Middle East: ecommerce developments

Danielle Molloy-Vickers
Retail Analyst

Date : 16 June 2020

We round up new online shopping developments from retailers in the UAE and Qatar.

UAE: restaurants and cafés to launch their own delivery services

Restaurants and cafés in Dubai have taken steps to reduce their reliance on third-party delivery apps by launching a direct-to-consumer delivery service. Companies are encouraging consumers to order directly through the restaurant by dropping delivery charges, providing a saving of between 8% and 15%.

As aggregators charge fees of up to 30% to 35%, restaurants have been finding it harder to afford the fees, due to a fall in spending brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Launching their own delivery service will allow restaurants and cafés to reduce delivery fees and take back control of their services.

Spinneys launches online shopping in Dubai…

UAE-based Spinneys has launched a new online shopping service, which includes a home delivery option, in Dubai. Available items include fresh produce, dairy products, meat and fish, dried goods, and household items. There will be a minimum order of AED100 (US$27), while Spinneys will charge a delivery fee of AED15 (US$4). Orders over AED350 (US$95) will enjoy free delivery.

Products will be delivered next day in slots between 10:00 and 21:00, and in some cases, same-day delivery is available between 19:00 to 21:00. The service is currently only available in Dubai, with expansion planned for Abu Dhabi, and the launch of a mobile app.

…And an incubator programme for micro-businesses

Furthermore, Spinneys has launched a new incubator programme allowing small-sized businesses to sell products at its supermarkets for 12 months. The initiative has been launched to support local food production and stimulate economic growth. It has been initiated as part of the retailer’s sustainability strategy, which operates under the tag line, ‘Let’s do better together’.

It will enable micro food and beverage business to list their products at Spinneys without start-up fees. Select businesses will also receive monthly coaching sessions from Spinneys’ senior management team, marketing support through its digital channels, PR, and in-store sampling booths. To be eligible for these benefits, the product must be produced in the UAE and meet a clear consumer need.

Qatar: LuLu adopts faster delivery

Lulu has launched two new initiatives to provide convenient and faster online shopping services in Qatar:

  • The first initiative, express delivery, will provide same-day delivery on orders placed between 10:00 to 17:00. To achieve this, LuLu has partnered with several taxi groups for home delivery. The service is available from 20 LuLu locations
  • The second service, which enables shoppers to click and collect, will include a drive-thru to enable collection from nine locations across Qatar