Alab­bar, Saudi SWF launch $1bn e-com­merce site

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

DUBAI: Dubai business mag­nate Mo­hamed Alab­bar an­nounced yes­ter­day the launch of a $1bil­lion re­gional e-com­merce site in a joint ven­ture with the Saudi sov­er­eign wealth fund and other Gulf in­vestors. Noon.com is to go on­line in Jan­uary with a 50-per­cent in­vest­ment from the king­dom’s Pub­lic In­vest­ment Fund and the rest from around 60 in­vestors led by Alab­bar, who heads the emi­rate’s real es­tate gi­ant Emaar. He told a press con­fer­ence that dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters are be­ing set up in the Saudi cities of Riyadh and Jed­dah, along with a gi­ant ware­house the size of 60 foot­ball sta­di­ums in Dubai.

“We ex­pect to be­come a world player but will con­cen­trate firstly on Saudi Ara­bia and the United Arab Emi­rates,” said the pres­i­dent of Emaar, the com­pany which built the world’s tallest build­ing, the Burj Khal­ifa in Dubai. With an ini­tial in­ven­tory of 20 mil­lion prod­ucts, the on­line re­tailer aims to ex­pand to Egypt, the Arab world’s most pop­u­lous state, at the end of next year or early in 2018. It is also look­ing at Kuwait and Oman. Alab­bar, quoted by Bloomberg, said Noon would be traded on stock mar­kets af­ter five to seven years. — AFP

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