Sell on Amazon UAE this 2024: Your Ultimate Guide

Apr 4, 2024



This 2024, it’s time to sell on Amazon UAE! In February 2024, amazon.ae had a global rank of 1,520 – up 25 points – with a country rank of #6 overall in the UAE. The ecommerce site is the #1 marketplace in the United Arab Emirates, with a total of 22.6 million visits across desktop and mobile from January to February of this year. Let’s face it: UAE e-commerce is growing quickly, and UAE residents have refined tastes. The market is ripe for the picking, and it’s time for the savvy Amazon seller to start selling products in this lucrative market.

In this week’s blog, we go over the benefits and opportunities for Amazon sellers who plan to sell to UAE customers. We go through the advantages of selling on Amazon UAE, which covers Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar. We’ll also talk about the importance of localization when selling on amazon.ae.

Let’s dive in – it’s time to start selling on Amazon UAE, and here’s how!

Sell on Amazon UAE: Untapped Market Potential

The landscape of eCommerce in Amazon Middle East and the UAE is buzzing with potential.

Let’s talk numbers. In 2023, Amazon inaugurated a new Amazon fulfillment center in Dubai, located within the Dubai South development. This facility expands Amazon’s operational capacity in the UAE by 70%, reinforcing the logistics sector in the Emirates. The state-of-the-art hub spans nearly 60,000 cubic meters, and features advanced technology spread across 32,500 square meters across five floors. Situated within Dubai South’s Logistics District, the center benefits from seamless access to Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum International Airport. This move underscores Amazon’s commitment to the UAE, aligning with its significant investments in logistics infrastructure and technology in recent years.

Additionally, Amazon is fostering innovation and economic growth in the region through initiatives such as the AWS Cloud Innovation Centre and the D33 program, aimed at supporting local businesses. The new Dubai South fulfillment center not only promotes diversity and inclusion but also contributes to talent development and career opportunities in the UAE. Furthermore, Amazon’s expansion efforts extend beyond the UAE, with investments in talent development programs in Saudi Arabia. Dubai South, in parallel, is enhancing its Logistics District with cutting-edge technologies to facilitate efficient services, positioning itself as a hub for future transportation solutions.

In other words, logistics are primed for your entry. Deliver your products with confidence, knowing this sort of infrastructure exists.

The United Arab Emirates’ ecommerce industry is expected to continue rapid growth over the next few years – supported, of course, by high internet and mobile internet penetration rates, and a strong infrastructure and logistics network. In addition to the Dubai Logistics City, the government has begun Dubai CommerCity, which offers a free trade zone for e-Commerce projects.

According to Statista, leading eCommerce segments in 2023 included toys, DIY, and hobbies, leading at 29%, followed by fashion at 27%, electronics and media at 18%, food and personal care at 13%, and furniture and appliances at 12%.

In 2022, Helium 10 reported that there were 25,000 sellers on Amazon UAE, with a population of 10 million – consider that 20% of the UAE population have adapted online shopping as a lifestyle, according to Zawya. That’s a jump from 4.5 million people in 2019 to 6.5 million people in 2023.

Let’s compare that to Amazon USA – according to AMZScout, there are 1.1 million sellers who are from the USA, with more than 230 million customers.

Put it this way. In the UAE, there are 260 customers per seller. In the US, there are around 209 customers per seller. You have more customers per seller in the UAE – and less competition, too.

Access to the Growing Customer Base of Amazon United Arab Emirates

Selling in Amazon UAE gives you access to a diverse and expanding customer base in the UAE and its surrounding regions. The Middle East, with its flourishing economies and increasing internet penetration, boasts a consumer demographic characterized by diversity and affluence.

Diving deeper, tapping into this new demographic of affluent consumers with disposable income offers distinct advantages for Amazon sellers. The UAE is home to a discerning customer base. These consumers, eager for quality products and seamless shopping experiences, present a lucrative market ripe for exploration. Moreover, the Middle Eastern market offers a unique blend of traditional values and modern preferences, providing sellers with the chance to cater to a variety of tastes and preferences.

