Online marketplace spending skyrockets by 143% during Ramadan in the UAE

Trends follow 8.5% growth in digital payment transactions in the UAE last Ramadan


Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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Published: Tue 2 Apr 2024, 5:09 PM

Online shopping in the UAE over the holy month of Ramadan is expected to continue to surge across many key retail and service categories, reflecting how the country’s digital payment ecosystem is gaining more trust while becoming more convenient for consumers, a report showed on Tuesday.

Based on previous spending trends,, a financial technology company that delivers a high-performance payments platform, expects high-growth categories this holy month to include transactions in online marketplaces, apparel, healthcare, and travel categories.

Historical data from shows a growth of 8.5 per cent in the volume of digital payment transactions in the UAE last Ramadan across all product and service categories, compared to the period prior. Last year, the volume of consumer transactions rose most sharply in online marketplaces, where the volume of transactions surged by 143 per cent. Other categories with large transaction increases during Ramadan were apparel (78 per cent), healthcare (48 per cent), travel agencies (42 per cent), and sports and toys (31 per cent).

Remittances also rose by 17 per cent in the UAE compared to the prior period, signaling a significant uptick in funds sent by expatriates to their families and friends, both in anticipation of the Eid holidays and during the holy month.

Overall, in 2023, saw processing volumes of online transactions during Ramadan swell in the region year-on-year by 69 per cent. Between 2021 to 2023, the volume rose by an astounding 143 per cent.

Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, general manager - Mena at
Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, general manager - Mena at

Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, general manager - Mena at, said: “We see a growing confidence in digital payment platforms and increasing trust from consumers for online shopping. This reflects not only the unique preferences of Ramadan shopping, but also the dynamic and evolving nature of the digital payments landscape in the UAE. The rapid digitalization in the country has led to a considerable boost in online spending in recent years, with the evolving needs of merchants being supported by payment service providers who are fine-tuning their value propositions.”

Earlier research by indicates that the strong inclination towards online shopping is more of a long-term behavior change rather than a temporary shift. Consumers in the UAE are increasingly motivated by the unprecedented convenience e-commerce provides, combined with the transaction speed and security offered by trusted payment processors.

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