Stripe launches in the United Arab Emirates
6th April 2021, Dubai, UAE: Today Stripe, a global technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet, announced its official launch in the United Arab Emirates.
Stripe has marked its entry into the region with the launch of its UAE office, in Dubai Internet City, which will be Stripe’s first office in the Middle East. A major milestone, today’s launch marks Stripe’s first expansion into the Middle East.
Businesses operating online in the UAE can use Stripe to accept online payments, make payouts, mitigate fraud, and expand globally to reach customers all around the world. Similarly, today’s announcement means it will be easier than ever for the network of leading global brands already using Stripe to bring their products and services to the UAE.
Accepting online payments can mean challenging onboarding processes that take significant time and investment for businesses to complete, with most providers requiring physical in-person onboarding. Stripe’s fast and secure online onboarding process will make it far simpler for UAE companies to access the internet economy.
“The UAE is a thriving hub for technology, supported by strong investor appetite, internet-savvy consumers, and an open, innovative ecosystem of business leaders and entrepreneurs. Similarly, the pool of budding tech talent in the Middle East is growing rapidly. However, at the same time, businesses still face challenges when trying to accept payments, make payouts, and manage the money side of internet businesses. Stripe removes these complexities, so businesses can focus on what makes them special,” said Matt Henderson, EMEA Business Lead at Stripe. “Our launch today also means we can now connect our global user base to the Gulf, enabling them to seamlessly expand their operations in the region.”
A number of the UAE’s most innovative companies including Illusions Online, Aceplace, ChatFood, and WeKeep are already using Stripe to power payments in the region, along with global brands such as Glofox, which is now using Stripe in the UAE, as well as its other leading markets.
“As an international technology business operating out of the UAE, the ability to leverage Stripe’s global payments infrastructure means we can really accelerate our growth. With Stripe, we have launched our brand-new fintech vertical, iOL Pay, a powerful payments platform-as-a-service for our global partners.” said Faisal Memon, Founder and CEO of Illusions Online. "Thanks to Stripe, we can quickly bring iOL Pay to over 40 countries, and support over 135 currencies while ensuring the highest levels of security and compliance. With Stripe, iOL Pay will revolutionise payments in the hospitality industry, automating cumbersome, manual processes whilst creating more revenue for our users."
Conor O’Loughlin, CEO of Glofox, said: “We’re excited to work with Stripe in the UAE, as we do around the world, to make it far easier for our users to set up and run their businesses online. Stripe’s launch in the UAE can be a catalyst for global brands like ours to expand the products and services we’re able to offer to fitness businesses in the region.”
The total value of digital payment transactions in the UAE has more than doubled in the last two years, with $18.5 billion of transactions in 20201, as lockdown measures accelerated a surge in online commerce2. The growth of UAE e-commerce is forecast to continue, with the sector expected to add nearly another $10bn over the next two years.3
Commenting on Stripe’s launch in the UAE, Ammar Al Malik, Managing Director of Dubai Internet City, said: “We are delighted to welcome Stripe to the region and believe it will play a key role in cementing Dubai’s position as a global tech and talent hub. Fintech is at the heart of digital transformation. It is an engine of growth accelerating digitalisation across many knowledge-based sectors. Stripe’s expansion to the UAE strengthens Dubai’s status as one of the world’s leading destinations for tech-enabled businesses. Its arrival also bodes well for the growth and acceleration of the digital economy and this move will allow Stripe to take advantage of the many opportunities this young region has to offer. As the leading technology district, we look forward to continuing to work with global brands to support the technology ecosystem as we have done over the last 20 years.”
Stripe’s market entry announced today - supported via a partnership with Network International - will provide UAE-based businesses with the infrastructure they need to better connect with users around the world and trade internationally. Similarly, Stripe’s presence in the region is an attractive calling card that will likely encourage global enterprise-level organisations to do business in the UAE, and broader Middle East.
“We are thrilled to welcome Stripe as a new anchor to the growing tech ecosystem here in the UAE. Having worked with the Stripe team for years as a Stripe Atlas partner, we are confident that their market-leading technology will be a game changer for the thousands of UAE businesses seeking to scale, and the global ventures with ambitions to expand their reach in the Middle East,” said Roland Daher, CEO of AstroLabs.
Stripe is backing its commitment to the UAE with immediate investment, scaling its local operations via the appointment of key personnel to a new Dubai office. Alessandro Astone, formerly Head of Stripe Italy, will lead sales in the region and Edouard de La Jonquière will lead partnerships with Financial Institutions in the region.
“We see a significant opportunity for technology innovation in the UAE, and we are excited to play a role in the region’s rapidly growing e-commerce market. There is a great depth of technology expertise in the region, supported by an ever-increasing, diverse network of talent. The ability to tap into this is one of many factors which motivated our decision to come to the Middle East.,” said Alessandro Astone, MENA Regional Sales Leader, at Stripe. “Online merchants in the UAE will finally get access to a wide range of best in class payment capabilities, fraud prevention tools, subscription and invoicing software, and to a full infrastructure to manage split payments and payouts, all in one single platform.”
The UAE marks yet another step forward in Stripe’s global expansion, following from the company’s launches in 2020 in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta and Stripe’s expansion into Africa via Nigeria technology startup Paystack. Globally, Stripe processes hundreds of billions of dollars each year for millions of businesses worldwide.
1 Source: World Digital Report 2020 (We Are Social and Hootsuite): https://www.socializeagency.com/2020/02/12/uae-2020-digital-report/
2 Source: GlobalData’s 2018 Consumer Payments Insight Survey: https://www.paymentscardsandmobile.com/e-commerce-payments-in-uae-set-to-reach-12-6-billion/
3 Source: Dubai Customs: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/363052