What does this mean for Amazon sellers? Well, the potential for increased sales and revenue is undeniable. By strategically targeting the Middle Eastern market through platforms like Amazon.ae, sellers can capitalize on the growing demand for a wide range of products. Whether it’s electronics, fashion, beauty, or household essentials, there’s a considerable appetite waiting to be satisfied.

In essence, start selling on Amazon.ae – there’s incredible potential waiting to be filled. By understanding the diverse consumer base, leveraging their disposable income, and recognizing the potential for growth, sellers can position themselves for success in this dynamic and promising market.

Since Amazon acquired Souq.com in 2017, and rebranded as Amazon.ae in 2019, online shopping platforms come a distant second to Amazon. The Amazon UAE seller has quite a lot to gain.

Sell on Amazon UAE with Competitive Advantage and Market Positioning

But what about the competition? It would be unadvisable to start selling on Amazon UAE without considering who else could give you a run for your money. Let’s delve into the dynamics of the marketplace, underscore Amazon’s commanding presence, and illuminate strategies for sellers to carve out their niche and thrive in this bustling landscape.

Firstly, let’s survey the competitive landscape on Amazon.ae vis-à-vis other regional e-commerce platforms. While platforms like noon.com and desertcart.ae may pose competition, Amazon’s global stature and expansive reach afford it a distinct advantage. With its vast product selection, seamless user experience, and robust logistics infrastructure, Amazon holds sway as the dominant force in the UAE market.

The UAE in particular tends to favor home-grown products, which may give a seller pause, but think about it a second. When you ally yourself with a behemoth like Amazon, you take advantage of its global stature and expansive reach, putting you in a distinct advantage. With its vast product selection, seamless user experience, and robust logistics infrastructure, Amazon holds sway as the dominant force in the UAE market. Sure, the other players have been providing UAE-specific products to the customers for years now, but the reputation of Amazon can’t be beat.

In the UAE, sellers do not typically receive free trade privileges. However, the country offers various free zones that provide incentives and benefits for businesses, including exemptions from certain taxes and customs duties, as well as simplified business setup processes. These free zones are designed to attract foreign investment and promote economic growth by offering favorable conditions for businesses to operate. Additionally, specific trade agreements and arrangements may exist between the UAE and other countries, providing preferential treatment for certain goods or services. It’s worth looking into, for sure. Maybe the free zone e-commerce areas can boost your online selling in the UAE.

Moreover, sellers can harness the power of data analytics to identify emerging trends, anticipate consumer needs, and fine-tune their offerings accordingly. By staying attuned to market dynamics and responding swiftly to evolving consumer preferences, sellers can position themselves as frontrunners in the race for market share.

Cultural Sensitivity and Localization: Sell on Amazon UAE the Right Way

Consumers from the UAE ranked 6th in 2023 as the country that favors products made in their country. According to a study by YouGov, 66% of consumers are more likely to buy if they know the company is based in the UAE; 57% believe in the superiority of local products over internationally-made products; and 67% believe it’s their patriotic duty to buy products made in the UAE when the opportunity arises.

Istizada released a fantastic paper on ways to increase Arab sales online. Here are some of the best ways to make waves with your online store in the UAE:

