Fewer UAE and Gulf-based shoppers are ordering in their requirements from overseas online channels. Part of the reason could be difficulties and delays in receiving shipments from overseas due to COVID-19 led disruptions.
Until last year, cross-border trade made up almost 40 percent of the online retail contribution. In 2020, it was “close to 20 percent driven by localizing, digital franchises, and policy regulation,” according to RedSeer.
Recently, UAE and other Gulf markets started imposing 5 percent customs duty even on overseas orders of Dh300 plus. The earlier limit had been Dh1,000. This, market sources say, will prompt more regional shoppers to stick with local options for their more frequent online shopping needs.