination for investment and key contributor to Dubai’s overall growth.
The Council continues to leverage leading experiences in implementing major initiatives that contribute to the emirate’s adoption of new economic trends such as green economy and sharing economy, among others. It plays a key role in exploring new opportunities for the emirate by studying new operational frameworks that align with Dubai’s goal of achieving a sustainable economy.