In’s third annual report on digital transformation in MENA for 2022, it found that e-commerce in the UAE had settled into a stable high growth era. The report states that consumers in the UAE are turning to their digital devices and spending more time and money online. Even payment methods are evolving in the UAE with more turning to crypto and digital wallets.

The report confirms that 42 percent of 18-40 year olds in the UAE have held digital assets such as crypto, stablecoins and NFTs, and 59 percent of 18-40 year olds would like to be able to pay for goods and services in crypto or stablecoins in the next 12 months. 

The digital transformation in MENA 2022 report draws insights from a regional survey which polled more than 15,500 consumers in August 2022 in the UAE, KSA, Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Pakistan.

96 percent of UAE consumers now shop ecommerce, an increase from 89% from last year. This comes as a testament to the continued consumer demand of the flexibility and comfort to shop online.

According to the report, 4 in 10 consumers in UAE shopped online weekly or more frequently in 2022. Moreover, the eCommerce market in the UAE is expected to grow further over the next 12 months with 80% of UAE consumers saying they will maintain or increase their current level of ecommerce spending into 2023.

75 percent of consumers in UAE cite a digital payment method as their preferred payment option for ecommerce, a near doubling in the popularity of digital wallets compared to figures from 2021.

Moreover, 45% of consumers in the UAE say they used BNPL in the last 12 months, an increase from just 21% who used it the year before, this number is expected to surge further with an additional 27% planning to use BNPL in the coming 12 months.

Preference for social commerce in the UAE more than doubled, reaching 16%. Regionally, 20% of consumers in MENA say they most frequently shop ecommerce in a social media channel which represents a 43% growth in the past 24 months.

Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, Senior Vice President for MENA at, stated,  “The report validates our conclusions from last year – that the UAE’s eCommerce and digital payment ecosystem is growing rapidly. The UAE is one of the most connected societies in the region and consumers here have achieved a high level of maturity when it comes to eCommerce, they are at the top of eCommerce usage in the region and globally.”

He adds, “Additionally, the growing trust in online payments by shoppers means the digital transformation of the region’s retail sector is well underway. This is underlined by the emergence of Web3 as a key component of the online experience, with shoppers showing a significant appetite for transacting on-chain, and a desire both to be paid and to pay in digital currencies.”