  1. Collectivism and Family Importance: Arabs value loyalty and commitment to their family and tribe. Marketing strategies should emphasize community and family, respect for tradition, and honoring authority figures and the elderly.
  2. Relationship Building: Building relationships is crucial in Arab culture. Marketing efforts should focus on email marketing, social media engagement, webinars, and live chat support to establish trust and rapport with customers.
  3. Language Importance: Arabic is a powerful language in Arab countries, and catering to Arabic-speaking audiences is essential for successful marketing. Localization of content is crucial, as many Arabs prefer to engage with content presented in their own language.
  4. Diversity within Arab Culture: Arab culture varies significantly across different nations. While there are commonalities, it’s essential to understand and respect the differences when tailoring marketing messages.
  5. Luxury and Status Symbolism: Luxury brands thrive in the Arab market due to the culture’s focus on honor and respect. Companies can capitalize on this by emphasizing luxury products, using imagery that conveys luxury, crafting compelling copy, and associating their brand with status symbols.
  6. Uncertainty Avoidance: Arab culture tends to have a high uncertainty avoidance. To address this, websites should prioritize clarity, simplicity, and trustworthiness in design and communication, including clear language, straightforward checkout processes, transparent policies, and trust symbols.

In addition, the International Trade Administration recommends prompt delivery and qualified support technicians. In fact, many government agencies require equipment suppliers to provide after-sales service for around 3 years after the sale. Also, note that Saudi buyers often compare prices before making a purchasing decision.

It bears repeating – Saudi customers are affluent. Saudi is the 18th largest economy in the world by GDP and in the top 20 richest countries by spending power, according to Amazon.

So, although Amazon UAE is one of the many English-speaking eCommerce sites worldwide, if you’re selling items with Arabic in your infographics and packaging, you’re likely to make a larger impact.

It’s also important to consider Arabic customs and culture. Tailor your Amazon brand promotions to important days in their calendar, like Eid’l Fitr, Singles Day, and “White Friday,” the Middle East’s answer to Black Friday. It’s a great opportunity to sell your products to a heretofore untapped demographic

Thankfully, YLT Translations can handle Arabic translations and localization for you. Remember, the keywords that you used in the USA will be different from the keywords on your UAE Amazon listing. So be sure that your list your products with the correct keywords, so those affluent customers can find you.

Potential Challenges and Mitigation Strategies When You Sell on Amazon UAE

Okay, we won’t paint a pretty picture and mislead you on purpose. Expanding to Amazon.ae presents exciting opportunities for Amazon sellers, but it’s essential to be aware of potential challenges and barriers that may arise in the process. Let’s explore these hurdles and discover practical strategies to overcome them, ensuring a seamless transition into the UAE market.

  1. Identification of Potential Challenges:
    • Language Barriers: English may not be the primary language for all consumers in the UAE, posing communication challenges for sellers.
    • Regulatory Requirements: Navigating the regulatory landscape in the UAE, including licensing, taxation, and customs regulations, can be complex and time-consuming for sellers.
  2. Practical Tips and Mitigation Strategies:
    • Multilingual Support: To address language barriers, sellers can invest in multilingual customer support to cater to the diverse linguistic preferences of UAE consumers. (Also, don’t forget that YLT Translations can help translate and localize your Amazon business to cater to the UAE customers.)
    • Compliance Assistance: Seeking guidance from legal experts or consultancy firms specializing in UAE regulations can help sellers navigate the regulatory landscape effectively. Staying informed about regulatory updates and requirements is crucial for compliance.
    • Localization: Adapting product listings, marketing materials, and customer communications to align with UAE cultural norms and preferences can enhance the appeal of products to local consumers. (Again, this is something YLT Translations can definitely help you with!)
  3. Importance of Professional Assistance:
    • Leveraging Expertise: Professional assistance from local business consultants or e-commerce specialists can provide invaluable insights and support throughout the expansion process.
    • Streamlined Processes: Working with professionals can streamline administrative tasks such as obtaining licenses, setting up bank accounts, and understanding tax obligations, saving sellers time and resources.
    • Risk Mitigation: Professionals can help sellers identify potential risks and develop mitigation strategies, minimizing the likelihood of costly errors or setbacks during the expansion journey.

In conclusion, while expanding to Amazon.ae may pose challenges for sellers, proactive planning, strategic decision-making, and leveraging professional assistance can pave the way for a successful transition into the UAE market. By addressing language barriers, understanding regulatory requirements, and seeking expert guidance, sellers can position themselves for growth and capitalize on the lucrative opportunities offered by Amazon.ae.

