The UAE has launched a national electronic trust mark aimed at improving consumer confidence in e-commerce.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said its TRUSTae initiative was focused on promoting the online retail market as "a secure and safe environment".
In an announcement made at the Gitex technology event in Dubai, the TRA said the TRUSTae project would bolster confidence among online shoppers.
The number of people using the internet to make purchases in the UAE rose to 42 percent last year, up from 29 percent in 2009, according to a MasterCard survey on online shopping in March.
However, 45 percent of UAE consumers said they still did not feel secure shopping online.
To win the TRUSTae seal of approval, online businesses will be required to follow a strict code of conduct that provides reliable electronic transaction communications.
The TRA's Mohammad Nasser Al Ghanim said: “TRUSTae will empower our e-commerce industry by boosting consumer as well as internet business confidence."
While the initial Gitex launch focused heavily on cyber security, the TRUSTae model will grow "in line with consumer demands", he said, adding that there were plans already in place to address issues such as privacy, accessibility and quality of UAE websites.
Earlier this month, the Department of Economic Development said Dubai may tackle the issue of consumer rights in relation to online shopping.
The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division at the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) has already launched the ‘Blue Book’ guide to consumer rights in the UAE.
However, the online shopping sector is an area it may tackle in subsequent editions if there is sufficient demand from consumers.
In June, US luxury store Macy’s said Arab fans will now be able to order goods direct from the store following a deal signed by the retailer with an overseas shipment firm.
The agreement will allows Macy's to serve 91 countries worldwide, including most in the Middle East.
Macy’s, which set up its first Bloomingdale's store outside the US in Dubai in 2010, has launched an online version of its store, which has shipping services which will cater to overseas customers 91 countries worldwide, including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE.