MENA is the fastest growing e-commerce region


Visa announced the launch of an in-depth study of the rapidly-growing e-commerce market across the Middle East and North Africa [MENA] region.

The comprehensive study, part of Visa’s ongoing e-commerce drive, is the first-of-its-kind report in the region that provides a worldwide comparison of key markets and is set to play a major part in benchmarking the e-commerce performance and the future growth potential across MENA.

Based on 2012 data, this 2013 IMRG report reveals that the MENA region represents the fastest growing e-commerce region worldwide with an estimated 45% year-on-year increase [$10bn in 2011 to $15bn in 2012].

A lack of available information and market data has prevented businesses and government from effectively evaluating the potential for e-commerce growth and development in the region.

The decision to commission this report enforces Visa’s mandate to build e-commerce in the region and will identify current levels of e-commerce performance and potential by assessing the breadth of existing research undertaken in the region.

The report is available to businesses and the government to help them understand the significant trends in the region and plan their e-commerce strategies – an important area of focus as internet usage in the region has grown by a staggering 1,500 % since 2000, up from 1.2 million users in 2000 to 18.7 million in 2010.

Ihab Ayoub, Visa General Manager for Middle East and North Africa, said: “E-commerce is one of the key drivers for the economy in today’s closely connected global environment, and is rapidly expanding here in the GCC.But rapid growth also means that both individuals and business organisations will have a natural level of concern about the security of online transactions.

“However, with trusted payment platforms like Visa,we provide our customers with a secured payment system that ensures their trust and confidence to use their Visa cards online for a convenient way to shop that benefits them and retailers.We are delighted to announce this new report to provide the private and public sector in the MENA region with a detailed and robustly researched overview of the e-commerce environment.”

Ayoub added: “Visa has been a pioneer in e-commerce and has always strived to make it safe, reliable and convenient. Through initiatives such as this, Visa is continuing to support and drive the e-commerce industry across the Middle East.”

John Andrews, Chairman and CEO of IORMA said, “With a relatively young, technology aware population and a modern telecommunications infrastructure, the MENA region has a powerful opportunity to take a leading position concerning e-commerce regionally, and internationally.

“By establishing itself as a leading player in e-commerce; and when combined with the corresponding accelerating trends relating to Multi/Omni-channel retailing and online marketing via social networks, and when also aligned to secure payment systems provided by Visa; this will all undoubtedly position the MENA region to benefit economically as digital economies become ever more pre-eminent in the future. This report clearly demonstrates the strong retailing and broader economic opportunities that lay ahead for the MENA region.”

Ayaz Maqbool, Managing Director of, the region’s first online shopping mall and the local e-commerce partner for Visa, said: “The region has witnessed a significant increase in internet usage and it comes as no surprise that the internet is quickly becoming the cornerstone for business and communication. This in-depth study will go a long way in shedding light on the emerging trends on e-commerce across the region and beyond.”


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