Noon to be launched in Saudi Arabia by year end

Faraz Khalid
Updated 19 November 2017

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.”


A hundred universities take part in Dubai’s Global Grad Show

Some of the projects at Global Grad Show held last week in Dubai correspond to themes such as health, wealth and disparity, gender and equality, sustainability, education and technology.
Updated 19 November 2019

A hundred universities take part in Dubai’s Global Grad Show

A one-of-a-kind exhibition, showcasing graduate projects from more than 100 universities from 43 countries, in the fields of design, science, technology and engineering, was held last week in Dubai.
Held in partnership with Investment Corporation of Dubai, Global Grad Show opened its 5th and most diverse edition to date on Nov. 12 and ran until Nov. 16.
New entrants include established names such as Columbia University, Goldsmiths and the University of Pennsylvania, alongside leading universities from countries participating for the first time, including Colombia, Kuwait and the Philippines.
Global Grad Show is a significant component of Dubai Design Week, which is held under the patronage of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. Earlier this year, Global Grad Show was named as a key initiative under the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority’s plan to evolve Dubai into a global hub for culture and innovation.
Sheikha Latifa said: “This initiative is at the heart of Dubai’s vision to create a brighter future for all people through progress and innovation. Global Grad Show is a call to action for government and private entities to revisit their challenges and needs in response to current socioeconomic issues. I encourage all entities to engage with the students and collaborate to bring their ideas to life.”

HIGHLIGHT

This year’s expanded program includes an entrepreneurship program supported by A.R.M. Holding, which has pledged 10 million dirhams ($2.7 million) to advance projects into startups.

Mohammed I. Al-Shaibani, executive director and chief executive of Investment Corporation of Dubai, said: “With each year of Investment Corporation of Dubai’s participation at Global Grad Show, we have witnessed ever greater enthusiasm and interest from the international cultural, creative, and intellectual communities. This reception is a true endorsement to the calibre that the Global Grad Show has developed over its five years.”
Under the curation of Eleanor Watson, Global Grad Show explores how innovation can impact our lives through different spheres: The Human, The Home, The Community, The City and The Planet. Some of the projects correspond to themes such as health, wealth and disparity, gender and equality, sustainability, education and technology.
Ranging from high-tech to low-tech solutions, highlight projects in the 2019 exhibition include: “Swiv,” a toothbrush for children with cognitive disabilities, allowing them to clean their teeth with a single physical motion; “Jarvis,” a mixed reality headset, enabling doctors to accurately measure the brain’s response to distractions or activities when conducting cognitive tests for severe head trauma, pharmaceutical efficacy and ADHD; and “Ro-Biotics,” a microscopic robot created from 4D printed materials to be ingested in the place of an antibiotic, which captures infections in the blood stream.
This year’s expanded program includes an entrepreneurship program supported by A.R.M. Holding, which has pledged 10 million dirhams ($2.7 million) to advance projects into startups.