A Semiotic Analysis of Cultural Differences Between Australian and Emirati E-commerce Websites

Omar Hujran, Kholoud Alkayid, Yousef A.Abu Hajar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to investigate cultural differences in the design of e-commerce websites by undertaking a semiotic analysis. The study utilized semiotic analysis methods to examine the relationships among signs, symbols and their meanings on e-commerce websites. Specifically, six popular e-commerce websites from two culturally distinct countries, Australia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), were selected for analysis. The semiotic analysis of the e-commerce websites revealed significant differences in design attributes between the two countries. Specifically, the findings showed that UAE websites emphasize visual elements such as graphics and layout to engage users aesthetically, whereas Australian websites prioritize text-based content to ensure clear and direct communication. This divergence can be attributed to cultural disparities, with Arab culture valuing additional context and Australian culture favouring a more straightforward approach. This implies that different interface designs may be necessary to effectively communicate with and cater to the diverse cultural groups within each country.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFIIB Business Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Culture
  • e-commerce
  • semiotic analysis
  • social semiotic
  • website design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'A Semiotic Analysis of Cultural Differences Between Australian and Emirati E-commerce Websites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this