Dubai Skyline
A supercharged tech entity has been created by OLX and EMPG in alliance. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Dubai-based Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG) and OLX, which owns listings portals dubizzle, have merged their Middle East and North Africa and South Asia operations to form a Dh3.6 billion holding company.

This is the third in a series of mega deals in Dubai’s tech/digital space over the last three years, starting with Amazon picking up and then ride-hailing giant Uber acquiring local competitor Careem last year. And the deals just got bigger.

The common thread to all these was Dubai being the launch pad for the startups.

“Even in these exceptional times, Dubai has demonstrated its attractiveness as an international investment destination,” said Ammar Al Malik, Managing Director of Dubai Internet City, where Bayut and dubizzle launched operations.

“The success of dubizzle and Bayut shows once again that the UAE’s technology sector is growing thanks to the vision of our leaders to create a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy.”

Consolidation phase

In the online listings/classifieds space, the EMPG-OLX deal will speed up consolidation of the many competing portals. At the same time, there could be new entrants in property listings, with a set of estate agents in Dubai expected to announce their launches in coming weeks.

It’s not known whether the EMPG-OLX deal will now delay these plans. Bayut had been making headway in the last 12 months, mostly at the expense of Property Finder.

“With EMPG behind them, Bayut could score some decisive wins,” said a property broker who advertises on Bayut and Property Finder. “Any portal that can offer some competitive ad rates now will win in the long term.”