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Top E-Commerce Websites In The Middle East In 2024

Discover the top e-commerce websites shaping the Middle East’s online shopping scene in 2024 in our roundup of market leaders and emerging platforms.

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The e-commerce landscape in the Middle East is thriving. Whether you’re on the hunt for the newest gadgets, fashion, or home goods, our list of the top e-commerce websites in the Middle East provides an essential overview of the biggest and most influential sites that make online shopping a breeze. And if you’re on the selling side, you should be able to discover at least one platform where your products can easily reach a vast and engaged audience.

Quick Summary Of The Top 11 Best e-Commerce Platforms In The Middle East:

Website: Monthly Visits: Founded: Headquarters: Product Category:
Amazon.ae 24.9M 2019 Dubai, UAE General
Noon 16.6M 2016 Riyadh, KSA General
Daraz 12.4M 2012 Karachi, Pakistan General
Desertcart 3.8M 2014 Dubai, UAE General
Digikala 3.6M 2006 Tehran, Iran General, Digital Goods
Namshi 2.7M 2011 Dubai, UAE Fashion, Footwear, Beauty
Jumia Egypt 2.4M 2012 Lagos, Nigeria General
Mumzworld 1.4M 2011 Dubai, UAE Mother, Baby, Child Essentials
The Luxury Closet 924K 2012 Dubai, UAE Pre-Owned Luxury Goods
OUNASS 616K 2016 Dubai, UAE Luxury Fashion, Beauty, Home
Sivvi 132K 2014 Dubai, UAE Fashion

The Middle East Is Fast-Tracking E-Commerce Growth

In recent years, the global e-commerce market has skyrocketed, with Deloitte projecting a leap to $6.35 trillion in revenue by 2027. The Middle East, previously taking baby steps in this digital domain, has caught up at an astonishing pace, thanks to better internet, the rise of smartphones, and a newfound love for the ease of online shopping.

The pandemic played its part as the catalyst of MENA’s online shopping boom. With shopping from home becoming the new norm, the Middle East saw a dramatic pivot towards e-commerce, leading to a surge in demand for all things deliverable. Today, the sector is blossoming, set to hit a staggering $50 billion by 2025. The UAE market, a star in this digital constellation, is projected to grow from $10.37 billion in 2023 to $13.93 billion by 2027.

It’s clear that the e-commerce scene here is on a meteoric rise, backed by what has become near-total internet penetration and a digital payment preference shared by 70% of MENA consumers. While it’s difficult to predict who will emerge as the market leaders in the years to come, given the fast pace of technological innovation and shifting consumer habits, we know which e-commerce websites are leading the charge right now.

#1- Amazon.ae (Formally Souq)

amazon united arab emirates

🌐 Monthly Visits: 24.9 Million
πŸ“… Founded: 2019
🏒 Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
πŸ›οΈ Product Category: General

Amazon.ae became what it is today thanks to the acquisition of Souq.com, once the largest e-commerce website in the entire Arab world. The US tech giant spent $580 million to integrate Souq.com under its banner. This move not only expanded Amazon’s reach but also upgraded the shopping experience for millions in the Middle East with its vast product selection.

Just like Amazon.com, the UAE-specific website offers everything from the latest tech gizmos to fashion finds, home essentials, and beauty products, and more. If you can name it, Amazon.ae likely has it. But it’s not just about the range; the platform is renowned for its user-friendly experience, reliable delivery, and customer service that’s got your back.

#2- Noon.com

noon website

🌐 Monthly Visits: 16.6 Million
πŸ“… Founded: 2016
🏒 Headquarters: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
πŸ›οΈ Product Category: General

With roots in the UAE and a reach that extends into Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Noon is a homegrown marketplace that brings a diverse array of products right to the doorsteps of the Middle East. Launched by business tycoon Mohamed Alabbar and backed by the hefty support of the Public Investment Fund, Noon has quickly made its mark since its inception in 2016.

The site is a bustling hub for electronics, fashion, home goods, and even groceries. In August 2022, it expanded its fashion footprint by acquiring Namshi, further cementing its status as a full-spectrum lifestyle shopping destination. For sellers, Noon.com offers its Seller Lab and Fulfillment program, which simplifies logistics and order fulfillment so businesses can focus on what they do best β€” selling quality products.

#3- Daraz

daraz pakistan

🌐 Monthly Visits: 12.4 Million
πŸ“… Founded: 2012
🏒 Headquarters: Karachi, Pakistan
πŸ›οΈ Product Category: General

Daraz might have started as a modest online fashion retailer in Pakistan in 2012, but don’t let its humble beginnings fool you. This platform has quickly evolved into a leading e-commerce powerhouse in South Asia, serving not just Pakistan but also Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. With the backing of tech giant Alibaba since 2018, Daraz has widened its catalog and sharpened its technological edge.

