E-commerce penetration in GCC and Egypt 2017 and 2022, by category

E-commerce is becoming a reality in MENA, shifting the retail industry in the region. In 2022, electronics were forecasted to account for the largest share of e-commerce penetration in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Egypt at 25 percent, followed by beauty at 14 percent.

E-commerce market value

With high levels of internet penetration, particularly in the GCC, the e-commerce market in MENA has displayed significant growth, with room for further growth when compared with global benchmarks. The e-commerce market size in MENA reached a total of 8.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2017.

Online shopping behavior

In 2016, 74 percent of e-commerce customers shopped via Souq, which was later acquired by Amazon in 2017, marking the beginning of a new digital phase in the region.The value of online spending per shopper in the United Arab Emirates was the highest in the region in 2017, at 1.6 thousand U.S. dollars.

E-commerce penetration in the Gulf Cooperation Council and Egypt in 2017 with a forecast for 2022, by category

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Release date

February 2019


Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, MENA

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Estimated.

** Value for 2017 was less than 1.

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