Free Trade Zones

Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority sheds light on new trends shaping the future of B2B e-commerce in the emirate


The global pandemic, combined with the accelerated adoption of digital technologies, has led to significant changes in the B2B e-commerce and retail sector in Dubai, which has led the city to strengthen its position as a commercial center leading regional and global.

The changes are exemplified by a new business trend that has emerged among Dubai Integrated Economic Zones (DIEZ) companies where companies are partnering with third-party logistics providers to streamline their supply chain processes and sell their products to customers. A new business-to-business-to-customer (B2B2C) model sees entrepreneurs increasingly buying products in bulk and reselling them through various direct-to-consumer channels, providing them with generous profit margins and ease of operation.

New trends have been accelerated by proactive initiatives implemented by Dubai and the United Arab Emirates to promote the rapid adoption of digital solutions. Also, thanks to recently updated business laws and regulations, it is now easier for businesses to conduct e-commerce in the country.

New studies reveal how the unprecedented challenges posed by the global pandemic along with rapid digitalization have spurred the growth of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce.

According to studies, 82% of companies intend to increase the use of B2B e-commerce and 86% of companies believe that technology is the sector that will gain the most importance in the future, followed by the sector. e-commerce at 84%.

Tradeling, a hyper-growth e-marketplace focused on B2B transactions in the MENA region, is an example of a company that recorded exceptional revenue growth of over 35% month-over-month. another, with a product selection reaching nearly one million. Today, Tradeling has over 150,000 registered buyers and sellers in over 55 countries and has logged 100,000 requests for quotes and information. Since its inception in 2020, the company has been actively facilitating warehouse storage management, trade finance, product inspections and last mile delivery to any location the customer desires.

His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Executive Chairman of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), said: “Through its three free zones, the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority has endeavored to develop a sustainable economic system that stimulates economic growth. of the emirate and strengthens its position as a pioneer in the adoption of solutions and the launch of digital platforms that improve the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises.Tradeling is one such initiative that was launched with a forward-looking vision focused on digital excellence in a flexible framework. economic environment conducive to business development.

“Through various initiatives, projects and solutions, we seek to provide a unique, world-class approach that supports business and enterprise growth, in line with management’s vision to create a vibrant ecosystem characterized by the diversity of areas of investment, simplicity of doing business and the highest levels of competitiveness. The e-commerce sector and B2B commerce are among the most important focus areas of the Authority’s strategy in the next phase, considering given the great economic and investment capabilities and opportunities it also offers such as the increased adoption of the digital-first mindset by companies aspiring to grow in this field in the future,” added Dr. Zarooni .

Marius Ciavola, CEO of Tradeling, said, “B2B e-commerce transactions in the Middle East and North Africa region are only one percent or even less than that of a global market of 1 Trillion dollars is a pretty insignificant size considering the type of potential B2B online offerings in these markets. Our goal is to push that percentage to 4% – 5% and make it a $50 billion business. We’re also on a mission to transform the way B2B commerce is conducted to become digital-first, eliminating hassle and simplifying the process for buyers and sellers. The region’s growth potential is enormous and we are barely scratching the surface.

“Commerce is in a unique position to shape the future of commerce, and we are very fortunate to have DIEZ’s support from the beginning of our journey to date. DIEZ has enabled us to unlock a number of opportunities to collaborate and accelerate our growth plans, while trusting our team of startup builders to carry the load and operate like a private company,” Ciavola said.

The creation of Tradeling was inspired by the Government of Dubai’s 10x initiative, which aims to place the city ten years ahead of other major global cities. With the support of DIEZ, Tradeling works to create innovative solutions that meet the aspirations of customers in various vital industries.

DIEZ contributes 11% of Dubai’s overall retail volume and has seen 8.3% growth in new sales revenue since the start of 2022, as well as a 24% increase in leased space compared to the same period in 2021. DIEZ also saw an 88.4% increase in the number of registered companies compared to the same period in 2020, with a 23.5% increase in registrations of multinational companies.

DIEZ, home to 5,000 businesses, plays a key role in the UAE’s efforts to promote economic diversification, contributing 5% to Dubai’s GDP.