Amazon planning new Middle East site

Reports say Amazon will launch UAE and KSA service, putting Souq's future into question

Tags: Amazon.com IncorporatedE-commerceSaudi ArabiaSouq.comUnited Arab Emirates
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Amazon planning new Middle East site Amazon is believed to be launching its own brand services for the Middle East. (Getty Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  February 4, 2019

Amazon appears to be launching its own dedicated website for the UAE and Saudi Arabia, putting the future of local e-tailer Souq.com into question.

Amazon bought Middle East online retail leader Souq.com in 2017, for $580m, but now, according to CNBC, the company plans to launch another offering for the region.

CNBC says that major vendors in the US have been approached by Amazon, telling them that it will launch a new service for the Middle East, launching first in the UAE before expanding to Saudi. The online retailer is also telling the same partners not to sell products through Souq.com, but to focus on the main Amazon site instead.

According to the companies which spoke to CNBC, Amazon is looking to expand into new markets, and the launch of a new Amazon service for the Middle East would give a unified brand as well as using the same back-end systems for seller partners.

Both Amazon and Souq.com declined to answer media requests, but the situation raises the question of whether Amazon will merge parts of Souq.com's organisation into the new entity, or whether it will simply close Souq.com.

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