Millions of products just a click away...
Amazon-style portal for UAE shoppers is set to be launched
A new e-commerce service will give UAE shoppers access to 20 million products in what its lead financier described as the “biggest online shopping platform ever in the region”.
Wealthy businessman Mohamed Alabbar said Noon.com will revolutionise online shopping when it launches in January. It will use Aramex and its own distribution firm to offer same-day delivery.
Speaking at Dubai Opera House yesterday, Alabbar, who is also Chairman of property developer Emaar, said: “We are turning the e-commerce environment in the region upside down.”
The business is the culmination of $1 billion of investment. Some $500 million was raised by Dubai-based Alabbar and a group of investors while the rest is provided by the Saudi government’s Public Investment Fund.
Noon will have its head office in Riyadh but will operate from a huge distribution centre – the size of 60 football fields – at Dubai World Central.
Among the goods that Noon will offer will be clothing, books, sports gear, toys and electronics.
However, the firm did not state how it will track down customer addresses for delivery, which has been a key obstacle to e-commerce in the past.
Alabbar, though, still described Noon as “nothing less than a quantum leap in retail in the region, and the world”.
Alabbar said he expects the new company to have a dominant market share in the region, claiming it will offer 10 times the amount of products of firms already in the market. He said: “With Noon, we are offering the most customer-centric e-commerce experience available anywhere. In one move, we are launching a future-focused company which is the biggest online shopping platform ever seen in the region. Noon is a company born in the Middle East and serves customers in the Middle East.” Payment will be made through NoonPay, its own payment system. In July, it was reported that Alabbar was a lead investor in Boson Ventures Corporation, which purchased a 9.9 per cent share in Aramex. Noon CEO Fodhil Benturquia said “our customer experience will be driven by state-of-the-art technology that will power everything from product discovery to purchase and delivery”. He said that the firm will be working with retailers to sell their products through the site. Noon said it aims to grow online sales in the region from two per cent of the total market ($3 billion), to 15 per cent ($70 billion) within a decade.