Sell on Amazon UAE Using Amazon FBA

Setting up a business on Amazon.ae involves several steps, including registration, obtaining necessary licenses, and listing products. Here’s a general overview of how to put up an Amazon.ae business:

  1. Registration
    1. Visit the Amazon Seller Central website specific to the UAE (https://services.amazon.ae/)
    2. Click on the “Start Selling” button to begin the registration process.
    3. Follow the on-screen instructions to create a new seller central account or sign in if you already have one.
    4. Provide the required business information, including your business name, address, and contact details.
  2. Verification and Documentation:
    1. As part of the registration process, you’ll need to verify your identity and provide necessary documentation.
    2. This may include proof of identity, business registration documents, tax information, and bank account details.
      1. Keep in mind you might need a corporate bank account based in the UAE and a business license. This is for receiving payments, paying Amazon fees, and managing finances related to your Amazon UAE business.
  3. Product Listing:
    1. Once your Amazon UAE seller account is set up and verified, you can start listing your products on Amazon.ae.
    2. Create high-quality product listings with clear descriptions, images, and pricing information.
    3. Ensure that your products comply with Amazon’s policies and guidelines.
    4. Make sure your keywords are specific to Amazon in the UAE, and don’t make the mistake of using the same keywords you used for the USA or Europe.
  4. Inventory Management and Sales:
    1. Manage your inventory effectively to ensure timely fulfillment of orders.
    2. Monitor your sales performance and adjust your strategies accordingly to optimize your business on Amazon.ae.

Thankfully, you can use FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) when you sell in amazon.ae. Free Zone products are products that are fulfilled by Amazon, and sold by a marketplace seller, but shipped to you from an Amazon Fulfillment Center. All Amazon standard shipping rates and policies apply to these items when shipped domestically. Your customers can expect free shipping on qualifying orders above 100 AED and Prime Shipping. Cash on Delivery is not accepted as payment for Free Zone products. Amazon has 3 fulfillment centers, 3 sort centers, 8 delivery stations, and several small to medium businesses working as delivery partners.

Conclusion: Start Selling on Amazon UAE!

In conclusion, venturing into the Amazon UAE marketplace in 2024 presents an exciting opportunity for sellers to tap into a rapidly growing and affluent consumer base. With Amazon.ae’s global rank on the rise and the UAE’s thriving e-commerce landscape, the time is ripe for savvy sellers to explore this lucrative market.

The landscape of e-commerce in the UAE is buzzing with potential, supported by significant investments in logistics infrastructure and technology. Amazon’s commitment to the region is evident through initiatives like the new fulfillment center in Dubai South, fostering innovation and economic growth. The UAE’s strategic location and robust logistics network make it an ideal hub for sellers aiming to reach customers not only in the UAE but also across the Middle East.

Selling on Amazon.ae provides access to a diverse and expanding customer base characterized by affluence and a penchant for quality products. By understanding the local market dynamics and tailoring their offerings accordingly, sellers can capitalize on the growing demand across various product categories.

While challenges such as language barriers and regulatory requirements may arise, proactive planning and leveraging professional assistance can help sellers overcome these hurdles effectively. By investing in multilingual support, compliance assistance, and localization strategies, sellers can enhance their market positioning and navigate the expansion process with confidence.

Ultimately, selling on Amazon UAE using services like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) offers sellers a streamlined approach to reach customers and manage inventory. With the right strategy and execution, sellers can establish a strong presence on Amazon.ae and unlock the full potential of the Middle Eastern market. So, seize the opportunity and embark on your journey to success in the thriving e-commerce landscape of the UAE!

We can help localize your keywords to the UAE marketplace! Get in touch with YLT Translations and make sure your product listings are primed for your UAE customers.