In a bid to support the UAE’s SME sector, Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) Solutions team has set up an online shopping initiative to help local firms engage with customers who may otherwise not be able to reach them due to the current situation.
Via the DubaiStore portal – a joint venture between technology consulting firm Emaratech and the DED – SMEs have a more level playing field with big e-commerce firms in terms of customer reach & visibility.
The DubaiStore platform serves as a marketplace to facilitate online sales of products offered by UAE-licensed companies. DubaiStore will promote locally registered businesses with no conflict of interest as it neither sells nor owns any products itself.
Each merchant can set-up a virtual store on the platform where they can easily list their products and manage their virtual presence. DubaiStore will facilitate pick-up and delivery via its own courier company while customers are given the option of a free 15-day return facility.
For the international market, DubaiStore provides opportunity for service providers who are registered through Dubai Virtual Commercial City (VCC) to connect to customers directly. VCC enables international entrepreneurs and freelancers to operate a virtual company in the UAE even if they are not resident in the country.
UK companies are included on the approved list able to set up in VCC through a number of permitted activities in the UAE, although goods manufacturers will still likely need to assign a local agent in order to register and sell their products in the UAE.
This initiative is a good example of practical support from Dubai government aimed at the local SME sector during a difficult time for businesses in the UAE. On a longer-term basis, it also accelerates Dubai’s strategic plans and smart government initiatives aimed at digital transformation.
To learn more on how to take advantage of this opportunity, feel free to contact Wuraola.firstname.lastname@example.org