GCC E-Pharmacy Market is expected to reach the market valuation of USD 5,347.56 million by 2028 expanding at a reasonable CAGR of 15.4% during the forecast period (2022-2028) from USD 2,073.33 million in 2020. A pharmacy that operates over the Internet and ship medicine orders to customers through mail, delivery companies, or an online pharmacy web portal is called as an online pharmacy.
The rapid increase in the number of people using smartphones, mobile devices and other similar gadgets coupled with the ease of accessibility of numerous applications across various platforms has paved the way for digital Pharmacy augmenting the growth of the GCC e-Pharmacy market. For instance, In 2025, the share of smartphones as a percentage of total connections in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) was forecasted to reach around 80%, up from 62% in 2019. In addition to this, a massive percentage of the UAE population is also using different types of gadgets. As per the survey, 92% of people are using smartphones. Moreover, 11% of people are still using non-smartphones in UAE while 66% of people are frequently using laptop or desktop computers.
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E-Pharmacy can generate a larger consumer base in developed as well as in developing countries due to the growing penetration of e-commerce in gulf countries. For instance, the growth rate for the e-commerce market in Saudi Arabia was 33% in 2015 which rose to 42% in 2020. Apart from this, there is a major shift in consumer behavior towards the usage of e-commerce platforms for online purchasing of goods and services that have further positively impacted the e-commerce market in the region. For instance, according to the leading global strategic consulting firm, GCC e-commerce has leaped into action with revenue of mere $5.3 billion in 2015, the sector has grown tremendously with revenue of about $22 billion in 2020.
Furthermore, With the advent of globalization and the culture of consumerism, there is an increasing tendency among people to travel in search of better quality and affordable health options. As per Business Bureau, Gulf Today, The value of the medical tourism market was about US$ 15.5 billion in 2017, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.8% to reach US$ 28 billion by 2024. Thus, there is immense potential for coupling medical care with tourism. Apart from providing better treatment options to patients, it is also gaining strategic importance given its ability to create better e-healthcare facilities and remote monitoring platforms in the region. Give these facts, medical tourists will be inclined towards the e-Pharmacy for buying their medicines and other healthcare products due to the varied benefits offered by them such as time savings, easy availability, and better discounts. In addition to this, tourists can also purchase medicines from such e-Pharmacy and get them delivered to their homeland even after their treatment is over.
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However, some of the restraints in the market include drug abuse and a rise in counterfeit drug production. In addition to this, the concerns related to security and privacy concerns for confidential healthcare data are impeding the growth of this market.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the entire world and many industries. This worldwide disruption has affected the healthcare industry like never before and has greatly impacted the way healthcare is delivered across the world. With the lockdown restrictions all over the world, the online pharmacy sector is witnessing healthy growth that is driving purchases of over-the-counter and prescription drugs through the internet.
Based on Product Type, the market has been segmented into skincare, cold & flu, dental, weight loss, vitamins, and others. The cold & flu segment held the major market share and is anticipated to maintain its dominance over the projected timeframe. However, skincare products segment and is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 16.9% during the forecast period (2022-2028) owing to the growing demand for such products amongst the young population and rising working-class women population base. For instance, In 2019, the number of employed females in the United Arab Emirates was 521 thousand, up from 489 thousand in 2018.
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Based on the Platform, the GCC e-pharmacy market is segmented into applications and websites. The application segment occupied the largest share and is expected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period 2022-2028 as many retail pharmacies in the region are initiating their digital operations by launching their mobile applications. For example, In January 2021, Saudi Arabian retail Pharmacy giant Al Daawa Pharmacy launched it's a user-friendly, multi-functional, and engaging mobile application that offers a rewarding customer experience. Apart from this, the demand for online Pharmacy applications is expected to grow in the forthcoming years due to the growing use of technologies such as AI and machine learning in mobile applications.
Additionally, the report provides detailed report also provides insights into the GCC e-pharmacy market according to the countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Saudi Arabia dominated the market and generated revenue of USD 1,179.9 million in 2020 owing to the digital transformation initiative under NTP 2020 & vision 2030 to improve healthcare and increasing healthcare spendings. For instance, In line with the government’s Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP), the Ministry of Health is expected to spend close to US$71 billion over five years ending in 2020.
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Four Seasons Pharmacy, Medisouq, Kulud Pharmacy, BinSina, and Al-Mutawa Pharmacies are some of the key players operating in the GCC e-pharmacy market. Several M&A’s along with partnerships have been undertaken by these players to boost their presence in different countries.
GCC E-Pharmacy Market Segmentation
Market Insight, by Product Type
Market Insight, by Drug Type
Market Insight, by Platform
Market Insight, by Country
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