New business avenues are opening up in the food e-commerce sector in the UAE

Stunning views of Dubai’s iconic Atlantis hotel.

Gulf today, Staff reporter

The international offices of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently hosted a webinar in cooperation with UAE local market on-demand delivery app InstaShop, which identified new business opportunities opening up in the UAE’s food e-commerce sector that companies in emerging markets can capitalize on.

The webinar, titled Food E-commerce Awareness Webinar, attracted 84 participants from 33 countries, representing food manufacturers, export promotion agencies and trade offices. The event sessions examined the latest food e-commerce dynamics and trends in the UAE and the competitive advantages Dubai offers as a world-class food e-commerce and innovation hub.

Addressing the attendees, Omar Khan, Director of International Offices at the Dubai Chamber, said the virtual event offered valuable insights into the UAE’s food e-commerce ecosystem and the changing business landscape. . He underscored the importance of using e-commerce platforms to expand business across borders and tap into the growing demand from consumers in the UAE and surrounding markets who are increasingly turning to digital channels to access products and services.

Shopping online
Image used for illustrative purposes only.

Online food and beverage spending in the UAE jumped 255% in 2020, while the gross merchandising value of online groceries in the country has nearly doubled in recent years, supported by the digital shift led by Covid and changing consumer behavior.

He added that Dubai’s digital economy is growing by leaps and bounds as various sectors adopt advanced technologies and state-of-the-art solutions, while more e-commerce players enter the market.

For his part, Nikola Cabarkapa, Vice President of Brand Partnerships and MFC at InstaShop, provided an overview of InstaShop, the benefits of leveraging the e-commerce platform, as well as potential marketing partnership opportunities.

Image used for illustrative purposes only.

Meanwhile, Google and the Dubai Chamber have partnered to launch “Business Online Presence“, a comprehensive digital solution designed to help businesses in the United Arab Emirates manage their online presence, maximize their visibility and attract new clients.

The new solution was launched during a webinar organized today by the Dubai Chamber in collaboration with Google. The virtual event brought together members of the business community in Dubai, including representatives from business groups and business councils.

Dubai Chamber members can now access the “Business Online Presence” dashboard to set and verify their business profiles on one or more sites on Google Search and Maps. These online profiles contain essential business information such as opening hours, contact details, address and photos. Businesses can also release timely offers and promotional packages during special seasons.

The tool can generate a personalized total score for each company’s online readiness and reputation management. Members of the Dubai Chamber, whether small or medium-sized businesses, can use the dashboard to standardize the brand experience and engage with customers through online reviews, access timely information such as their store visits and identify operational challenges more quickly. Through this program, registered businesses can also access the “Maharat Min Google” training program to learn the digital skills needed to grow online.

Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of the Dubai Chamber, described the dashboard as a versatile and reliable tool that helps SMEs seamlessly manage their online presence, reputation and business from a single platform. The platform is designed around the needs of local businesses and helps them easily reach new categories of customers who are actively looking for specific services and products. »

Buamim added that the initiative supports the Chamber’s ongoing efforts to accelerate the digital transformation of business in Dubai, grow the emirate’s digital economy and improve its economic competitiveness globally.

Lino Cattaruzzi, Managing Director of Google MENA, commented: “The pandemic has truly highlighted the critical role that digital tools can play in a business’s ability to weather challenging times – with particular impact in certain sectors such as retail and tourism. For this reason, we are very pleased to continue our collaboration with the Dubai Chamber which started in 2018, and together offer a tangible solution that helps SMEs across the country to develop their online presence and acquire skills. to successfully grow their businesses and achieve more. customers.”

This initiative is the product of the Chamber’s long-standing partnership with Google, which has benefited more than 100,000 businesses in the UAE and helped them boost their digital presence. This partnership is also part of “Grow Stronger with Google”, the company’s initiative to accelerate economic recovery in the MENA region through tools, programs and grants. Together with Google, the Chamber aims to continue its engagement with SMEs in the UAE, with a focus on the retail and tourism sectors.