Ali Mohammad Al Khouri, Director General of the Emirates Identity Authority, has stressed that the strategic projects being developed by the Authority fall in line with the UAE vision to lay the foundations of a secure modern digital economy in the country and keep pace with the accelerated transformation witnessed by businesses and industries around the world.
Dr. Al Khouri underscored that the infrastructure of digital identity plays a fundamental role in combating identity theft crimes which are threatening the global eCommerce market whose value is estimated at $2 trillion. He considered that development of trusted standard mechanisms for online identity verification should enhance customers’ trust in the modern “virtual” economic environments and double fold the value of eCommerce market.
In his paper presented at the Middle East Retail Forum in Dubai, Dr. Al Khouri said that the advanced identity verification mechanisms provided by Emirates ID have the potential to develop eCommerce in the UAE and make a quantum leap in the service sector at government and private levels. This should in turn boost the sustainable development in the UAE and enhance its global competitiveness.
In the paper entitled “The impact of ID Management Infrastructure on the Commerce Sector”, Dr. Al Khouri stated that the infrastructure developed by Emirates ID to verify and authenticate personal identity in the UAE should contribute in facilitating transformation into secure electronic environments and eliminate the challenges related to identity verification and authentication. 
During the two-day forum, Dr. Al Khouri pointed to the growing challenges related to security of commercial transactions in light of statistics showing a rise in identity fraud and theft worldwide, particularly in the last two years.
He underlined the international report’s findings that the biggest challenge facing the business sector globally is to control fraud and verify customers’ identities, which necessitates setting up a mechanism for validating personal identity, noting that the UAE has gone far on the road of securing and boosting eTransactions through the advanced features of the ID card and the digital authentication centre which allows online instant validation of authenticity and reliability of the data embedded in the ID card.
Dr. Al Khouri highlighted that, more than ever, the rapid changes taking place in the contemporary world led to restructuring business and industry sectors, considering that these changes have remarkably revolutionised consumers’ behaviour making them more reliable on digital channels than traditional ones amid the unprecedented prevalence of internet, smart devices and social media networks.
He clarified that these changes have directly impacted marketing channels urging the consumer sector to look for unconventional marketing methods, which in turn led to the growth of eCommerce totaling $2 trillion, according to studies. This contributed in enhancing the attraction to eCommerce and its competitiveness level.
The theme of the Middle East Retail Forum 2013 is “Re-innovation and Development of Retail in the Middle East”. The forum is organised by Images RetailME, the prominent retail business magazine in the Middle East.  The event brings together top executives of public sectors, retail industry and trade marks, to learn about the future of retail business locally, regionally and globally.
The forum addresses the critical issues related to the future of the retail industry in order to come up with innovative ideas. It is a platform for young retailers to share their views and knowledge being a focal point connecting between retail industry leaders and policy makers.