Retailer Alshaya invests in Alabbar’s Noon ahead of its launch this year

E-commerce site Noon was slated to launch in the UAE in January, but is yet to begin operations



Kuwait-based retailer MH Alshaya has acquired a stake in the new $1bn e-commerce site backed by Dubai businessman Mohamed Alabbar, Noon.com.

The value of the deal and size of the stake were not disclosed.

Alshaya will also become a seller on Noon’s marketplace platform, listing a portfolio of international brands covering the fashion, health and beauty and home and lifestyle categories, a statement said.

Announced in November last year, Noon – which is also backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – was slated to launch in the UAE in January, but is yet to begin operations.

The statement on Wednesday affirmed that the site was on track to “launch later this year”, although no specific date was revealed.

Also read: Dubai’s Alabbar says Noon ‘on track’ to launch in 2017, will move base to Riyadh

Mohammed Alshaya, executive chairman of Alshaya, said: “We see great value in our partnership with Noon, which complements our existing online channels. Our partnership with Noon will allow us to expand our customer base, reach new market segments, and participate in the next level of growth in regional e-commerce.”

Alshaya is the latest large retailer to list its products on Noon, which will offer international brands covering categories targetting youth, families and children.

Mohamed Alabbar, founder of Noon, said: “Noon brings a new business model for e-commerce, developing a strong supply chain that benefits regional businesses. We will work with the region’s leading brands and retailers to help them grow their business through Noon.”

The Dubai businessman – who is also chairman of Emaar – has made a number of acquisitions in the e-commerce space since launching Noon.

In May, an Alabbar-backed technology fund acquired UAE online retailer JadoPado. During the same month, the Emaar Malls Group also bought a 51 per cent stake in regional fashion site Namshi for $151m.

Read more: Emaar Malls to acquire 51% stake in Gulf e-commerce site Namshi

The former managing director of Namshi Faraz Khalid was also appointed as Noon’s new CEO in July.

His appointment came after the departure of previous CEO Fodhil Benturquia and several other key staff members.

Read more: CEO of Alabbar-backed e-commerce site Noon quits ahead of its launch

Noon will compete for customers with the region’s current largest platform Souq.com, which was acquired by Amazon for an estimated $650m earlier this year.

Read more: Amazon completes acquisition of Dubai’s Souq.com

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