PIF, Dubai businessman Alabbar launch $1bn e-commerce platform

Noon.com will launch operations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE in January, according to Mohammed Alabbar.
Updated 14 November 2016
0

PIF, Dubai businessman Alabbar launch $1bn e-commerce platform

JEDDAH: The online shopping experience in the Middle East is set to forever change with the launch of Noon, described as the region’s largest-ever e-commerce company, in January.
Noon is designed to be a driver of innovation, which will offer a vast product selection and fast delivery across all categories.
With an initial investment of $1 billion, Noon will launch in the Saudi and UAE markets, and will soon cover the entire Middle East region. 
Noon aims to grow online sales in the region from 2 percent of the total market ($3 billion), to 15 percent ($70 billion) within a decade. 
Emaar Properties Chairman Mohamed Alabbar, who is leading the venture with prominent GCC investors, described Noon as “nothing less than a quantum leap in retail in the region, and the world.” 
Alabbar added: “We come with the endurance to build a customer-centric business for the long-term. For us, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I am pleased to announce that the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia will take 50 percent equity in Noon. In addition, the head office of Noon will be based in Riyadh.”
“With Noon, we are offering the most customer-centric ecommerce experience available anywhere,” he said. “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.”
Noon is claims to bring a number of impressive firsts for the region. It will have the biggest selection, with 20 million products covering fashion, books, home and garden, electronics, sports and outdoor, health and beauty, personal care, toys, kids and baby products, among others.
It will have more than 10 million square feet of warehousing. At 3.5 million square feet, the UAE fulfillment center will cover more than 60 football fields.
Same-day delivery through Noon Transportation, an in-house express delivery service, and NoonPay, a secure and innovative payment gateway, are its other features.
Noon’s CEO Fodhil Benturquia said a commitment to customer-centric service and innovative technology will be key to Noon’s success. “The customer is the purpose of our being, and we are here to win their hearts and their trust. Our customer experience will be driven by state-of-the-art technology that will power everything from product discovery to purchase and delivery.”
Noon, through its mobile app and noon.com website, will be an end-to-end e-commerce retailer. “We want to be the partner of choice for sellers, whether they’re big or small. We invite them to be part of our ecosystem, working together to change the online shopping landscape for the Middle East customer.”
“Our team not only comes with exceptional backgrounds, but also with an all-consuming passion to change the way things are done,” he added.
Noon boasts that its team has a wealth of e-commerce experience earned at sector leaders, including Amazon, Apple, PayPal, eBay, Google, Flipkart and others.


Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

Updated 26 June 2019
0

Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

  • The MF has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy
  • ‘If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained’

MANAMA: IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that major economic growth was possible in the Palestinian territories if all sides showed urgency, as she took part in a US-led conference boycotted by the Palestinian leadership.
The International Monetary Fund has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy, with tax revenue blocked in a dispute with Israel which has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade.
“If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained,” said Lagarde.
The IMF chief is attending a conference in Bahrain to discuss the economic aspects of a United States plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, which has already been rejected by the Palestinians as it fails to address key political issues.
Lagarde said for the US plan to work “it will require all the goodwill in the world on the part of all parties — private sector, public sector, international organizations and the parties on the ground and their neighbors.”
Citing examples of post-conflict countries, Lagarde said that private investors needed progress in several sectors including strengthening the central bank, better managing public finance and mobilizing domestic revenue.
“If anti-corruption is really one of the imperatives of the authorities — as it was in Rwanda, for instance — then things can really take off,” she said.
The plan presented by White House adviser Jared Kushner calls for $50 billion of investment in the Palestinian territories and its neighbors within a decade.
The proposals for infrastructure, tourism, education and more aim to create one million Palestinian jobs.
Gross domestic product in the Gaza Strip declined by eight percent last year, while there was only minor growth in the West Bank.
Kushner, opening the conference on Tuesday, called the plan the “Opportunity of the Century” — and said the Palestinians needed to accept it before a deal can be reached on political solutions.
The Palestinian Authority has rejected the conference, saying that the US and Israel are trying to dangle money to impose their ideas on a political settlement.
Washington says it will unveil the political aspects of its peace deal at a later date, most likely after Israel’s September election.