Noon to be launched in Saudi Arabia by year end

Faraz Khalid
Updated 19 November 2017
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Noon to be launched in Saudi Arabia by year end

Noon, the digital marketplace created in the region, for the region and powered by the region’s leading retailers, will be launched in Saudi Arabia before the end of this year, said Faraz Khalid, chief executive officer (CEO).
He was addressing a panel discussion titled “The World Next Door: What new Innovations are Reinventing E-Commerce” at the Future Investment Initiative (FII), organized by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) in Riyadh.
Launched earlier this month in the UAE, Noon has an initial capital outlay of $1 billion by the PIF and a group of prominent Gulf investors including Kuwait’s M.H. Alshaya & Co. among others. It is headquartered in Riyadh and has already put in place a dedicated distribution hub, distribution channels and a secure payment gateway for serving Saudi customers.
Noon has a dedicated delivery fleet in Saudi Arabia, with professionals who know the market, and also offers flexible payment solutions, said Khalid. “Noon is working not only with large Saudi retailers but also SMEs and start-ups so that we remain connected with our audience — and deliver the personalized experience they seek.”
Khalid said that the MENA region, specifically, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has the perfect environment for the next era of growth in e-commerce.
“While online sales are just 2 percent of the total retail in the Middle East, the market is fast evolving; an AT Kearney report states that online shopping will grow from $5.3 billion in 2015 to $20 billion by 2020.”
He said the digital savvy youth population, and the high levels of internet and smartphone penetration are the drivers of growth for the e-commerce market. “But this only forms the infrastructural back-up for digital enterprises. The key to leveraging the digital opportunity is to know your consumers and understand their aspirations. Noon is bringing an exciting assortment of brands at a great value, which we believe will be received well by our customers in our key markets – Saudi Arabia and the UAE. With both web and app-based experiences, Noon delivers what our customers need, where they need and how they need.”
Khalid said that Noon has created new jobs for Saudi talents and will focus on building the Kingdom’s SME sector. “The region’s most valuable resource is its digital-native youth. We are working with them, for them and the community to drive our next era of growth.”


Zain advocates ‘New Kuwait’ vision at GITEX

Zain’s dedicated booth at the GITEX Technology Week. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 October 2018
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Zain advocates ‘New Kuwait’ vision at GITEX

Zain Kuwait inaugurated its dedicated booth at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX Technology Week 2018). The international event is hosted in Dubai until Oct. 18, where technology leaders and pioneers gather under one roof for five days to showcase the latest tech applications that will enrich the digital world’s revolution. 

The opening ceremony witnessed the visit of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai and chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, where he was welcomed by Zain Group’s Vice Chairman and Group CEO Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi and Zain Kuwait’s Chief Executive Officer Eaman Al-Roudhan. The ceremony was attended by Kuwaiti Consul General in Dubai Diab Al-Rashidi, as well as Zain’s executive management and strategic partners from global firms.

During his tour at Zain’s booth, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed expressed his admiration of the role Zain plays in transforming the telecom sector in the Middle East, as well as the company’s efforts in advancing innovation within the enterprise sector that witnesses constant leaps of change in the region’s markets. 

GITEX Technology Week, organized by the Dubai World Trade Center and featuring the biggest global companies, organizations, and entities from the telecom and IT industry, is considered one of the biggest events in the industry around world. 

Through its participation in GITEX, Zain aims to showcase its capabilities as an active partner in achieving the goals of the Kuwait National Development Plan (New Kuwait 2035) that stems from Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s conceptualized vision of a new Kuwait by 2035, which is based on five expected outcomes and seven key pillars. Through its booth at GITEX, Zain provides the technologies required under each of the seven pillars to achieve the goals of the Kuwait National Development Plan. 

At GITEX, Zain offers its latest innovative solutions based on the seven pillars of the Kuwait National Development Plan, which are Smart Security, Smart Education, Smart Health, Smart Mobility, Smart Living, Smart Economy, and Smart Infrastructure. 

The smart solutions Zain showcases at GITEX include solutions for Smart Security, like access control, identity management, mass notification, video surveillance, intercampus communications, and business intelligence. Solutions for Smart Education include connected classrooms and virtual classrooms. Solutions for Smart Health include remote chronic illness management, remote medical collaboration solutions, health care cloud services, and more. 

Zain’s smart solutions also feature solutions for Smart Mobility, including smart parking, remote monitoring, and smart public signage. Solutions for Smart Living include smart districts, energy management, facility management, smart metering, smart lighting, smart benches, digital signage, and smart waste bins. Smart Economy solutions include the smart investment platform, E-Wallet, payment platform, and smart retail. Finally, Smart Infrastructure solutions include the integrated DNX Platform, which enables all individual services to run in a cohesive environment, and synergizes across applications by fusing data and analysis to provide a 360-degree platform view for digital service development, management, and operations.