MENA is an untapped market for online business.
“The Middle East and North Africa region remains a market of untapped potential for online businesses,” observes Euromonitor in a post on the rising demand for Arabic-language content. Such content is limited by the fact that Arabic is harder to program and input than English, according to Euromonitor, but there’s greater incentive as smartphones bring the Web to many more Arabic-only speakers.
Consumers in the Middle East and North Africa “are increasingly eager to shop and play online,” reports The Economist, noting that a key obstacle is the preference for cash transactions. New digital wallet-type services are popping up to address the issue. And more entrepreneurs in unexpected places are seeking to serve these consumers: For instance, the Palestinian startup Yamsafer, based in Ramallah, targets regional travelers.