Middle East E-commerce Weekly Saudi consumers show increased interest in local e-commerce; Dubai’s largest shopping weekend will return; Saudi Arabia restores diplomatic relations with Canada

Saudi consumers interested in local e-commerce, Dubai's largest shopping weekend returns, Saudi Arabia restores diplomatic relations with Canada

ePanda Goes Abroad has selected the most noteworthy e-commerce news from the Middle East this week, accurately grasping the local trends and reviewing the highlights of the week together.

Saudi consumers show increased interest in local e-commerce

According to Kearney Consulting and Mukatafa’s latest report, as acceptance of online shopping continues to increase, Saudi consumers are turning to support local shopping platforms and local hybrid shopping platforms rather than cross-border shopping platforms.

The report shows that compared to purchasing goods from China, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Europe, and the United States, 74% of Saudi online shoppers want to increase their shopping on Saudi e-commerce platforms.

In 2021, cross-border e-commerce accounted for 59% of total e-commerce revenue. Although this proportion will decrease (possibly to 49% by 2026) as local and hybrid enterprises develop, it still dominates.

So far, the reasons why consumers choose cross-border platforms are lower prices (72%), wider selection (47%), convenience (35%), and brand diversity (31%).

Dubai’s largest shopping weekend will return

The largest shopping weekend organized by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) is about to return. The three-day super sale (3DSS) will last from May 26th to 28th. Outlet stores and shopping malls throughout the city will offer up to 90% off on brands in categories including fashion, beauty, lifestyle, furniture, electronics, etc.

The participating shopping centers include Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira, City Centre Me’aisem & City Centre Al Shindagha, Dubai Festival City Mall, Dubai Festival Plaza, Nakheel Mall, Ibn Battuta, Circle Mall, Mercato, Town Center, The Beach, Bluewaters, City Walk, and The Outlet Village.

Saudi Arabia and Canada restore diplomatic relations

On May 24th local time, Saudi Arabia and Canada announced that they would restore diplomatic relations, with both countries stating in their respective statements that they would “restore diplomatic relations to the level before the 2018 dispute.”

The two countries’ diplomatic relations broke down in 2018 when the Canadian Foreign Ministry publicly condemned Saudi Arabia’s human rights situation on Twitter.

Recently, Saudi Arabia has made a series of reconciliations on the world stage. In March of this year, with the mediation of China, Saudi Arabia restored diplomatic relations with Iran. This month, Saudi Arabia also restored diplomatic relations with Syria. At the same time, Saudi Arabia has been working to promote peace in Sudan and has hosted talks between the generals of the warring factions in Sudan.

Delivery Hero and talabat jointly launch talabat AI

Global leading local delivery company Delivery Hero and the leading delivery platform in the Middle East and North Africa region, talabat, recently announced the joint launch of talabat AI.

When customers enter their cooking needs via chat, talabat AI can provide cooking instructions for recipes and identify necessary ingredients from the nearest talabat Mart. Users can also ask talabat AI for cooking tips, nutritional information, and suitable dishes.

talabat Chief Product Officer Yi-Wei Ang said: “We are pleased to be the first daily delivery company in the Middle East and North Africa to integrate this feature into our application, which is part of our vision to simplify daily life through innovative solutions. ‘talabat AI’ was built using OpenAI’s ChatGPT and aims to explore new ways of supporting technology to enhance the customer experience.”

talabat pro users in the United Arab Emirates will be the first to experience the beta version of talabat AI, which will then be launched in Kuwait and other markets.

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