What are the most surprising e-commerce trends in the Middle East this year?

After PayPal released its Insights report yesterday, which details trends in e-commerce in the Middle East, we chatted with Elias Ghanem, the Managing Director for MENA, about its most surprising results. 

What surprised Ghanem the most is not that the market will grow to US $15 billion, which was already predicted, but that in 2015, mobile commerce will grow to US $3 billion, accounting for 20% of the $15 billion market. 

That number is lower than PayPal's global estimates that 50% of its volume will be mobile by 2015, and it's also lower than previous estimates. Yet it's substantial given the prevalence of cash-on-delivery and other payment gateways in the region; PayPal only accounts for 5% of transactions currently.

Watch the video to see what Ghanem has to say about why Qatar Airways is the most popular place to spend online in the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, why 52% of shoppers in the UAE say that they spend on Souq.com, and the report's projections for future of cash-on-delivery. 

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