The Internet Commerce Summit 2023 concludes with an awards ceremony and the launch of the eCommerce Yearbook.

  • The summit, which took place on 16-17 March 2023 at Conrad Dubai, focused on how technology is shaping the future of business in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Dubai, UAE. New age consumer behavior is evolving rapidly. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will see a 147 percent increase in mobile wallet usage by 2025, according to Kearney. What’s more, it suggests that 1 in 2 consumers in the MENA region want to try Metaverse, and retailers are exploring AI and machine learning to improve the customer experience.

More than 150 expert speakers shared their knowledge and insights with more than 500 delegates and 300 companies on the digital transformation and on the growth of the e-commerce industry.

Organized by IMAGES RetailME, the debut Internet Commerce Summit (ICS) MENA edition is set to be a powerful platform exploring technology transformation, innovation and disruption in the e-commerce domain across multiple business categories. This platform also identified future opportunities for industry stakeholders. Delegates at the two-day summit witnessed some exciting stories about digital transformation and innovative approaches that are changing consumer behavior and the way people shop.

By the end of 2023, the e-commerce market size in the MENA region is expected to reach USD 100 billion. To chart the highly visible growth of this vibrant market, IMAGES Group MENA launched its first e-commerce yearbook on March 17, 2023. This unique collection, in its debut edition, is dedicated to the domestic digital commerce ecosystem. With this volume, the Yearbook traces the growth of the regional e-commerce landscape, mapping the journeys and successes of indigenous brands across multiple categories.

The yearbook features 100 household names in the e-commerce space, highlighting how they have disrupted, set trends and created unique business models in their respective categories.

Bhavesh Pitroda, founder and organizer of the Internet Commerce Summit (ICS) was delighted to see the convergence of great minds from various fields at the two-day conference and said, “The good response to the debut edition of ICS MENA paves the way for more like-minded Leadership Conferences to come. There are many opportunities to explore within the domain of the digital e-commerce ecosystem. Every industry should use this untapped horizon to reach great heights. Customers will only become more demanding of the connected experience, and now it’s up to all of us to make it flexible and ready for them. That’s the power of the Internet, and it’s only going to grow.”

“We’re piloting a project at Papa John’s Pizza that will take multiple images of each pizza made and served in our stores, and the software will scan the images to see if they’re perfect by measuring pizza size, ingredients, toppings and even pepperoni. and the positioning of other ingredients to show if each slice is getting an equal amount of filling,” said Papa Johns Pizza franchisee Tapan Vaidya, CEO of PJP Investments, speaking at the conference.

“The software then analyzes the images and sends quick feedback to store management about the quality of the pizza. This is one of the ways we try to ensure the quality of our products and services, among many other developments to enhance the customer experience,” he added.

Piyush Chouhan, CIO of Panda Retail (part of the Savola Group) said: “Customers are one step ahead and many retailers are still trying to catch up.”

“E-commerce is a growing area in MENA. It turns out great success stories worth paying attention to. It’s good to see that these companies are spread across industries and they’re fueling category growth like never before. ICS helped connect these powerhouses. with an enabling ecosystem, and that makes the story even stronger. Moreover, it is so heartening to see that an ecosystem driven by technological advancements is always ready to offer customized solutions to brands and companies engaged in internet business,” Sudhakar Adapa, Founder. & CEO, COMMERZIFY notes:

General Director of IMAGES RetailME, Justina Eitzinger, speaking about the event, said: “The debut edition of the Internet Commerce Summit 2023 was an unprecedented success as experts shared their insights on the future of this emerging industry. As consumers, industry and government stakeholders in the Middle East evolve, it is important to give them the best knowledge, information and insights so they can help reshape the industry to meet consumer demand.”

A recent report from Amazon Payment Services shows that consumers born between the late 1990s and early 2010s are driving digital payments, driven by innovation, convenience and seamless experiences. However, it is Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, who have the highest spending power.

The study shows that 51 percent of Gen Z in the UAE use digital or mobile wallets for everyday payments, compared to 48 percent in Saudi Arabia and 43 percent in Egypt. Furthermore, 20 percent of UAE respondents reported a decline in the use of cash, with 50 percent of Gen Z respondents confirming that they exclusively use cards for transactions.

Tamana Padhi, General Manager, Consumer Industries, Retail, said: “The global market of metaverse will grow by 33 percent in 5 years, reaching 1 trillion dollars. The MENA region is poised to build a $360 billion economy in 10 years around the Metaverse. Overall consumers in MENA are maturing.”

