Zbooni reveals results of nationwide UAE SME survey report

Zbooni has unveiled the results of the 2021 UAE SME Survey Report, which highlights confidence in starting a business in the Emirates. The survey which polled more than 200 businesses across a variety of sectors, showed that 9 out of 10 (89.3 per cent) SMEs think the UAE is a good location to start up a business. 

Zbooni, MENA’s leading mobile commerce platform for businesses, also found that there is significant optimism amongst the SME community for 2021. 83.7 per cent of business owners said they were optimistic or very optimistic about the future of their company, while 91 per cent of SMEs expect to grow in 2021. Surprisingly given the market context of the Covid-19 pandemic, 89.5 per cent of the businesses surveyed suggested that they had grown their business in the past 12 months. 

On launching the report, Ramy Assaf, CEO and co-founder of Zbooni said, “We conducted this research to understand how SMEs are faring after a turbulent year. Whilst we have seen strong growth on our digital platform, it is encouraging to see that the SME community has also accelerated over the past 12 months, despite the difficulties of Covid-19. Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the economy, so to see such confidence and optimism in light of the circumstances is tremendously positive for the UAE and its future.”  

Zbooni surveyed a 50-50 split of physical retailers and online-only businesses, representing a broad cross-section of the SME community. The platform is home to thousands of online and offline businesses who transact millions of dollars per month via its payment facility and conduct day-to-day operations with Zbooni’s varied business commerce solutions. 

Elsewhere in the report, SMEs indicated that Instagram was the top ranked channel for growing online sales, followed by WhatsApp, own branded websites, then Facebook. Only 18% of SME businesses ranked online marketplaces as an important driver for their online sales.

Assaf continued, “It would probably come as a surprise to the likes of Noon and Amazon, but they appear out of touch with more than 80% of the SME community. Many products and services just can’t be serviced with traditional ecommerce marketplaces. At Zbooni, we are pioneering an exciting path of conversational commerce. It allows businesses to speak in a straightforward manner with their customers via popular chat options like WhatsApp. Rather than offer the cookie-cutter, copy and paste approach as seen on marketplaces, we allow businesses to customize their products and services to suit the needs of their customers. It’s very clear that there is more to ecommerce than marketplaces.” 

To read the full 2021 UAE SME Survey Report, visit: https://media.zbooni.shop/marketing/the-uae-sma-survey/research-and-analysis.pdf 


  • The Zbooni SME businesses were surveyed between June and July 2021
  • More than 200 businesses were asked to fill in a variety of questions about their business and the overall market sentiment
  • The survey was conducted by strategic advisory firm duke+mir