What’s remarkable about Daraz is its keen understanding of the local markets. It’s more than a shopping site; it’s a community builder, connecting over 34,500 sellers to millions of customers. From the busy streets of Karachi to the remote valleys of Chitral, Daraz makes sure that no matter where you are, you can buy or sell just about anything. And with a young, tech-savvy population that’s rapidly embracing digital payments β€” Daraz is at the forefront of shaping a digitalized Pakistan.

#4- Desertcart

desertcart

🌐 Monthly Visits: 3.8 Million
πŸ“… Founded: 2006
🏒 Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
πŸ›οΈ Product Category: General

Established in 2014, Desertcart has become a go-to e-commerce platform in the UAE, known for sourcing products that locals might struggle to find. At its core, Desertcart’s approach is all about simplicity and service – think of it as a hybrid of Amazon’s expansive inventory and a personalized shop-and-ship solution, topped off with attentive customer support.

When the pandemic hit, Desertcart’s relevance soared, with the platform tripling its business. This surge was driven by its effective system that simplifies the complexities of international shopping. For customers looking for products from across the globe, Desertcart stepped in to streamline the process, managing the logistical hoops of shipping, customs, and after-sales service, which proved to be invaluable, especially when international supply chains were disrupted and local availability limited.

#5- Digikala

digikala e-commerce

🌐 Monthly Visits: 3.6 Million
πŸ“… Founded: 2006
🏒 Headquarters: Tehran, Iran
πŸ›οΈ Product Category: General, Digital Goods

Digikala has etched its name as Iran’s premier online marketplace, offering a one-stop-shop for an array of products, with a sweet spot for electronics and digital goods. It’s the brainchild of two brothers, Hamid and Saeid Mohammadi, who, fueled by their frustrating experience trying to purchase a digital camera, decided to create a solution. With just $10,000 from their savings, they launched Digikala in 2006, and it’s been on an upward trajectory ever since.

Key to securing customer trust are Digital’s consumer-centric features, like a 7-day return policy and an express delivery service. The platform has adopted various innovative strategies, including a pay-per-sale commission model, to stay afloat during economic downturns and continue serving millions of Iranians, even in the most remote villages.

#6- Namshi

namshi

🌐 Monthly Visits: 2.7 Million
πŸ“… Founded: 2011
🏒 Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
πŸ›οΈ Product Category: Fashion, Footwear, Accessories, Beauty

Namshi has been turning heads in the Middle East’s online fashion scene since its inception in 2011. Based in Dubai, this e-commerce platform has made a name for itself as the go-to destination for those looking to spruce up their wardrobe with the latest trends.

Namshi has smartly leveraged technology to simplify operations and manage the hefty traffic it garners, especially during sales and seasonal promotions. Because of its success across all fronts, Namshi was acquired by Noon in 2022, but it continues to operate as a distinctive brand within the e-commerce landscape. This acquisition has allowed Namshi to leverage Noon’s extensive regional infrastructure, enhancing its reach and operational capabilities.

#7- Jumia Egypt

jumia egypt

🌐 Monthly Visits: 2.4 Million
πŸ“… Founded: 2012
🏒 Headquarters: Lagos, Nigeria
πŸ›οΈ Product Category: General

Jumia Egypt, part of a broader Pan-African e-commerce pioneer, launched in 2012. It’s like a bustling digital marketplace that brings together a variety of sellers and products, ranging from tech gadgets to fashion, and everything in between. As a tech company, Jumia has knitted a complex web of logistics and payment services, simplifying the online shopping process for millions. While its roots are in Nigeria, Jumia’s branches stretch across the continent, with Egypt being one of its biggest markets.

Behind the scenes, Jumia is continually refining its technological backbone. In 2021, the company ramped up its tech center in Egypt, aiming to supercharge its services across Africa. And when COVID-19 hit, accelerating digital transitions, Jumia Egypt was ready, providing a lifeline to both consumers and entrepreneurs, including a substantial number of women who run businesses on the platform.

#8- Mumzworld

mumzworld

🌐 Monthly Visits: 1.4 Million
πŸ“… Founded: 2011
🏒 Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
πŸ›οΈ Product Category: Mother, Baby, Child Essentials

Mumzworld offers a huge selection of baby and childcare products to Middle Eastern shoppers. Founded in 2011 by a team of experienced parents and entrepreneurs, the website quickly established itself as a comprehensive one-stop online shop for everything a parent might need β€” from newborn essentials to toys for toddlers and gear for pre-teens.

At Mumzworld, the focus is on variety, quality, and the ease of having it all in one place. It’s got a clear edge with its extensive product range, hosting over 120,000 items from more than 600 top global brands. Whether you’re after a bottle that’s just right for your baby or the safest car seat for your growing toddler, Mumzworld offers it all, coupled with insightful customer reviews and competitive pricing.

