The UAE has been ranked 13 out of 99 countries for ease of starting an online business. The study was carried out by Best Accounting Software, a service that reviews and rates financial software.
The ranking considered, among other criteria, internet coverage and penetration; country wealth and ease of processes (including corporate taxes), and; access to delivery services and skilled workers.
The UAE had an overall score of 68.41, just below the UK and ahead of Belgium. The GCC country ranked best for mobile internet speed (with average speeds of 129.61 Mbps), best for internet users with 99 per cent of their population using the internet, and best for low corporate tax rates at 0 per cent.
Saudi Arabia had a score of 53.67 while Kuwait scored 51.39 out of 100.
Denmark was ranked as the best country to launch an online business, followed by Switzerland and the Netherlands. European countries dominated the top 20.
E-commerce continues to grow year-on-year, with eMarketer forecasting global sales worth $6.542 trillion by 2023, accounting for 22 per cent of all retail sales (up from 14.1 per cent in 2019).
According to research firm Kearney, the GCC e-commerce market will reach revised to $24bn, revised $2bn higher due to Covid-19. The average annual spend on e-commerce in Saudi Arabia and UAE rose by 30 per cent in just one year between 2018 and 2019. Consumers spend between $600 and $1,300 online every year in the two GCC countries, Kearney estimates.