150m Internet Users in the Middle East

150m Internet Users in the Middle East

150m Internet Users in the Middle East

Conventional travel agencies are losing ground in favour of their online counterparts, with recent statistics showing that the use of internet in the Middle East region is increasing by 15 percent annually, the world’s highest growth rate, approaching the 150 million mark.

This came during panels sessions featured by the Digital Transformation Summit, held on the sidelines of the now-running Arabian Travel Market 2017 in Dubai. Participants in the summit called for examining recent trends in tourists’ use of technology to discover, plan and provide untraditional options that are likely to help agencies compete with digital-only peers.

The summit brings together groupings of industry experts from academia and practice for conversations on emerging technologies, trends, and challenges in the tourism industry. They urged travel agents to adopt unconventional methods to attract clients through social media and electronic platforms.

Recent statistics have showed that traditional travel agencies have lost ground and a considerable share of their business as a result of the state of digital transformation witnessed in the tourism industry, with more than 50 percent of them facing the threat of totally forfeiting their business over the coming five years in case they have failed to woo their clients through websites and social media forums.

Currently, the Middle East eCommerce market is dominated by a handful of large, local players, like Souq.com (bought by Amazon) and Wadi.com and global businesses, such as eBay, Amazon, and Aliexpress. The rapid growth in the sector and the traction that local companies receive attracted huge investments in recent years.

At HEFFX Ecommerce remains a focus of developments, Ecommerce in Emerging Markets will be a primary objective over the next 5 years. HEFFX have built and acquired brands, developed Ecommerce platforms and have some fairly exciting new concepts to bring to market during their roll out.

Our Ecommerce sectors cover Financial Services, Agriculture, Fashion, Travel and Cosmetics.

The Middle East region is on the cusp of a major e-commerce growth spurt. More people than ever are shopping online, and e-commerce is transforming how we interact with brands.

Research commissioned by Standard Chartered points to a 30 per cent top-line growth year-on-year in e-commerce across the Middle East, with many markets remaining largely untapped.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt are expected to be some of the fastest growing e-commerce markets globally in the next few years, and some intriguing developments are already happening here.

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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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