Article image: Offline and Online Retail in the UAE

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Currently, there are more than 7,5 thousand companies registered in RAKIA Free Zone Full version

In the consciousness of many people, the United Arab Emirates are associated not only with the beauties of the Arab world and hotels ideal from the point of view of service and comfort, but also with quality goods. Indeed, nowadays, when almost all the shelves of any store, including grocery shops, are massively packed with the goods from China, while European and American brands are quite expensive due to a sharp jump of the dollar and euro, the attention of many is drawn to other developed countries, which produce high-quality goods. Therefore, e-commerce in the UAE, as well as retail trade in the UAE, began to gain momentum rapidly.

Main Features of E-commerce and Retail Trade in the UAE

At the moment, the largest online trade site in Dubai is SOUQ – it contains thousands of products made in the UAE. This online store monitors their quality and offers free shipping throughout the country. By the way, the delivery service is not only free, but also fast, so that tourists can make a purchase during their stay, order delivery to the hotel or a rented apartment and save a decent amount of money. E-commerce in the UAE began to develop rapidly not so long ago. It is not as boisterous as, for example, in China which has reduced the price of goods delivery in order to support the Chinese sellers. Therefore, you have to be prepared to pay a considerable amount of money for the shipping from the UAE.

As for retail trade, please, note that the guarantee of successful shopping in Dubai is the choice of the right stores. Unfortunately, it was impossible to avoid the influx of cheap Chinese counterfeits to the UAE, so 99% of the equipment, clothes or souvenirs bought from small representatives of the trading business, for example, at tourist markets, will most likely be “made in China.” As for local guides, if you listen to their recommendations, they will probably lead you to shops with fur coats from fake fur and consumer goods sold as antique items. There are two ways to avoid purchasing fake goods. The first one is to ask for advice from a guide at the hotel. As a rule, good hotels in the UAE value their reputation and never advise unchecked stores with low-quality goods. You will most likely be offered good retail outlets where you can buy quality goods. Another option is to go shopping to large shopping malls in the city center. Here you should feel free to ask the shop assistants for registration documents and passports for the products they sell, especially if this is, for example, fur, electric devices or expensive textiles.

The trade business of the country has its own characteristics, which must be taken into account by those who would like to open their store in the UAE or start selling goods as an individual. They are related not only to banking operations and the taxation system of the country, but also to strict laws on consumer protection. Unscrupulous sellers will be punished with serious fines and this should be remembered when one plans to start online trading in Dubai. Official government websites have published laws and regulations for retailers and online retailers in the UAE, but it will be difficult for an inexperienced person to understand everything at once, so the best option is to seek advice from special consulting companies or talk with those entrepreneurs who have already managed to launch similar businesses, brick and mortar or online, in the UAE.

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