Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Deliveroo riding the storm in Kuwait and Qatar

Deliveroo's orders have dropped this year but business is holding strong in Kuwait and Qatar Reuters/Eric Gaillard
Deliveroo's orders have dropped this year but business is holding strong in Kuwait and Qatar
  • Global orders down but Gulf region a bright spot
  • Kuwait had triple-digit growth during pandemic
  • Value of food delivery market expected to be $9bn by 2028

Kuwait and Qatar are predicted to continue to buck the trend as Deliveroo’s worldwide orders tumble.

The online food delivery platform received 72.1 million orders worldwide in the first three months of this year, a drop of 9 percent over the same period last year, according to a statement from company headquarters in London.

Earlier this year, CEO Will Shu announced plans to cut 350 jobs, or nearly one-tenth of its non-rider workforce.

Deliveroo, which has had a presence in the UAE since 2015, launched in Kuwait in mid-2019 and started operations in neighbouring Qatar in September last year.

Seham al Husaini, general manager for both countries, revealed the business in Kuwait – which is second in that particular market behind rival Talabat – enjoyed triple-digit growth during the pandemic, when enforced lockdowns led to a rapid rise in deliveries.

While that has since “stabilised”, Al Husaini is forecasting further growth throughout the region.

“Covid gave us a boost injection that pushed us forward maybe ten years,” she told AGBI.

“We have grown the restaurant and ODG (on-demand grocery) sites by close to 20 percent year-on-year across the Middle East – UAE, Kuwait and Qatar.” 

Deliveroo works with 5,000 restaurants and grocery partners in Kuwait and a further 1,500 in Qatar.

Its fleet includes 2,000 riders, with plans to ramp this up throughout the second half of the year.

“Rider supply is always expanding. This is always an area we’re growing,” Al Husaini said.

Many commentators expected food delivery firms to struggle once coronavirus pandemic restrictions were lifted.

The recent increased cost of living and the pay disputes of delivery drivers could also be obstacles to growth.

However, Al Husaini is confident the company can ride the storm in her region. “We still have a lot of work to do, but I think we have a firm position here and a well established business,” she said.

The value of the food delivery market in the GCC in 2022 was over $3 billion and is expected to reach more than $9 billion in 2028 with a compound annual growth rate of 19 percent, according to data from market research firm Infinium.

Deliveroo reported a 4 percent rise in worldwide revenue in the first quarter, although the drop in orders on its platform resulted in 1 percent lower gross transaction value.

Latest articles


Dubai launches one-stop hub to streamline government services

People in Dubai can now obtain an Emirates ID, register a company, open a bank account and more under one roof following the opening of the Emirates Government Services Hub (EGSH). Owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, a member of the Dubai Royal family, EGSH allows clients to access all essential […]

In association with
Thailand's consul general Kitinai Nutakul visits the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jeddah

Thailand opens investment office in Saudi Arabia

Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) is opening its first Middle East office in Saudi Arabia, signaling a deepening of economic ties between the nations after a longstanding diplomatic spat. The office will focus on attracting Saudi investment into Thailand’s targeted industries and supporting Thai entrepreneurs looking to invest in the region, the BOI said in […]

hajj saudi arabia

Saudia reports big rise in international passengers

Saudi Arabia’s national carrier Saudia reported a 24 percent increase in international passengers to 9.1 million in the first half of 2024. There was also a 13 percent rise in the number of flights. The Hajj pilgrimage in June played a large part in the growth.  The number of passengers flying on domestic routes rose […]

renewables target dam

World is off track to meet Cop28 renewables goal

The world is far from reaching its 2030 renewables target, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) said on Thursday. Countries committed at the Cop28 summit in Dubai last year to treble renewables capacity in order to limit global warming to 1.5C. To stay on course global capacity growth needs to accelerate to a minimum rate […]