How to Start E-Commerce Business in Dubai?

How to Start E-Commerce Business in Dubai?


We all know that the UAE's ultra-modern city of Dubai has increased internet and smartphone penetration rates. A survey by MasterCard says that, the UAE is leading the e-commerce revolution in the Middle East with five in 10 people shopping for goods and services on the Internet. That's not all; Paypal too states that the adoption of mobile e-commerce in the UAE is second only to China, with close to 60 per cent of UAE users buying something with their smartphones in the past 12 months. This growing adoption of smartphones for shopping has forced many businesses to upsurge their online footprint by creating websites and mobile applications with the help of top Ecommerce development companies.

Introduction to ecommerce in Dubai

Dubai has all the attributes required for starting up an ecommerce business starting from tech savvy population, scope of expansion, infrastructure and other advantages.  With the largest and fastest growing economy of Dubai, It is sure that ecommerce will flourish here. A stat says that about 46% of Dubai's population engages in online shopping on a regular basis. 

There are a lot of benefits Dubai is offering online businesses.  A recent report by World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business" has UAE in the 34th rank in the world and this rank is predicted to improve over the years.

To register a business in Dubai and the UAE, it takes about 8 days compared to 20 days in Middle East. Starting a business in UAE is an easy and efficient process which will reap lucrative benefits.

In order to find success in ecommerce in Dubai you will have to establish trust in online payment modes. More than 75% of the payments are made by Cash on delivery and more than 85% paid using their bank cards. An additional survey reported that online shoppers in Dubai prefer free delivery options over paid delivery. 

Hence your ecommerce business can thrive in the Dubai soil if you offer "cash on delivery" and bank card payment method, free delivery charges and discount coupons. 

Related: Essential Tips for Ecommerce Website Design

Your guide to start an E-commerce business in UAE

Like any other country, UAE also follows some regulations and guidelines for businesses to start with ecommerce. Let us see the steps required to start a business in UAE. 

  1. Create a License:

To formulate a web-based company, it is necessary to procure license from the Department of Economic Development. In case you setup the business in a Freezone, then a license from a free zone authority is mandatory. Your license will vary Based on the type of your online business. Once you establish a company then you will not require licenses further.  

  1. Need For Physical Office Space:

Even though you are planning to start an online aka virtual business, it Is necessary to have a physical office setup if you are a Dubai-based organization. Hence depending on the type of business, it is necessary for you to setup a physical office.

  1. Web App Development:

Since you are starting an ecommerce business, it is necessary to develop an ecommerce website. A website is going to be the face of your store and brand; hence it is necessary for you to develop a good ecommerce website so that it will become one of the Top ecommerce sites in the market. In order to accomplish this, it is necessary to entrust this crucial task to top Ecommerce development companies. You can create a list of e commerce companies and pick the biggest e commerce companies from it to deliver best website and mobile applications for you. Care to choose the company based on its Ecommerce development companies' reviews. 

  • Domain Name Registration:

Domain name is the unique address of your website that takes the users to your website's homepage. This has to be meaningful and relevant to your company and product. This is a very important step to establish your website.

  • Online Payment Gateways:

Setting up Secure Payment Gateway Options for online payment is indispensible to gain trust from your users. Make sure to include all types of payment methods ranging from credit card payment, cash on delivery, CashU, PayPal and mobile wallet and much more. Cash on delivery remains to be the most popular payment method among shoppers in Middle East and hence make sure that you cover all the scopes for it.

  • Import/export Registration:

Relevant registration with the emirate's ports and customs authority should be done inorder to import goods/ products from abroad and selling it on the site. A code will be assigned to your business and customs duty will be charged for the imported goods. Free Zone companies are excused from customs duty charges.

Once you have followed these steps, the last and crucial step is to import your offline products and categories to your online store.  

Ecommerce set up in UAE / Dubai

  1. Research 

Once you have registered the struggle doesn't end there, it is time to decide upon a business that will best suit your audience. An extensive market research should be conducted on what you are going to offer and how differently you are going to do that. For this it is necessary to watch market trends in your locality.

