Finance & Economics

3 in 4 UAE SMEs optimistic about business recovery

They also considered steps to future-proof their businesses


3 in 4 UAE SMEs optimistic about business recovery. Source:

The ‘2021 Small Business Recovery’ by Visa has found that 75% of small businesses in the UAE are optimistic about their business recovery following fast digital adoption amid the pandemic.

Among them, 54% of business owners are reliant on their small business as a primary source of income. Meanwhile, 82% of them consider digital payments as an important investment in business recovery.

The report also highlighted prominent spending trends seen by UAE small merchants:

  • 93% increase in the use of contactless payments.
  • 87% increase in takeaways.
  • 78% increase in home delivery.

The findings suggest that contactless payments became a top choice for more UAE consumers. For instance, 60% of merchants said contactless payments were the preferred payment option among their customers. That’s up from 18% at the start of the pandemic.

Along with that, here’s how UAE small businesses  responded to the pandemic in 2020:

  • 58% offered home delivery and pickup services.
  • 38% established digital presence.
  • 40% implemented in-store self-help signage.
  • 1 out of 2 ran offers and promotions.

Menawhile, 20% of UAE merchants who don’t have online presence plan to build an e-commerce platform. Furthermore, a third plan to offer contactless payments and digital prepayments options to their customers.

Here’s also data on what UAE merchants think of digital payments:

  • 82% see the adoption of digital payments as an investment.
  • 51% believe it will increase their sales.
  • 31% intend to invest in new digital payment technologies.
  • 28% of cash-only merchants plan to acquire POS terminals within the next 2 years.
  • 86% expect e-commerce will continue to grow post-pandemic.

While the majority of merchants recognize he importance of digital acceptance, 51% of surveyed merchants showed interest in low-cost acceptance solutions.

We’ve reported that UAE carrier introduced touchless check-in kiosks.


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