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Noon to be launched in Saudi Arabia by year end

Faraz Khalid
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.”

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