Decide on your product, your brand and an excellent marketing strategy to pave a path towards success.

  1. Find the Right Vendors for Your Product

If you are planning to source products then it is best to use famous e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Alibaba. You can use these websites to find suppliers for a number of products according to your requirements easily.

  1. Be Prepared

Once you have zeroed down your product and supplier/ manufacturer, the next step would be to create a business plan and research your industry thoroughly. IF you rightly research and put the pieces together, you can easily formulate a business plan and a roadmap.

  1. Set Up Your ecommerce Website

After you formulate your plan, consult an agency that offers you the Top ecommerce companies in Middle East or international e commerce companies to entrust the task. Care should be taken to choose the best ecommerce development company as your website is the heart and soul of your business. Only a great website with good coding and web design can take an ecommerce website to success.

  1. Choose a Right Marketing strategy 

Once your ecommerce website is done, It is necessary to get it to the knowledge of your target crowd.

Driving traffic to your website is necessary to see profit. Research on what influences your customers the most to buy your product and develop a marketing strategy based on it. Create a sales funnel to increase conversion in your ecommerce site.

  1. Choose the Right Software 

Choose the right software to support your business. Get to use tools for some effective customer relationship management, accounting project management, email marketing software to make your mundane tasks easier and simplified. Moving to cloud services will help you reap these benefits as it contains software's that aids in ecommerce development and also saves you from data loss and website downtime. 

Related: 12 Must Have Pages on Your Ecommerce Site

Dubai economy for ecommerce business set up

Dubai economy is great for a business setup. There are a lot of businesses that have flourished in Dubai. When it comes to E-Commerce, Dubai Economy and online retailer Noon have signed a partnership in order to promote e-commerce among Dubai-based companies. They will be joining hands to enhance service standards, update e-commerce laws and regulations, to promote consumer happiness as well as business growth with latest technology advancements. Dubai Economy is striving to enhance ease of business by improving work quality, coordination between the public and private sectors and services provided to the business community to international standards. They have launched a lot of initiatives to promote startups and medium sized organizations.

The UAE government has also joined forces with organisations like Economic Zones World or EZW and MasterCard for setting up the world's first ecommerce hub named Matajircom, which offers duty free goods. This is made possible by Dubai Customs' cooperation. Matarjircom provides a lot of facilities for setting up and expanding your ecommerce business other than simple business management too. 

Another great consideration to set up an ecommerce business in Dubai is the existence of secure and trusted online payment gateways like PayFort and PayPal. PayFort caters particularly to the Middle East region, which makes it a great choice for B2C businesses who wish to reach out to Middle East online shoppers. 

Top 10 Ecommerce Websites in Dubai

Here is a list of popular ecommerce websites that has driven the best traffic in the UAE in 2016, 


How eDesk HUB helps

Of all these processes, creating a website may seem easy since it is to be outsourced to an ecommerce development company. But there are times when website development will not go as planned and you might end up getting a different product all together which was completely different from your vision of your website. Finding one good web development company from a pool of companies would be a tedious task altogether. Hence you will have to make e commerce companies list by reading reviews and shortlisting from them. 

The simplest way for this would be to just click on our assisted service page and give us your project requirements and we  will help you in creating an RFP for your project. You can find the Top ecommerce companies in Middle East with their reviews in our website and choose a professional web design company according to your requirements and budget. Choosing a company in Middle East or Dubai will keep you close to client location and help you monitor your website development progress. 


Setting up an ecommerce business is a tedious and challenging task undoubtedly. Care should be taken when it comes to choosing the product for your website and logistics, payment modes etc. But better knowledge on what to do and planning will reduce the herculean task to an extent.

With a lot of competition in ecommerce business in Dubai, it is always the best to provide more options for products to your customers and ensure that your product is of high quality.

Our assisted services will help you in making the right decision, share your Project specifications with our Assisted Service Team and we will find the perfect company for you as per your need & requirement and You finalize and work with the chosen IT Company.