The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is known for its world class malls and state of the art facilities provided in the same. The E-commerce business while already thriving got a big boost during this pandemic when people relied on online platforms for even grocery shopping. Despite having the best shopping malls, many companies in the UAE are expanding their e-commerce platforms for reaching wider markets. Online marketplaces were predicted to grow even pre-COVID times, but with the pandemic, there has been an acceleration in the growth of this sector. Both big and small business are now more focused on setting up at least a part of their business online.

Why set up e-commerce business in the UAE?

The UAE is the fastest growing ecommerce market in the MENA region. The Infrastructure, Transportation and Logistics in the UAE are one of the best in the world. In World Bank’s “Doing Business 2020” report the UAE has been ranked 16th in the ease of doing business category beating countries like Canada and Germany. Free Trade Zones (FTZ) offer benefits like 100% business ownership and capital repatriation and 0% corporate taxes. In terms of the legal requirements, the UAE allows for e-commerce businesses to operate easily. The UAE is welcoming, and the work culture here is smooth. Thus, setting up any business here is much easier than in other countries.




Steps to set up an e-commerce business in Dubai:


The procedure for applying for a license in Dubai is swift and easy. The first step is to decide which legal entity is suitable for your respective business.  Next, you need to select the location where you want to get your license from- i.e. Free Zone or Mainland.

Website and payment gateway:

It is important to have a stable and user-friendly website, along with a name for the business via which the company will be registered and which will be unique to your company.

Payment gateway should be integrated for smooth payment functions, and to enable secure flow of money from consumer to business and vice versa. The UAE’s Federal Law No. (1) of 2006 on Electronic Commerce was passed to facilitate and promote electronic transactions by ensuring their legal effectiveness. This law served the purpose of minimizing the forgery of electronic communication and financial transactions. This led to a boost for the e-commerce sector which needed such assurances for the consumer confidence. Every E-commerce business requires secure online payment gateway to transact through plastic money (credit or debit card) or other online modes of payment.

The primary regulatory body responsible for regulating electronic transactions and commerce in the UAE is the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). 


Another important feature of an e-commerce business is logistics. For logistics, you have the option to collaborate with a logistics company, which will be easier and more economical than setting up your own logistics company. There are numerous logistic providers available in the UAE and each have their own fee structure, therefore, it is important to compare and select the type best suited for your business structure.


For more information please feel free to contact – 

Thomas Paoletti 

Fauzia Khan 

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