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A Complete Guide to Setting up e-commerce Business in Dubai


If you are planning to start your own business in UAE then starting an e-commerce business in Dubai could be the best investment of your life. However it’s not a cup of tea for everyone to start an online shopping business. It needs a lot of hardwork, efforts, commitment and consistency to setup a profitable online store. Here we will discuss in more details the steps to set up e-commerce Company in Dubai.

Why to invest in e-commerce Business:

E-commerce is not new and has been around for many years. The e-commerce business will be in its peak in 2023 and beyond. The latest technologies, payment services, massive scaling of shipping and distribution networks have made it very successful. E-commerce will continue to grow massively in the near future. Many e-commerce companies have already been setup in UAE and many more to come. Specifically after the covid-19 pandemic the trend of online shopping has been phenomenal. Today everyone wants to shop online instead of physically going to stores as it saves time as well as it is safe in this period of time. It doesn’t matter whether you are living in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, you can buy anything online at the comfort of your home.

Steps for setting up an e-commerce business in UAE

1- Do a thorough research and get knowledge of the market

Before starting your e-commerce store in UAE it is crucial to do a thorough research of the market. The initial research phase consists of getting to know the competitors in the space, assessing the current size of the opportunity, identifying the specific customer niches for the product/service and finding out the most effective and profitable online channels to reach out these targeted customers.

2- Choose the right e-commerce platform

Choosing the right e-commerce platform is the key to success in online business. This is the most crucial stage because if you choose the wrong platform then the whole hardwork will go useless. So decide wisely which one to choose. Below are some of the available options:

• Shopiy
• BigCommerce
• WooCommerce
• Magento
• Squarespace
• Wix
• PrestaShop
• OpenCart
• OsCommerce

Each platform has its own pros and cons so based on your requirements and nature of the business you can choose the specific platform. Also there are custom SAAS platforms which are completely customizable and you can get paid subscription as per your requirements. The price depends upon what features you want to avail.

3- Choose Freezone or Mainland

One of the main concerns when setting up your e-commerce business in Dubai is which one to choose a freezone or mainland. Although you don’t need a physical presence but you should choose one of the two areas to legally operate your business in Dubai.

4- Freezones for E-Commerce License in UAE

• Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
• Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)
• Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA)
• Sharjah Media City
• Ajman Media City
• Umm-Al-Quwain Free Trade Zone
• Fujairah Creative City Free Zone
• Ras Al Khaimah Media City
• International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)
• Dubai CommerCity (DCC) free zone

5- Register your Trade Name:

After choosing your favorite zone the next step is to register your company’s trade name. When choosing the name make sure it’s legitimate. Make sure you must not use a name similar to already existing companies in UAE.
6- Get your e-commerce license in Dubai
Get your e-commerce licence from DED. Whether you are doing business online or offline you must need a trade license. Once you have the e-commerce license then you will be eligible to sell online through different social media channels.

7- E-Commerce website development

When you decide to build an online store then you have two options either you can hire an in-house team for building your online store or you can out-source it to an agency who are good at doing ecommerce websites. Based on several factors such as how big is your project, whether it is B2B, B2C, C2C or C2B and what products you want to sell, you can hire an e-commerce team or hire an agency.
Make sure your website is secure. All the transactions will be online so security should be top priority. Integrate a secure and trusted payment gateway into your website to handle online transactions.

8- Customer Service Support and Logistic:

To run a successful e-commerce business in Dubai you should have great customer support. Most of the online businesses fail due to poor customer support. If you want your e-commerce business to get stand-out from the competitors then you should mainly focus on providing 24/7 support and resolving customer issues as soon as they arise. For logistics, you can either build logistics at your own expense or opt for 3rd party logistics support.

9- Post-Launch of e-commerce store in Dubai

Now your e-commerce store is up and running and you made your first sale. That’s amazing. But you don’t need to sit and wait for customers. Instead you can work on to improve your website’s user experience, loading time, conversion rate, organic ranking etc. A good SEO can improve the ranking of profitable keywords related to your products. Maintain a strong social media presence. By investing in both SEO and SEM you can get the most out of your e-commerce store in Dubai. By improving the overall look and feel and investing in digital marketing you can make your ecommerce website a sales machine.

10- Start Your e-commerce business in Dubai today

If you are ready to launch your e-commerce company in Dubai and not sure where to start then we are here to help you. You can connect with highly experienced business consultants at Expand Corporate Services in Dubai. Located in Dubai Silicon Oasis, we are the top-rated business setup consultants in Dubai dealing in all types of business setup and consultancy services such as e-commerce license in Dubai, office setup, PRO services, Attestation services, Tax and accounting, Business bank account opening and more. We will be happy to assist you in setting up your ecommerce business in UAE as well marketing it to your potential customers in UAE through result-oriented digital marketing services.