Star Tech: UAE first q-commerce marketplace set to be launched next month

Boutique digital marketplace offers consumers a whole new online shopping experience


Joydeep Sengupta

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Published: Sat 23 Jul 2022, 11:43 PM

Last updated: Tue 28 Feb 2023, 2:55 PM, the UAE’s first quick-commerce (q-commerce) marketplace is set for commercial launch on August 27. The start up is inviting suppliers and sellers to register their companies and list their products online ahead of the launch. Consumers are likely to start buying products online for quick delivery, which is the big idea behind q-commerce.

Moustafa Banbouk, the founder and chairman of, is a realtor who has delivered over 50 residential and commercial projects in his native Lebanon in the past three decades.

Banbouk, a civil engineer, is set to launch the first q-commerce marketplace in the UAE, as bets big for small businesses to grow and offer consumers a whole new shopping experience. “I’ve a long-term commitment to the UAE economy. I’ve chosen the country for the upcoming launch because of its robust e-commerce ecosystem. I’m confident that will transform the online shopping culture in the Middle East, as we’re striving for a personalised experience,” he said., he explained, is an acronym for a very happy shopping online experience. “It’s planned as a customer-centric boutique digital marketplace. Our focus is on customer happiness and satisfaction,” he added.

“Many consumers do last-minute shopping, or order gifts that do not reach the beneficiary and sometimes arrive after the intended delivery time. However, we want to change that. We want the gifts and products to arrive on or before the intended time, as fast as under three hours, which is the primary concept behind q-commerce,” he added.

Wholesalers, suppliers and retailers of 14 categories such as men’s, women’s, children’s, personal care products, perfumes, toiletries, cosmetics can register their wares and upload their stock keeping units (SKUs) online for to promote them for consumers’ attention. is encouraging micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to register and upload their inventories.

“MSMEs are the largest employer in the UAE economy and are responsible for more than 80 per cent of its economy. We want them to grow their business with us. We’re also looking at offering daily discount deals that will not only benefit the consumers, but also the retailers and suppliers,” Banbouk said.

How can the delivery time gap be filled?

“We’ve worked on a hybrid model using the third-party pool of transport and logistics and our own resources. We’re working on the logistics supply chain and then will scale up the operations as we acquire more customers and sellers. The hybrid model will help us fix the resource gap, if any,” he said.

Initially, will be launched in the UAE in end-August, and later it would expand its footprints to other five Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait.

What’s q-commerce?

Q-commerce is the fastest-growing online shopping or e-commerce segment that delivers products to customers within the shortest possible time ranging from 30 minutes to three hours depending on the distance. The business is growing fast due to changing consumer behaviour and preference of last-minute purchase, especially by the upwardly mobile young couples, professionals and entrepreneurs.

Data shows that the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) e-commerce market size, including all categories, to be worth $48.6 billion by the end of this year.

Similarly, the corresponding figure for q-commerce in the region is expected to grow from $9 billion in 2020 to $20 billion by 2024, according to, a global market intelligence provider.

Globally, the q-commerce market for food and grocery delivery is expected to grow to $72 billion by 2025, according to a report by Forbes magazine. The segment is set to grow to $47 billion in the region by 2030, according to new research from Redseer.

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