#9- The Luxury Closet

the luxury closet

🌐 Monthly Visits: 924,000
πŸ“… Founded: 2012
🏒 Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
πŸ›οΈ Product Category: Pre-Owned Luxury Goods

This Dubai-based platform, launched in 2012, has quickly risen to prominence by providing access to coveted high-end brands at significantly reduced prices. In 2021, The Luxury Closet successfully raised $14 million to expand its reach and solidify its position as a leader in sustainable luxury commerce. Here, fans of luxury can indulge in the likes of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Rolex, brands that are renowned for their reluctance to discount their wares. The Luxury Closet makes these aspirational labels more accessible, offering an average discount of 60% off retail.

Beyond the allure of savings, The Luxury Closet is driven by a mission to extend the lifecycle of luxury items, promoting a sustainable approach to fashion that resonates with a growing base of eco-conscious consumers. It’s a place where the past prestige of designer items meets the present desire for value and virtue.

#10- OUNASS

ounass e-commerce

🌐 Monthly Visits: 616,000
πŸ“… Founded: 2016
🏒 Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
πŸ›οΈ Product Category: Luxury Fashion, Beauty Products, Home Goods

Since its inception in 2016 by the Al Tayer Group, OUNASS has become one of the go-to destinations for luxury fashion, beauty products, and home goods in the Middle East, offering over 300 opulent brands.

OUNASS promises 2-hour delivery within Dubai and same-day dispatch across the UAE, so shoppers with deep pockets don’t have to wait to wrap themselves in the luxury they’ve purchased. This level of service is complimented by potential savings, as OUNASS often features deals that allow for a more accessible foray into the world of high fashion without the steep price tags.

#11- Sivvi

sivvi e-commerce

🌐 Monthly Visits: 132,000
πŸ“… Founded: 2014
🏒 Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
πŸ›οΈ Product Category: Fashion

Born in 2014 and now powered by the e-commerce giant Noon, it’s quickly become a high-traffic destination for fashionistas in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Sivvi dishes out a mix of high-street and luxury brands, serving up the latest trends and wardrobe staples for women, men, and kids alike. With over 2,000 brands under its belt, the platform delivers everything from casual tees and denim to designer dresses and activewear, not to mention accessories and beauty products to tie your look together.

With an intuitive app, shopping is a breeze, offering personalized recommendations, easy-to-navigate categories, and a wishlist to bookmark those must-have items. And if you’re impatient for your fashion fix, Sivvi’s got you covered with fast delivery options, including same-day service in Riyadh and next-day in many KSA and UAE cities. What seals the deal are their customer-friendly policies like free returns within 14 days and a range of payment methods.

Conclusion

Our exploration of the top e-commerce websites in the Middle East has highlighted everything from sprawling generalists like Amazon.ae and Noon.com to online stores such as Namshi and Sivvi. As the region continues to embrace the digital revolution, with a young, tech-savvy population and increasing internet penetration, e-commerce is set to flourish even further.

Note: Traffic data for the e-commerce websites listed comes from SimilarWeb.

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Guides

Top Free AI Chatbots Available In The Middle East

Discover the best free AI chatbots that are currently available to users in the Middle East so that you can experience the world-changing technology.

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top free ai chatbots available in the middle east

Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT are taking the world by storm, offering (mostly) accurate answers to a vast range of questions. While many of these cutting-edge AI models are developed by Western companies and trained predominantly on English data, their applications extend far beyond the English-speaking world.

We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the top free AI chatbots available in the Middle East. Whether you’re looking for a personal assistant to help you manage your daily tasks or a customer service chatbot to improve your business operations, we’ve got you covered.

#1- ChatGPT

chatgpt ai interface

🌍 Availability: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
πŸ”£ Arabic Input: Yes
πŸ’¬ Arabic Output: Yes

Developed by OpenAI, one of the most talked-about companies in the world today, ChatGPT has brought the transformative power of large language models to the masses since its release in November 2022. Even though it’s not OpenAI’s first chatbot, ChatGPT has captured the imagination of users worldwide with its ability to engage in natural language conversations and assist with a wide range of tasks.

Even in its free version, ChatGPT offers plenty of capabilities for users to enjoy, including full access to GPT-3.5 and limited access to GPT-4o, OpenAI’s latest and most advanced multilingual, multimodal model. At the time of writing this article, GPT-4o is the best-rated model in existence, so the fact that you can use it for free for a limited number of times within a three-hour window is pretty amazing.

Earlier this year, OpenAI introduced voice chat capabilities to free users, meaning if you’ve ever wanted to interact with an AI using voice commands, now you can do so without any cost. Voice interactions with ChatGPT offer a more intuitive and natural way of communication, bridging the gap between human and machine interaction, and then come in handy when driving, cooking, and doing other activities that make it inconvenient or impossible to type.

