Dubai: Noon, the e-commerce venture of Dubai billionaire Mohammad Al Abbar and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), has signed an agreement with internet giant eBay to carry products from the US site on its platform.
The company says it will fulfil all eBay orders made on Noon.
Backed heavily by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and a number of Gulf investors, including Emaar’s Alabbar and Kuwait’s M.H. Alshaya & Co., Noon says eBay products will be available from the second half of 2018 in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
The statement adds that eBay products purchased via Noon and shipped from overseas can also be returned to Noon with a full refund option.
Noon and eBay have also agreed to explore joint opportunities in marketing and know-how to “leverage the strong growth of online shopping in the region.”
There is no mention of any financial component to the deal.
About the deal, Alabbar said: “Noon is connecting the region with the global e-commerce market through our partnership with eBay. With this, we are offering our customers access to products that are not otherwise readily available in the region. As a brand from that is from the region, we listen to our customers and tailor the online retail experience to suit their needs. Our partnership with eBay opens a whole new world of shopping experience.”
He added that the partnership would also allow Noon to stay on top of the latest trends and consumer preferences in e-commerce.
In December 2017, rival website Souq, which is owned by e-commerce titan Amazon, added over one million products from its parent company’s US stores to its local inventory.
The Amazon Global Store allows customers in the region to tap in to a fraction of Amazon’s enormous network and product selection.
Noon, announced in November 2016, was billed as a $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) e-commerce platform destined to compete with local player Souq.
But those ambitions appeared to take a knock when Amazon acquired Souq in April 2017, heralding its arrival in the region.
Noon responded in turn by acquiring UAE-based online marketplace Jado Pado in May, bringing its former CEO Omar Kassim onboard as chief technology officer.
Kassim left Noon weeks later, telling local media that he didn’t realise how deep the problems ran.
In the 11 months following Noon’s initial announcement, the company laid off hundreds of members of staff and saw several key members of its leadership team depart, including its chief executive.
The company has now permanently moved its operations to Riyadh. In May 2017, Emaar Malls acquired 51 per cent of luxury fashion e-commerce site Namshi.
Noon appointed Namshi co-founder Faraz Khalid as its CEO two months later.