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‘No competition between traditional and online shopping in Dubai’ – MD

Ayaz Maqbool

Ayaz Maqbool Managing Director at insists the newly launched e-commerce website will help increase footfall in the malls.

March 6, 2013 12:16 by

As yet another e-commerce website launches in Dubai, we recently asked whether the retail and mall sector in the city will be negatively affected. Will Dubai be prone to the same damning effect countries with sophisticated e-commerce models are susceptible to? Will we be seeing vacancy rates in the shopping malls shoot through the roof as Dubai’s shoppers chose the internet over the aisles?

Absolutely not, if Ayaz Maqbool Managing Director at has anything to say about it. The website, which was launched earlier this week, is endorsed by the Department of Economic Development and as such is primarily an e-commerce channel for retailers operating in malls., which translates into ‘treasure chest’, unlike other e-commerce websites in Dubai, is positioned as the official online distribution channel for retailers registered with the DED.

In the past, if a store like TheFaceShop or Springfield, just set up shop in the UAE and wanted to offer online shopping or shipping services to the greater MENA region it would have to do so independently. essentially provides the service of online listing and distribution to the stores in Dubai that want to go online.

“The whole purpose of is to compliment and enrich the shopping mall experience. It is very much an initiative which will sit side by side to the physical shopping malls which is why we only represent the retailers that are present inside the shopping malls who are licensed to operate by the Department of Economic Development” said Maqbool.

“It is all about legitimacy. It is all about the stores which are registered with the DED” he added.

Developing a greater link between the shopping malls and is an on-going project. For instance, the company is developing an arrangement which will reward an online shopper for visiting a shop after making an online purchase or alternatively an online buyer could be encouraged to come into the store to collect the merchandise, or to get it altered.

“The website is primarily being built keeping in mind the psychology of the shoppers. We want to integrate the shopping mall with the online services so that we promote further footfall into the shopping malls.”

Will, with its strong government backing, be able to take e-commerce in Dubai to the 21st century? Maqbool is optimistic.

“It is a transformation for the retail industry to have an additional channel of online services. If you look at the Dubai retail landscape you will see that there is a very limited number of online services currently. Our objective is to help up to 25 percent of the retailers to go online in the next three to four years.”


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  1. Georgia Lewis on March 6, 2013 6:41 pm

    As long as plenty of people find their UAE bank cards don’t work online and as long as the UAE addressing system continues to be rubbish, I can’t see online shopping bothering the malls too much in the foreseeable future.

  2. J Walton on April 3, 2013 1:18 pm

    I have a feeling that very soon we’ll find Tejuri becoming a ‘compulsory’ service that all DED registered retail brands will have to subscribe to. It’ll just become another line item on your yearly fees that you HAVE to pay…. that’s how they’ll get traction – by ‘forcing’ it.
    Retail brands in Dubai are all franchised. Franchisees are geographically restricted – not allowed to sell in other markets.


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