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Eversheds comment: UAE e-commerce market expands but still obstacles to be overcome

  • United Kingdom

    04-06-2014

    According to research, the size of the Middle East’s e-commerce retail market has doubled over the course of the past two years, but the rate of growth has slowed by half as structural obstacles such as a cash-dominated economy and a shallow pool of online retailers hold back the sector. Geraldine Ahern, Principal Associate at law firm Eversheds comments:

    “The increase of e-commerce as a retail option is an exciting growth area for the UAE. A clear and consistent legislative and regulatory framework will inevitably assist this growth. Among the current obstacles are the protections afforded to registered agents under the Commercial Agencies Law and the lack of certainty over the reach of the licensing and registration requirements for overseas online stores. These obstacles may be deterring new entrants from joining the market and may be limiting the growth of the current market.

    “Once a legislative and regulatory framework has been firmly established then we can expect to see a strong growth in e-retail, particularly as this is consistent with other initiatives that are seeking to embrace e-commerce opportunities, such as the Smart City initiative.”

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