E-Commerce Module – Assignment 1 Title: The State of E-Commerce in the UAE and the Challenges Facing E-Commerce Start-ups.

Today’s consumers are as informed and switched on as their high-tech smart devices that keep them connected to the ever changing digital commerce landscape no matter where in the world they are. The modern shopper employs practices that take advantage of a wealth of online resources to aid smart, well-informed and often instant decisions. Simultaneously, their digital imprint offers the businesses with which they are interacting greater insight into their profiles and preferences. Responsive and innovative companies are leveraging this influx of data to provide personalised and frictionless buying experiences.

Retailers are preparing themselves to serve this new generation of consumer, breaking down barriers and demonstrating their agility in this new era. In order to benefit from these changes companies are obliged to open up for social and mobile trends as well as multi channel concepts, same-day-delivery and new technologies.

The emergence of The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is forcing organizations to reexamine the way they do business. A key trend is the development of technology-enabled platforms that combine both demand and supply to disrupt existing industry structures. These technology platforms, rendered easy to use by the smartphone, convene people, assets, and data—thus creating entirely new ways of consuming goods and services in the process.

The UAE is a highly connected society. A recent UN Broadband Commission report says 85 percent of UAE residents are now online and places the UAE 3rd amongst Middle Eastern countries and 17th globally for internet usage. Smart penetration is the highest in the world. The connectivity of the UAE is expected to grow further in the coming years with growth in cloud services estimated at 40 percent over the next three years as the UAE government is opting for smart transactions.

Assignment Task

Despite having a dynamic young population and with one of the highest global per capita internet penetration levels and high penetration of smart devices, E-commerce remains relatively underdeveloped in the UAE with the lowest percentage of online shopping worldwide. However, it expected that E-Commerce will be a megatrend for businesses in the UAE, and it is expected to be valued at $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) by 2018.

As part of the assignment please discuss the current state and trends in E-Commerce within the UAE context. Firstly, provide a brief statement of the problem for adopting e-commerce in the UAE and the Gulf Region with associated relevant literature, i.e. the state of e-commerce penetration within different sectors or industries. Secondly, discuss the challenges/difficulties faced by E-Commerce SMEs (Small-Medium Enterprises) or start-ups in the UAE and provide some recommendations on how to overcome these challenges.

Your paper should not exceed 8 pages including all text, references, appendices and figures. Papers that fail to conform to these requirements will be rejected without review.


The main criterion for assessment will be the originality and innovation in the ideas presented and their underlying intuitions, and for the validity of the argumentation.

The assessment will be performed according to the following criteria: originality, relevance and soundness of the argument, appropriate consideration of relevant literature, and quality of presentation.


• originality and innovation in the ideas presented 25%

• relevance and soundness of the argument, 25%

• appropriate consideration of relevant literature, 25%

• quality of presentation and conforming to requirements (i.e. not exceeding 10 pages) 25%

Skills: Editing, Proofreading, Report Writing, Research Writing, Technical Writing

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