UAE and Saudi investors will launch a $1bn e-commerce company for the Middle East in January.
Known as Noon, the company is backed by Saudi Arabias Public Investment Fund (PIF) which has a 50 per cent stake in the company and UAE investors, led by Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar.
Headquartered in Riyadh, the company will initially launch in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and plans to cover the entire Middle East region soon after. It aims to grow online sales in the region from 2 per cent of the total market ($3bn) to 15 per cent ($70bn) within a decade.
The e-commerce platform will offer 20 million products covering fashion, books, home and garden, electronics, sports and outdoor, health and beauty, personal care, toys, child and baby products.
The service is enabled by more than 10 million square feet of warehousing, including a 3.5 million-sq-ft logistics centre in the UAE, same-day delivery through Noon Transportation an in-house express delivery service and payments with a secure gateway known as NoonPay.
Mohamed Alabbar speaking at Noon launch in Dubai
In mid October, the PIF formed a $100bn technology investment fund in partnership with Japans Softbank Group Corporation.