According to the Northwest University Qatar estimates in their Media Industries in the Middle East 2016, the total ad market in the Middle East was valued at 5.5 billion USD in 2015. While it only accounts for a small percentage of global ad spend in 2015, the market in the Middle East is ripe with opportunities for marketers to expand their advertising. Though the current market structure differs greatly from that of the global market, or even other underdeveloped markets, the MENA region is seeing a gradual shift into the modern era of digital marketing, an area especially pertinent to the region’s 141 million internet users.
Despite the opulent wealth in many of the Gulf countries, payment methods in the Arab world are still catching up to what they are in many western countries. Many Middle Eastern countries have typically been cash-based societies and the use of credit cards has been a relatively new thing in the region. To add to this laws about interest in the Quran and the Hadith have made it hard for many interest-based payment methods to take hold in the region because they are considered to be against the practices of Islam. In this article I will outline some of the payment methods that are available in the region.
Cash On Delivery
Cash on delivery is probably the most popular payment method in the region. Because of the lack of credit cards in the region cash on delivery has gained popularity as an online payment method among locals. Not only is cash on delivery the payment method with the smallest barrier to entry. Cash on delivery is also a payment method that allows consumers to see the products they buy online before they actually pay for them. Due to this fact many online retailers in the region say that cash on delivery has a return rate much much higher than any other payment methods. We have seen statistics that say anywhere from 12 to 13 times the number of returns happen with cash on delivery when compared to credit cards. Consumers receive the package open it and often times say they don’t want it and return it immediately. As you can imagine this can be very costly for the e-commerce merchant as they have to pay the delivery cost without receiving any type of reimbursement. This issue has made it so some retailers in the region have chosen not to use cash on delivery, especially when the e-commerce merchant is just getting started.
Ever since Google came out with their Autocomplete feature in their search results in 2008, people have been fascinated the suggested search queries that populate below the search bar as they type. Google is known to use the most common search queries related to keywords you are typing in to auto populate the suggestion box and this is no different in the Arab world. Just by looking at what appears in this box you can quickly get an idea of some of the most common things people are searching for in Google. In this article we explore some of the most common questions Arabs are asking by examining the suggestions that show up in different countries in the Middle East when you start typing in a question like “How do I …” or “What is …” in Arabic. You will probably find many of these quite interesting.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Situated on the Persian Gulf, next to the Gulf of Oman, the city of Dubai is a renowned global city whose importance to the global economy is almost unparalleled. Because of its strategic position, actively-diversifying economy, and excellent trade relations and prestige, Dubai is an excellent location for any businesses looking to expand or invest, especially into Middle Eastern, North African, and Central and South Asian markets, or anyone looking to do business in the Middle East region.