Dubai & Noon.com Partner on Mahali, a New Program Promoting Emirati Ecommerce Businesses

The partnership, announced in early September, is a move by both parties to capitalize on the surge of online shopping witnessed since the outbreak of the pandemic early on in the year.
Carolyne Njeri

Carolyne Njeri

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Ecommerce platform Noon, has entered into a partnership program with the Dubai government to support upcoming e-commerce businesses in the UAE.

The partnership, announced in early September, is a move by both parties to capitalize on the surge of online shopping witnessed since the outbreak of the pandemic early on in the year. According to a study by Google and Bain & Company, the Emirati e-commerce sector was expected to grow by 28% annually to $28.5 billion up from $8.3 billion by 2022. But these numbers are expected to skyrocket now that working from home has led to a momentous shift in shopping habits in favor of e-commerce. Another survey conducted jointly by The Dubai Police, Visa and Dubai Economy in June showed that 68% of shoppers preferred online stores to physical ones. This was in response to the strict measures imposed by governments to stem the spread of the disease.

From the partnership, online business owners with DED Trader licences will benefit from content creation services, expert business advice, sales analytics as well as marketing support. Additionally, startups owned by Emirati nationals will have the chance to connect with customers throughout the country on Noon’s online store, Mahali. 

“We will be offering immediate access to our huge consumer database as well as tools such as Noon’s safe payment gateway and established logistics and fulfilment network. Mahali will be a practical program with tailor-made courses designed to help small business owners and entrepreneurs thrive,” said Mansoor Al Ghurair, an executive at Noon.

In his statement on Tuesday, Mr Omar Al Meheiri, a Director in the Department of Business Registration and Licensing, said that the program was formulated to provide local startups with the resources they required to be able to perform their business activities online and accelerate their rate of growth.

Due to the meteoric rise in online shopping, Dubai issued DED licenses to 1,947 new businesses in the first half of 2020. This was a marked increase from the 1,064 licences issued in 2019 within the same period – an 83% rise. The National also reported that since the inception of the DED Trader licences for online businesses in 2017, 7,798 licences have been issued, with 58% of them being granted to women.

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