Stripe today announced its official launch in the UAE, marking the company’s first expansion into the Middle East. Stripe will operate out of Dubai Internet City, which will be the company’s first office in the region.

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. Existing customers already using Stripe will now be able to make their products and services available in the UAE.

“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 tech talent in the Middle East is growing very rapidly. However, companies still face challenges when trying to accept payments, make payouts, and manage the financial 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 companies including Illusions Online, Aceplace, ChatFood, and WeKeep have been part of Stripe’s pre-launch beta testing and 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.

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 2020, as lockdown measures accelerated a surge in online commerce. The growth of UAE e-commerce is forecast to continue, with the sector expected to add nearly another $10bn over the next two 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.

The UAE marks yet another step forward in Stripe’s global expansion, following from the company’s launches in 2020 in Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta and Stripe’s expansion into Africa via Nigeria technology startup Paystack.