By Rajesh Kumar, FNP CEO of GCC and Southeast Asia  

Given the UAE’s thriving economy and booming tourist sector, the days of pandemic restrictions and lockdowns seem like a lifetime ago.  

The retail economy in the UAE experienced a significant growth in consumer spending in 2022, according to a Q4 report. The report revealed that consumer spending in the UAE retail economy grew by 19% in 2022, indicating a robust recovery from the pandemic-induced slowdown.

According to Euromonitor, E-commerce sales in the UAE grew from $2.6bn in 2019 to $4.8bn in 2021 – an increase of almost 85 percent. This figure is expected to rise to a massive $9.2bn by 2026, as E-commerce continues to thrive across the globe. 

The boom of E-commerce has also encouraged the formation of a speedier and even more convenient way of online shopping.  

Feeding the world’s new desire for everything to be quick and instantly available, and its willingness to pay higher prices for immediate service, the realm of Q-commerce, or quick commerce, was born.  

A booming sector  

Q-commerce, also known as ‘on-demand delivery’, is essentially a faster version of E-commerce that offers home delivery within 60 minutes, or even 30 minutes or less.   

A recent article in Forbes magazine stated that the global Q-commerce market for food and grocery delivery is expected to grow to $72 billion by 2025.  

Interestingly, Q-commerce has proved to be particularly successful in the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries.  

Data from Redseer, the Dubai-based strategy consultants, found that the MENA region’s Q-commerce market is predicted to reach $47 bn by 2030.  

In fact, MENA is the world leader in the Q-commerce market. It’s so popular that it now accounts for 20 per cent of the region’s entire digital economy.  

In contrast, the markets of the USA, Canada and Western Europe are lagging when it comes to instant-delivery services, and they are yet to develop the right infrastructure for them.  

Courier services are more expensive in these regions, and Q-commerce also works best in densely populated urban areas, much like the environments offered in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other prominent residential areas in the UAE.

Diversifying Q-commerce   

The rise of Q commerce has prompted diversification in the gift-giving industry, with consumers looking for more personalized and experiential options. 

For instance, gifting options now cater to the evolving preferences of consumers in Dubai. The premium gifting range includes designer items, luxury watches, and fine jewelry, while personalized gifting options allow customers to add a personal touch to their gifts. 

There is also substantial demand for experiential gifting options, such as spa treatments and adventure tours as well as eco-friendly gifting options that reflect Dubai’s diverse cultural heritage. 

Instant gifting  

As the world becomes increasingly digital, the act of gift giving is evolving to keep up with the times. Instant gifting, a relatively new trend, is becoming increasingly popular in the UAE and is helping revolutionize the way people give and receive gifts. This new trend is proving to be especially beneficial for businesses like Q Commerce, which is leading the way in this innovative space.

Instant gifting refers to the act of sending digital gift cards to friends, family members, or colleagues. With instant gifting, you can select and send a gift card instantly through a smartphone app or website. The recipient then receives the gift card via email, which they can then use to purchase products or services.

The trend has gained significant momentum in the UAE, where more and more people are looking for convenient and personalized ways to give gifts. With instant gifting, individuals can choose from a wide range of options, including e-commerce sites, retail outlets, restaurants, and other services. This flexibility allows recipients to select a gift that best suits their needs and preferences.

At FNP, we take great pride in being at the forefront of innovation and continuously striving to provide the best service to our customers. Seven years ago, we introduced quick commerce and 60-minute delivery to the UAE, making us one of the first companies to do so. This not only showcases our commitment to providing fast and reliable service but also demonstrates our dedication to staying ahead of the curve and leading the industry with cutting-edge solutions. We are grateful for the trust and loyalty of our customers, and we will continue to strive for excellence in everything we do.’s luxury Belgian chocolates and fresh flowers are proving particularly popular for instant gifting. An incredible 50 percent of our total sales in the UAE derive from roses, lilies and hyacinths, and our homemade cakes, fresh plants and personalised accessories are also continuing to do well.  

As well as physical items, we also offer instant and same-day delivery on digital gifting options such as our innovative musician on call services (delivering a guitarist, violinist or flutist straight to a loved one’s door), celebrity video messages, poet on call, personalised apps, digital caricatures and personalised video messages.    

By offering quick delivery, quality products that consistently exceed expectations and excellent customer communication services, we continue to successfully maintain the trust of our audience, stand out from the competition and grow our customer base.  

Q-commerce remains an exceptionally lucrative market. Given the UAE’s easy lifestyle, excellent infrastructure, dense urban landscapes and high wages, I predict that it will only continue to boom.