ICS participants spanned the entire value chain of digital commerce businesses in MENA, India, Europe and the US.

The two-day summit featured a number of industry leaders, experts and changemakers, including Brandon Rowberry, CEO – Aster DM Healthcare – Digital Health; Nader Amiri, founder – elGrocer; Leena Khalil, co-founder and CCO of Mumzworld; Piyush Chowhan, CIO, Panda Retail Company (Savola Group); Anthony Nehaenko, co-founder and CCO of YallaMarket; Peter Gesper, senior vice president of IT, Noon; Syed Habib, Director of Business Development, Franchising and E-Commerce – Danube Home; Mouna Abbassy, ​​Founder and CEO, IZIL Beauty; Sadek Abdulrasool – Chief Digital Officer –, Adam Dockrat – Head of IT- Aster Retail GCC, Shah Hassam – CEO, Jerdoni, Kartik Bhatt – COO – GCC – Sharaf Retail, Tarek Barakat – Marketing & E-Commerce Director – next to Group: Imad Hamad – Founder / CEO –, Steve Webster – Digital Director – Liwa Trading Enterprise, Anish Mohamed – Group CIO – Lulu Group International, Mohammad Alabar – Founder & CEO – Akaar Homes, Santosh Krishnamurthy – Digital & Retail Transformation Head – BFL Group, Rehana Raj – Operations Head – Choithrams and Sandeep Sharma – Group Procurement & International Markets – Domino’s Pizza and several others.

One of the highlights of the event was the IMAGES ME E-Commerce Awards 2023, created by Commerzify, the debut edition of MENA’s most prestigious recognition of e-commerce excellence. In its debut edition, the award celebrated some notable e-commerce journeys for brands across categories, tracking their growth on the digital runway.

Internet Commerce Summit 2023 Award Winners





IMAGES ME Most admired e-commerce company of the year. Beauty and health

Light Organics


IMAGES ME Most admired e-commerce company of the year. Food and groceries

Lulu hypermarket


IMAGES ME Most admired e-commerce company of the year. Food service

Philly Cafe


IMAGES ME Most admired e-commerce company of the year. Fashion and lifestyle

BFL Group:


IMAGES ME Most admired e-commerce company of the year. Jewelry

Etika Jewels


IMAGES ME The most amazing e-commerce company of the year. Children’s clothing



IMAGES ME Most admired e-commerce company of the year. Pharmacy and Healthcare

Life Pharmacy:

8 o’clock

IMAGES ME Most admired e-commerce company of the year. Footwear



IMAGES ME Most admired e-commerce company of the year. entertainment and gift


IMAGES ME The most admired e-commerce company of the year. Marketplace:

Single card


IMAGES ME The most amazing e-commerce company of the year. Home and household items

Danube House


IMAGES ME The most amazing e-commerce company of the year. marketing and customer outreach



IMAGES ME The most admired e-commerce company of the year. Customer experience



IMAGES ME The most amazing e-commerce company of the year. Omnichannel:


Lulu hypermarket


IMAGES ME Most admired e-commerce company of the year. Performance and Customer Service




Dharmin Ved, CEO,



Mohamed Alabbar, founder of


About IMAGES RetailME

PICTURES: RetailME: An 18-year-old retail intelligence media brand in the Middle East. With a print readership of over 45,000 and a digital reach of over 100,000 across the MENA region, it offers unparalleled insights into local and international trade.

RetailME is the #1 retail intelligence platform that brings together brick-and-mortar and digital retailers of all sizes and leverages trends, thought leadership, experience and transformation.

IMAGES RetailME provides unique, in-depth editorial coverage of all aspects of retail, including retail formats, merchandising, design, store fit, category management, logistics, technology, malls, consumer trends, franchising and human resources. In addition, readers are updated on important trends and trends in this ever-growing industry.

About Internet Commerce Summit 2023

The Internet Commerce Summit 2023, a powerful platform to drive digital commerce innovation and acceleration in the MENA region, took place on March 16-17, 2023 at Conrad Dubai, UAE.

The Internet Commerce Summit (ICS) was conceptualized as a premium new technology forum that showcases modern and relevant solutions for multiple industries. The debut edition of ICS Dubai focused on the 4 pillars of next-generation digital commerce: E-commerce & D2C, Omnichannel Retail, Martech and Fintech & Payments.

ICS Dubai has revealed how e-commerce players can leverage these multiple trends to build brand power and drive sales.

For more information, please contact:
Sophia Godinho

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