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Stripe announced this week that it is expanding into the Middle East for the first time, with a launch in the United Arab Emirates.

As part of the expansion, Stripe will open its first office in the region in Dubai Internet City.

The launch means that UAE businesses will be able to use Stripe to accept payments online and make payouts. Businesses already using Stripe will be able to sell into the UAE more easily. Previously, UAE businesses that wished to accept digital payments had to put significant resources into onboarding processes, the company said.

According to the company’s announcement, the value of digital transactions in the UAE has more than doubled in the last two years. The region saw $18.5 billion in transaction value during 2020 and is expected to add nearly $10 billion more over the next two years.

“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,” Matt Henderson, EMEA Business Lead at Stripe, said in the press release.

“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. 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.”

Stripe has conducted pre-launch testing of its services with UAE businesses including Illusions Online, Aceplace, ChatFood, and WeKeep, it said.

Stripe said it is entering the market with support from Network International, which also operates as a PF. The company expanded last year into Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta. It entered Africa in partnership with Nigerian PF Paystack.