Pros:

  • The best-rated AI chatbot today
  • Can provide accurate and helpful responses to a wide range of questions
  • Free access to a robust set of features
  • It’s easy to use, with a simple and intuitive interface

Cons:

  • Usage limits

#2- Mistral AI

mistral ai interface

🌍 Availability: Everywhere
πŸ”£ Arabic Input: Yes
πŸ’¬ Arabic Output: Yes

Founded in April 2023 by a team of former employees from Meta Platforms and Google DeepMind, Mistral AI has quickly positioned itself as a significant player in the realm of artificial intelligence. As a French company dedicated to democratizing AI technology, Mistral AI focuses on developing open-source large language models accessible through its web-based chat interface.

The models vary in scale and specialization β€” from heavy-duty processing with the Large model, known for its top reasoning capacities, to the Small model, designed for fast and cost-effective interactions. They also offer Codestral, tailored specifically for coding purposes, and Next, a prototype model trained for conciseness and efficiency.

Mistral AI currently doesn’t offer any paid tier, which means that free users have access to everything the company offers. Usage limits do exist, but they are dynamically adjusted based on demand, so you may not even hit them.

Pros:

  • Access to a range of large language models
  • No paid tier, so free users have access to everything
  • It’s easy to use, with a simple and intuitive interface

Cons:

  • Usage limits
  • Relatively new player in the AI market

#3- Google Gemini

google gemini ai interface

🌍 Availability: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
πŸ”£ Arabic Input: Yes
πŸ’¬ Arabic Output: Yes

Previously known as Bard, Google Gemini is a powerful large language model developed by Google AI. With the free version of Google Gemini, users have access to the 1.0 Pro model, which integrates seamlessly with Google apps that you already know and use, such as Gmail, Calendar, and Docs. This makes it an excellent choice for those who rely heavily on Google products for their daily tasks.

However, compared with GPT-4o and Mistral’s Large model, the free version of Gemini is much worse at following instructions closely. On the other hand, Gemini offers a significant advantage in terms of speed. Additionally, Google doesn’t seem to be actively enforcing usage limits on the free tier, so you can use it as much as you want without worrying about hitting a usage cap.

Pros:

  • Integrates with Google apps
  • Fast and no real usage limits
  • It’s easy to use, with a simple and intuitive interface

Cons:

  • Doesn’t follow detailed instructions well

#4- Claude

claude ai interface

🌍 Availability: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
πŸ”£ Arabic Input: Yes
πŸ’¬ Arabic Output: Yes

Claude is a family of AI models developed by Anthropic PBC, a US-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup company founded in 2021. The company’s mission is to research and develop AI technology that benefits the public. Anthropic was founded by former members of OpenAI, Daniela Amodei and Dario Amodei, and has since made a name for itself in the AI community.

Free Claude users can access the Sonnet model, which is designed for natural language processing tasks such as text generation, translation, and summarization. Sonnet comes with a daily messaging limit that’s dynamically adjusted based on demand and reset every morning. Unfortunately, the limit can be quite unpredictable in practice, allowing you to chat extensively one day and then stopping you after a few messages the next one.

Pros:

  • Free access to the Sonnet model
  • Daily message limit is dynamically adjusted based on demand
  • It’s easy to use, with a simple and intuitive interface

Cons:

  • Unpredictable daily limit

#5- Local LLMs

local llms ai interface

🌍 Availability: Everywhere
πŸ”£ Arabic Input: Depends on which model you choose
πŸ’¬ Arabic Output: Depends on which model you choose

Local LLMs are a breed apart from the cloud-based solutions we’ve discussed so far. Instead of relying on powerful remote servers, these models run entirely on your own computer hardware. Examples include Llama 3, Phi 3, and Gemma.

One of the biggest advantages of local LLMs is that they are uncensored. Another advantage of local LLMs is that they can be customized to your specific needs. For example, you can fine-tune the model on your own data, allowing it to better understand and generate responses that are specific to your industry or use case.

However, there are also some downsides to using local LLMs. The biggest challenge is that they can be more difficult to set up and maintain than cloud-based AI chatbots. You’ll need to have the right hardware and software, such as Ollama or LM Studio, to run the model, and the performance of your hardware directly influences the performance you can expect.

Pros:

  • Complete control and customization
  • Uncensored and unrestricted by content limitations
  • Arabic-specific models available

Cons:

  • More difficult to set up
  • Performance depends on how powerful hardware you have
  • Can’t match leading cloud-based models

Conclusion

The Middle East region has access to some of the best free AI chatbots available in the market. From ChatGPT’s natural language processing capabilities and Mistral AI’s range of large language models to Google Gemini’s integration with Google apps and Claude’s focus on ethical AI, each chatbot has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Local LLMs also offer a viable alternative for those who prefer to have complete control and customization over their AI models. Ultimately, the best AI chatbot for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

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