Online shopping hub Noon has announced partnership with eBay to give customers in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates the opportunity to shop for products in the US and other parts of the globe.As part of the partnership, Noon – which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and a group of Gulf investors – will fulfil all eBay orders made on noon and deliver the products directly to the customer’s doorstep.
“Noon is connecting the region with the global e-commerce market through our partnership with eBay,” said noon founder and Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar. “With this, we are offering our customers access to products that are not otherwise readily available in the region.” Noon powered by eBay will be available in the second half of 2018 in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia through a dedicated app, as well as via mobile and desktop.
Noon after a rough start that saw the company miss its promised early 2017 launch date and undergo several management changes, the platform came online in the UAE in September and Saudi Arabia in December.It competes for sales in the region with established player Souq.com, which was acquired by Amazon for an estimated $650m last year.Amazon has been scaling up its presence in the region in the past months, advertising for several jobs in Riyadh following a meeting in April between CEO Jeff Bezos and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in April, Bloomberg reported.
While e-commerce accounts for a small percentage of retail sales in the Gulf region compared wit that of the Western Europe and Asia, the rising penetration of smartphones and the entry of leading global players such as Amazon and eBay is forecast to accelerate growth in the sector.
The Middle East e-commerce market is expected to double between 2017 and 2020 to reach $20bn, according to the ‘Middle East B2C E-Commerce Market 2018′ report.